New economic development director takes helm at Michigan City

2013-11-02T12:00:00Z New economic development director takes helm at Michigan CityStan Maddux Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
November 02, 2013 12:00 pm  • 

Officials are brimming with optimism that an expert in economic development along the Ohio River and Atlantic Ocean will get the same results in Michigan City and its lakefront.

Clarence Hulse has been named the new executive director of the Economic Development Corp. of Michigan City.

He will officially begin Monday.

"Everywhere he worked they'd take him back in a minute," said Chuck Compton, board chairman of the EDCMC.

Hulse comes from a similar position in New Bern, N.C., and once was director of economic development in downstate Jeffersonville, where he had a major role in creating 3,500 new jobs and $300 million in capital investment, according to profile information about Hulse released by the EDCMC.

He also has experience in Florida in cities like Tampa, where he assisted in creating 16,000 new jobs and $500 million in capital investment during a five-year period.

"We think he's going to be doing great things,'" Compton said.

Hulse has experience in many difference economic development areas ranging from industrial, retail to affordable housing.

Compton said one of Hulse's main priorities will be to finish a strategic plan outlining the type of jobs that Michigan City should recruit.

For many years now, the city has focused mainly on manufacturing, but studies being done now will show if manufacturing should remain the primary focus or if other industries such as tourism should receive more attention.

"That will be a big priority," Compton said.

Hulse has many accolades including Outstanding New Developer of the Year award in 1999 and the Outstanding Community Initiative Award in 2011.

He replaces Kevin Kieft, who left in May to become the regional director for the Indiana Economic Development Corp. in its northwest region consisting of Lake, Porter, La Porte, Newton, Jasper, Starke and Pulaski counties.

He had been the EDC executive director since March of 2012 when he replaced John Regetz, who took a similar position in Idaho.

"If you can do it in a bigger city and be as successful as he's been you can probably be more successful in a small town," Compton said.

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