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PLASKETT TO CHAIR EDA

April 15, 2001 – At its first meeting, the board of the newly formed Economic Development Authority elected board member Dean Plaskett, commissioner of Planning and Natural Resources, as its chair.
The EDA is an umbrella agency for the Government Development Bank, the Economic Development Commission (formerly the Industrial Development Commission), the Small Business Development Agency and the Industrial Park Development Corp.
At the organizational meeting Wednesday, the board also elected members Kent Bernier, the governor's assistant for economic affairs, as vice chair; and Willis Todman, assistant administrator of the Government Employees Retirement System, as secretary.
According to a Government House release, the board began making committee assignments at the meeting and will complete them later. No details were given about the assignments. The board is to approve a budget at its next meeting.
The release quoted Plaskett's priorities as being "expediting the completion of the pending EDC loan applications as quickly as possible, addressing the delinquent loans of the former SBDA, hiring additional compliance officers for the EDC, streamlining the process for businesses to deal with the EDA, and approving a budget that will allow the EDA to fulfill its mandate."
The other sitting members of the new board are Louis Willis, director of the Internal Revenue Bureau; and Mary Ann Pickard, a former IDC member and former senator. The two non-government members who have been nominated and are awaiting Senate confirmation are Craig W. Barshinger and Ronald W. Belfon.

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