As the new Executive Director of the Clarinda Economic Development Corporation, Amy McQueen is determined to see Clarinda continues to thrive as a community.
McQueen started her duties with the CEDC Dec. 7. She replaced Renee Riedel, who resigned from the position Oct. 31.
“Clarinda is a special, tight-knit community. The family values here are very strong and we have a strong foundation of support from our manufacturing and retail communities, our churches and our schools. There are also a lot of opportunities for growth in the arts and the other projects we have here in town. The Glenn Miller Festival and other events like that also provide opportunities for opportunities for small town entertainment,” McQueen said.
Originally from the Northboro area, McQueen lives with her acreage husband, Andy, on an acreage just outside of Clarinda. The couple has three daughters - Alexis, 23; Jordyn, 17; and Madison, 13.
Prior to joining the CEDC, McQueen worked with Farm Bureau in Clarinda from 2002 until 2017. She initially started as a sales associate before moving up to an agent in 2008. After leaving Farm Bureau in 2017, she ran an insurance agency in Sidney.
“Having started my career in Clarinda, I worked with several committees connected to the Clarinda Chamber of Commerce and was a business owner. I love this community and seek to see it thrive. The CEDC has done a lot of good things in the past and I want to help push that forward,” McQueen said.
McQueen said her prior experience as a member of the Clarinda business community should benefit her in her duties with the CEDC. She already has established contacts in the community and is empathetic to the needs of the community.
As a result, McQueen said she is excited about the challenge her new position offers. During her first week as executive director, McQueen said she worked closely with Board of Directors President Lisa Hull to learn about past projects the organization has been involved with. She also met with the members of the board to learn the direction they want to CEDC to move in the future.
McQueen said her immediate focus was preparing for the organization’s annual meeting, which was being held this week. She said the annual meeting would focus on setting goals for 2021 that would provide her clear direction for the year ahead.
In terms of existing projects the CEDC is involved in, McQueen said her primary objective would be to continue moving forward with its housing program. She said the housing program is intended to help attract new residents to Clarinda and further bolster the local workforce to make the city more attractive to businesses looking to locate in or near Clarinda.
“I look forward to working hand in hand with our board members and local business leaders to enhance the employment opportunities and housing opportunities in our community as well as the surrounding region. We want to bring people to Clarinda and have them live here. We have a great community, but we need employers, employees and housing to make sure that continues,” McQueen said.