The Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity (Go Utah) recently expanded its Center for Rural Development (CRD) team’s service model. This new model assigns each rural outreach manager to service specific counties and communities. Like the Associations of Governments business model, the CRD model will foster enhanced interactions with business and community leaders while addressing local economic challenges and opportunities.
CRD Team New Hires
In addition to the current team of James Dixon, CRD Associate Director, and Eden Johnson, northern Utah Rural Outreach Manager, the team welcomes Colette Cox and Forest Turner as new central and southern Utah Outreach Managers.
“Colette and Forest are great additions to our already-strong rural team,” said Ryan Starks, managing director of Business Services. “The Center for Rural Development now has more resources that support rural Utah than at any other point in the state’s history. The wealth of rural resources align with Gov. Cox’s commitment to providing economic opportunity to all Utahns.”
Colette Cox will serve as the outreach manager for Beaver, Garfield, Grand, Iron, Kane, San Juan, and Washington counties, supporting the Southeastern Utah Associations of Governments. She has served rural communities for the past 18 years in economic strategy, innovative startup development, small business advising, and workforce expansion. Cox also serves on the Five County Association of Governments.
“I have a true love for rural Utah and the people that make up the heart of our small communities. It’s where I’m from and where I’m most at home,” Colette Cox said. “I strive to understand the uniqueness of each community and listen to the needs and desires of the residents, business community, and elected officials.”
Colette Cox earned a bachelor’s degree in business marketing from Utah State University and an MBA from the University of North Alabama.
Forest Turner will serve Carbon, Emery, Juab, Millard, Piute, Sanpete, Sevier, and Wayne counties, supporting the Six County and Southeastern Utah Associations of Governments. He’s served rural Utah communities for the past 15 years. Turner has expertise in the following areas: workforce development, recruitment support for employers, hiring incentives, internship development, participation in numerous job fairs, and other community events.
Raised in a small Cache Valley farming community, Turner is a native of Utah. He earned a bachelor’s degree in University Studies with a minor in English from Brigham Young University–Idaho.