Marion hires eco-devo director

Randy Collett, new economic development directorThe Marion City Council introduced Randy Collett as the new economic development director during its regular meeting Feb. 15.

Roger Holter, city administrator, said Collett was unanimously recommended for the position by a group of individuals with Marion Eco?nomic Development Inc.

?This was kind of a surprise,? Collett said, about applying and accepting the job as the city?s new director.

?When my wife, Rachel, and I relocated here 11?2 years ago, I didn?t anticipate going back to work,? he said. ?I figured this was my retirement.?

During those 18 months, he said he assisted and participated with the family farm.

But, with the events of last fall regarding the position, and conversations with Holter and Mayor Todd Heit?schmidt, Collett said he decided to apply.

Learning about the direction the city wanted to take in economic development, Collett said he was interested in being a part of that.

Holter said the interview process was going on for the last three weeks.

?We met with five candidates,? Holter said. ?One of them withdrew their application once they learned about the scope (of the work).?

Conducting the interviews were MEDI members Jeremy Ensey, Chris Costello, Heit?schmidt and Holter.

With the announcement of Collett as the new director, Holter added that while the city continues to support county-wide economic development, there were other factors needing to be considered.

?It was in the city?s best interest to fill the position to address the future,? Holter said.

Rather than leave a vacancy with a number of possible clients in negotiations waiting for answers, Holter said the city decided on Collett because of his qualifications and background.

?I was watching with interest the entire county-wide effort and efforts of everybody else,? he said.

A lot of the news was about cooperation and Collett said while he agrees with that, he added that cooperation is a two-way street.

He, and his wife, Rachel, have been married 30 years and they have three grown children.

With a career in the telecommunications industry for 35 years, Collett said he is a successful manager and has exceptional strengths in interpersonal communication skills and leading teams to do things the ?right? way.

?I was fortunate to be both a customer and a provider,? he said. ?Experience on both sides of that business relationship provided a much broader perspective in my approach to managing and motivating a high performing team.?

?In turn, he said, those successes provided me some unique leadership opportunities in my community and with my professional colleagues.

Collett?s most recent position, prior to returning to his hometown of Marion, was as an area director in sales with Sprint/Embarq/Century Link in Jefferson City, Mo.

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