County welcomes new liaison | RecordCourier.com

County welcomes new liaison

Andy Bourelle

Douglas County has its first-ever economic development liaison.

Fred Jones, a county resident since November 1996, has been named to the position. He officially starts Dec. 1, but Jones has already started working with various groups, getting himself acquainted with his role.

“I’ve already been working – meeting and talking to people,” Jones said. “I’m learning as much as I can about the county and the state. I want to be well qualified when I go talk to a prospective company (considering moving to Douglas County).”

The purpose of the liaison is to assist the Northern Nevada Development Authority in bringing more businesses to Douglas County. Jones will work with all entities involved in economic development, focusing exclusively on Douglas County.

Jones applied for the $25,000 position, because he saw it as an opportunity to help the community.

“I have an interest in maintaining the area and improving it – anywhere I live,” he said. “It’s a chance, of some sorts, to give back something.”

When Jones and his wife Cherry were looking for a place in the West to move to last year, they fell in love with Douglas County.

“It was one of the places we were considering,” Jones said, “and when we came out to take a look at it, my wife said, ‘this is it.’ We both love it.”

The liaison has been an idea the Business Council of Douglas County has had for years, and Jones had a lot of competition for this appointment. A five-member board was responsible for hiring and directing the activities of the liaison. Eight applications had been received, and all were described as having outstanding credentials.

Jones said he was not shocked to get the job, but would not have been disappointed if the position had been given to someone else more qualified.

Jones is “quasi-retired” but has worked as a C.E.O., marketing manager and vice president of corporate development. He has attended the University of Mississippi, University of California-Los Angeles and has a master’s degree in business administration from Stanford. He has been an instructor at several universities, and served on corporate boards and national standard committees.

The review board which appointed Jones is composed of representatives from different entities which made financial contributions to the project: County Commissioner Kelly Kite represents Douglas County; Northern Nevada Development Authority Executive Director Kris Holt represents the NNDA; Gary Cook, Carson Valley Business Park; Dave Williams, Williams Ridge Technical Park; and Mary Davis, Business Council of Douglas County.

Now that the appointment has been made, the board will continue to monitor Jones’ performance, working with him to encourage manufacturers and other businesses to relocate to the county. Economic diversification and improving the county tax base are aspects Jones said he wants to look into.

Davis, chair of the board, said, although all the applicants were well qualified, Jones seemed like the right choice.

“Once we interviewed him, he lived up to all his accomplishments,” Davis said, “and his references were impeccable. If somebody can make a difference, it’s him.”

She said all the entities involved in the county’s growth – the NNDA, the county commissioners, etc. – were happy with the newly created position.

“Everybody is delighted this is finally happening,” Davis said.