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New director helms Starke County Economic Development Foundation Board

Larry Wickert will helm the the Starke County Economic Development Foundation Board of Directors, which oversees economic development in the largely rural county of more than 23,000 residents just south of LaPorte County.

Wickert was named executive director of the board of the not-for-profit economic development agency that works to bring industrial parks, rail spurs, greenfield sites, shovel-ready sites and infrastructure to Knox, North Judson, Hamlet and greater Starke County. He has served for seven years on the board, which also handles workforce development issues.

"Wickert was raised in Starke County and has lived and worked in Starke County his entire career," the Starke County Economic Development Foundation said in a news release. "After receiving his BS degree in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University, he returned home and worked as plant manager for a retail fertilizer plant. Until his Jan. 1, 2018 hiring as interim executive director for the foundation, Larry was self-employed as an agronomy consultant."

Wickert is also a former Starke County commissioner.

He helped established the foundation's agriculture committee and launch a quality of life initiative by partnering with the Starke County Chamber of Commerce. Wickert, who had been serving as interim executive director, recently completed the Ball State Economic Development Course and the Economic Development Director’s Course at the Indiana Economic Development Association.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.