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Springfield, MO

Rob Dixon is scheduled to become  acting director of economic development on July 1.
Rob Dixon is scheduled to become acting director of economic development on July 1.

Greitens picks former Springfield chamber exec for cabinet

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Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens tapped former Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President Rob Dixon for a cabinet post.

Dixon, who’s worked since December 2014 as CEO of the Missouri Community College Association, is slated to become acting director of the Missouri Department of Economic Development on July 1, according to a news release. The appointment is subject to confirmation by the state Senate, which would make Dixon the permanent director.

“Our top priority is more jobs and higher pay for the people of Missouri. Real change and bold leadership are needed to bring jobs back to our state,” Greitens said in the release. “Rob has proven that he knows how to get results and drive change. His experiences as a Marine, economic developer and leader of Missouri’s community colleges will help to make Missouri one of the top states for jobs.”

If approved for the post, Dixon will succeed Mike Downing, who was appointed as director by Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon. Downing agreed to stay on as a special economic adviser, though it’s unclear why Greitens, a Republican, sought to replace him as DED director. A Greitens spokesman could not be reached for comment by deadline.

As director of the DED, Dixon would oversee business attraction and retention, often through incentives such as the Missouri Works program for job growth.

“Gov. Greitens and I share the same desire to transform the way Missouri does economic development,” Dixon said in the release. “The people of Missouri need more jobs and higher pay.

“We’re going to compete with every state in the country to win jobs for our people.”

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