Date: Thursday, June 25, 2015 Time: 4:30 PM
Warren County Names Executive Director
Warren County Economic Development Corp. is pleased to announce that, after serving three months as Interim Director, Hollie Askey has been named the new Executive Director. Askey served as the organization's Director of Operations since 2011.
A native of Red Oak, Iowa, Askey's career includes being manager of LA Weight Loss Center and Bally Total Fitness in Tampa, Florida, owner of Ashton Personal Fitness Center in Clearwater, Florida, and host of her own fitness segments on Tampa Bay's "Fitness on Demand".
In 2008, Askey sold her business and moved back to the Midwest to be closer to her family. She took a position with the Montgomery County Family Y.M.C.A. in Red Oak as the Marketing Director. She then served as a Loan Specialist with the USDA Rural Development agency, working with rural communities on projects to improve infrastructure, public safety, health care and education through federal loan and grant making. It was at the USDA Rural Development agency that Hollie discovered her passion for Economic Development.
Askey graduated from the Heartland Economic Development Course in 2012, is currently enrolled in the Oklahoma University Economic Development Institute, and is scheduled to graduate in 2016 with her Bachelors of Science degree in Business Management with a minor in legal studies.
Askey has been instrumental in bringing in new businesses to Warren County as well as assisting existing businesses in their expansion and growth projects.
Additionally, she organized local leaders, development groups, and chambers in Warren County to create the Business Retention, Expansion, and Entrepreneurial Development Task Force, which implemented the now annual Excellence in Business Awards Event, the Warren County Small Business Grant Contest, and the $5,000 New Business Recruitment Bounty program.
In order to grow and improve existing and start-up small businesses, Askey coordinated with local chambers, Simpson College, the Indianola Record Herald, and SDBC to develop the Learn|Grow|Succeed program which provides free and low cost workshops and classes to business owners and entrepreneurs.
Due to the efforts and successful outcomes from the Learn|Grow|Succeed program and the Business Retention, Expansion and Entrepreneurial Development taskforce, WCEDC was awarded the Overall Business Retention and Expansion Award at the Professional Developers of Iowa Smart Conference, presented by Governor Branstad
Currently WCEDC is working on projects in Norwalk, Indianola, Carlisle, and Cumming that will result in an additional $70,000,000 injection to the local economy over the next four years.
Askey replaces Jason White who previously accepted a position with the Greater Oshkosh Economic Development Corp. in Wisconsin. Rachel Gocken, WCEDC's Administrative & Communications Coordinator will now serve as Operations Manger. The organization is currently in the interview process for a part-time administrative, marketing and research position.