GOED Expands Rural Economic Development Effort

Pete CodellaNews

The Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) announced at the recently concluded Utah Rural Summit the three new staff members who have been hired for the enhanced rural economic development effort being coordinated by GOED.

Carbon County Economic Development Director, Delynn Fielding has accepted the position as Director of Rural Development within GOED. He will be assisted by Jake Hardman as Rural Outreach Coordinator and Daniel Royal who will fill the role of Rural Incentives Analyst.

GOED is embarking on an ambitious agenda of engagement in every region of the state. The new team will work with rural leaders and economic developers, to gather data and determine their top three economic development priorities, and their top three economic development challenges. GOED will then engage the full array of state resources (e.g. BEAR, EDTIF, BRC’s and
SBDC’s* etc.) in partnership with the rural counties to help achieve those priorities.

“Businesses, large and small, in Utah help create a dynamic economy in every community throughout the state. Rural communities have universal similarities but regionally specific needs,” says GOED Executive Director, Spencer Eccles. “We are very committed to collaborating with rural businesses, economic development and local leaders to elevate rural economic development to the next level.”

GOED Managing Director, Christopher Conabee also indicated that rural Utah can expect to see more coordination at the regional level and more involvement on the part of Associations of Governments. He also indicated the Governor’s Rural Partnership Board (GRPB) will take a more prominent role in advising GOED and advocating for rural needs.

Rural economic development leaders were invited by GOED to participate in the hiring process and the staff selections were widely praised at the rural summit.

Fielding has been the Carbon County Economic Development Director for the past 13 years. Prior to that, he had a career in banking, serving as both a branch manager and a regional manager for Zion’s Bank. Fielding has also been a member of the Governor’s Rural Partnership Board for the past eight years. He is widely recognized for his role in establishing the Business Expansion and Retention (BEAR) program in rural Utah.

“Working together, sharing the credit and leveraging resources through cooperation and partnerships with a sharp focus on building local businesses are the keys to successful economic development in rural Utah,” said the new Rural Director, Delynn Fielding. He will be relocating from Castle Dale to live in Salt Lake City and work from the GOED offices.

Cedar City resident, Jake Hardman, Director of the Southwest Utah Renewable Energy Center (SUTREC), was also announced as the new Rural Outreach Coordinator. Hardman spent two years working for the Utah Science Technology and Research (USTAR) program as a venture analyst. As an analyst Hardman worked with entrepreneurs and higher education to commercialize new research technologies.

Subsequently, Hardman accepted the position as the first director of the Southwest Utah Renewable Energy Center (SUTREC) whose focus is renewable energy education. The new GOED position will have Hardman traveling to rural communities throughout the state on a weekly basis, and he will continue to live in Cedar City.

The third member of the rural team, Daniel Royal will fill the role of Rural Incentives Analyst, in which he will coordinate and track BEAR and other rural incentive programs. Royal graduated with a bachelor’s degree in international business and marketing with a minor in French, concentrating on French speaking African markets. His business development carrier began in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, where he helped American companies enter the Quebec market. At GOED he was responsible for market analysis and coordination of foreign trade missions. He will provide staff support to Fielding in the GOED offices.

Following the Utah Rural Summit announcement, Fielding looked toward the future, “The GOED team will be fully engaged with all 25 rural counties in achieving their clearly defined local priorities. State resources will be coordinated to help achieve the objectives. Communication and collaboration will also be much improved as Jake (the Outreach Coordinator) visits each county on a frequent basis to provide assistance.”