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Springfield names economic vitality director

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The city of Springfield made a hire for a new position created last year.

Amanda Ohlensehlen is slated to start March 28 as director of the city’s Economic Vitality Department, according to a news release. The role was created in July 2021 to foster entrepreneurial development, business retention and tourism support, and business expansion and attraction.

“We are excited about Amanda and the opportunity she brings to the table for the city of Springfield," Deputy City Manager Maurice Jones said in the release. "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."

The new department separates the city's economic development functions from its Department of Planning & Development, which has a regulatory role applied through local zoning laws. Springfield Economic Development Director Sarah Kerner is among a half-dozen employees in the Economic Vitality Department, according to the city’s website.

Ohlensehlen most recently served as economic development manager for the city of New Bern, North Carolina, according to the release.

"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 in the release. "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.”

City officials previously said the budgeted cost for fiscal 2022 is $163,300 for salary and benefits for the new director position.

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