Pharos-Tribune

May 14, 2013

CLEDO director taking state position

Misty Knisely
Pharos-Tribune

LOGANSPORT — Connie Neininger is leaving the Cass Logansport Economic Development Organization to accept a position with the state.

Neininger has been appointed the Indiana State Department of Agriculture’s agriculture economic development director, ISDA Director Gina Sheets announced Monday.

Neininger will work alongside Sheets as the “ISDA strives to drive the advancement of agronomic technologies and promote the sound stewardship of our landscape,” Sheets said.

Sheets cited Neininger’s broad background in facilitating job creation in rural and agribusiness communities as a reason for her appointment.

“Sometimes we forget the opportunities available in the agricultural industry,” Neininger said in a press release. “It’s not just farming. There are biofuels, hardwoods and many more opportunities there than we realize.

“I really want to focus on adding value to current agricultural streams. We want to focus on working with existing companies to determine what products they are shipping and where. If we can add value to the product before it leaves, and understand which products passing through the state can have value added to them, we can further support our existing companies.”

The news comes just a week shy of Neininger’s six-month anniversary with CLEDO.

“Connie shepherded the restructuring of CLEDO over the past year; streamlining the organization’s activities and building collaborative relationships with organizations throughout the county,” the CLEDO Board of Directors said in a press release.

When Neininger came on board with CLEDO on Nov. 19, it marked the end of an eight-month process to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Nolan “Skip” Kuker.

To lure Neininger to accept the Cass County position, the board waived its residency requirement and allowed her to maintain her home in White County. Neininger will work with CLEDO and its board of directors for the next month to implement an interim plan for the organization.

The board now begins a search for a replacement executive director and is already seeking interested candidates.

Interested professionals may drop off a resume and cover letter at the CLEDO office, 311 S. 5th St., Logansport.  

Misty Knisely is managing editor of the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at 574-732-5155 or misty.knsiely@pharostribune.com