Archive for Monday, October 9, 2006

Economic development group losing executive director

October 9, 2006

The director of Leavenworth County's economic development group is going private.

Lynn McClure will step down Friday as executive director of Leavenworth County Development Corporation, which markets the county, in hopes of attracting new business and industry.

On Monday, he begins work as vice president for commercial loans at First State Bank and Trust's Basehor bank. There, McClure will take his knowledge about business into the private sector.

McClure has been with LCDC for more than two years.

"Lynn is very bright, and he works with companies to determine their viability," said Kent Needham, president and chief executive officer at First State Bank. "That same basic understanding of a business and viability is utilized in commercial credit decisions. ... I'm excited to have Lynn join our team. We've got a great group, and Lynn's going to fit in."

LCDC, along with its related organization, the Leavenworth County Port Authority, helped establish Tonganoxie's Urban Hess business park, north of Laming Road and U.S. Highway 24-40. LCDC also has been instrumental in attracting businesses to other areas of the county. And McClure has worked on numerous projects, including the proposed Kansas Turnpike interchange south of Tonganoxie.

McClure, 33, said his decision to leave LCDC was based on what's best for his family. He and his wife and two young children live in Basehor.

"Economic development work is great, and I love it," he said. "But your tenure is never very long, and I really don't want that for our kids, to be moving around. ... It was a good long-term decision for us. I really like it here. I like the people here. It's a win for me, and it's a win for my family."

And, he said, First State Bank is a unique operation.

"First State Bank is just something special, when it comes to banking," McClure said. "It's family, and that's not something you run into a lot in the banking world."

He said he plans to continue his work with Leavenworth County Development Corporation, as a volunteer.

Bill Petrie, president of LCDC's board, said the board met last week to form a search committee to find McClure's replacement. Petrie, of Commerce Bank in Leavenworth, said the committee would include a representative from Leavenworth County, the port authority, the cities of Basehor, Tonganoxie, Leavenworth and Lansing, and a member at-large. In addition, the LCDC five-member executive committee will be on the search committee, which will be led by Joe McAfee. LCDC currently has 85 member companies and individuals.

The search committee will begin work immediately, Petrie said.

"Lynn has a lot of balls up in the air, and a lot of good things are going on, and we can't let the momentum slow down," he said. "So we need to find a replacement as quickly as possible."

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