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Cook County/Grand Marais EDA announces search for new director

Mary Somnis has been the executive director of the Cook County/Grand Marais Economic Development Authority for five years now. Under her tenure, the Superior National at Lutsen golf course remodel/expansion took place, eight homes were built in an EDA/One Roof Housing partnership, and several businesses set up operation in the EDA’s Cedar Grove Business Park.

A year ago Somnis announced her intention to retire, something that was delayed during the pandemic. Throughout the pandemic, Somnis has worked with Small Business Development Center Consultant Pat Campanaro and Cook County Chamber Director Jim Boyd, helping businesses maneuver the complicated COVID-19 financial relief programs.

At recent meetings, Somnis asked the EDA board to put succession planning back at the top of the EDA’s agenda, which it did. After several personnel committee meetings, with SBDC Consultant Campanaro facilitating the process, the EDA is ready to accept applications for a new EDA director.

An employment ad has been shared. The ad and a job description can be seen on the home page for the EDA.

EDA President Howard Hedstrom is on the personnel committee. WTIP’s Rhonda Silence spoke with Hedstrom to learn more.