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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Missouri native Amanda Ohlensehlen has been named the City of Springfield’s Director of Economic Vitality, effective March 28. Ohlensehlen most recently served as the community & economic development manager for the City of New Bern, North Carolina.
Ohlensehlen has directed economic and community development programs, created affordable housing, launched workforce development initiatives, has done resiliency planning and community advocacy and cultivated partnerships in the region to implement strategic construction projects and social programming to support the local economy and improve quality of life in New Bern. In addition to a focus on community and economic development, Ohlenshelen promotes policies that contribute to a balanced and healthy economy while enhancing a location’s socio-cultural, historical, natural and built resources.
Prior to serving in New Bern, she was the economic development coordinator and director of the tourist and event center in the City of Havelock, North Carolina.
“We are excited about Amanda and the opportunity she brings to the table for the City of Springfield. The new department is a great chance for the city to advance a lot of the goals set forth in the comprehensive plan and the City Council priorities,” said Deputy City Manager Maurice Jones.
The Department of Economic Vitality was created in July 2021, to focus on vibrancy and taking a proactive approach to helping businesses and entrepreneurs, to positively impact the region’s economic ecosystem. The department’s primary services are entrepreneurial development and support, business retention/tourism support and business expansion and attraction.
The creation of the department formally separated the City’s economic development function from the Department of Planning & Development. The purpose in doing so was to eliminate any confusion regarding the facilitative and recruitment role of economic development from the Planning & Development Department’s regulatory role applied through local zoning laws.
Primary objectives of the department are to encourage reinvestment and quality economic growth, coordinate significant development projects that impact the community’s tax base, retain and facilitate expansion of existing businesses, promote entrepreneurship, and attract new businesses by fostering a positive business environment.
The new department works closely with the City’s quality of place initiatives and regional economic development partners to leverage resources and enable the City to be attractive to quality business investment.
“I am extremely excited to come home to Missouri and join the team in Springfield. This is a wonderful community and I appreciate the commitment to placemaking. I look forward to helping guide the vision of the department and build on past successes,” Ohlensehlen said. “Springfield is such a special place with so much to offer and everyone has been so helpful. I am ready to jump in to ensure a vibrant future for Springfield and the region.”
Ohlensehlen earned a Master of Science in Sustainable Tourism at East Carolina University in 2017 and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing from the University of Missouri in 2006.
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For more information, contact Cora Scott, Director of Public Information & Civic Engagement, at 417-380-3352 or [email protected]