Christle Receives Development Award

Barbara BremerEDSPC News

September 22, 2011

Economic Development Sedalia-Pettis County Executive Director Linda Christle recently received the Governor’s Career Service in Economic Development Award for her work to promote development in the county.

Christle was presented the award in recognition of her dedicated work in the development industry during the 2011 Governor’s Conference on Economic Development last week in Springfield. She described the honor as humbling and overwhelming.

“It is unbelievable,” Christle said. “Considering there are so many great economic developers across the state and then to get the governor’s award, it’s pretty phenomenal.”

Since joining EDSPC in 2004, Christle has led efforts to establish three Enhanced Enterprise Zones in the county, along with working to help existing companies expand locally and recruiting prospective industries to the community.

“A priority of mine has always been to work with the existing companies,” Christle said, describing her efforts to connect companies with the resources and incentives available to help them grow locally.

“It’s just an honor to be able to help a person who got a job from a company that maybe wasn’t going to expand or locate here otherwise.”

The criteria for the award was based on the significance of recent accomplishments, advancement of community development and demonstration of strong networking, and a team approach to economic development, said John Fougere, spokesman for the Missouri Department of Economic Development.

“This particular award is given to a person in the economic development profession for their hard work and dedication to the industry,” Fougere said. “(Christle) has worked in a proactive manner to grow and retain the area’s employers, and she was very deserving of the award.”

He said Christle has contributed to continuous growth of Pettis County’s manufacturing base, an industry that accounts for about 25 percent of the jobs in the county.

Since she helped establish the Enhanced Enterprise Zones in the county, the 27 companies that have been awarded incentives through the local program have invested more than $133 million and created 1,062 full-time positions in the county, Fougere said.

Sedalia Mayor Elaine Horn said Christle’s efforts have meant millions of dollars of investment in the community and the creation of countless jobs that have helped the area remain relatively stable throughout the recession.

“Linda has been able to work very diligently with all our companies to provide additional resources to help them expand and put together attractive packages to entice new companies to come here,” Horn said. “She has proven herself time and again to go above and beyond to succeed and help our community grow.”

Christle also credited local governments, companies, educational institutions and community organizations for their contributions to promote economic development in the county, saying the collective efforts of the whole community help create a climate that encourages growth.

“I’m just so stunned and so honored — and for the community to get the recognition, too,” Christle said.

“Everybody working together is what makes any community what it is, and we certainly have that support of everybody working together toward a common goal.”

–Matthew Steingraber, Sedalia Democrat