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Gary Laffoon, joins CORE
Jefferson City, MO (March 2, 2010)
The 12-county Mid-Missouri economic development organization, Missouri CORE Partnership, has a new executive director who started March 1. Missouri native, Gary Laffoon will fill the vacancy created when CORE’s first executive director, Mike Downing, left this past October to return to the Missouri Department of Economic Development. CORE (Connecting Our Regional Economy) was founded in February 2008 as a not-for-profit that represents the 12 counties of Audrain, Boone, Callaway, Camden, Cole, Cooper, Howard, Miller, Moniteau, Morgan, Osage, and Randolph.
On behalf of these counties and other private investors such as the University of Missouri and Ameren, CORE works to facilitate the attraction of new businesses and promote major projects that have a regional impact.
Laffoon is a long time proponent of regional economic development efforts, going back to his three years in the late 1990’s as a national marketing specialist with the Missouri Department of Economic Development.
"My job will be to go out, and get to know our partners in the region to identify their particular assets, such as their available buildings and sites. Additionally I will help to identify all the other key components for site location such as labor, available utilities and even local taxation. Once I have a good idea of what we truly have, I can help market the entire region. In the site selection world, regional groups tend to carry more weight and credibility," Laffoon said.
Gary Laffoon returns to central Missouri by way of Bentonville Arkansas, where for over 5 years he managed site selection nationally for Wal-Mart’s Distribution Center network. Prior to that, he served for over three years as a Site Selection Consultant for Carter Burgess in Fort Worth, Texas. Since February 2009 he has owned and operated his own site selection firm. Laffoon indicated a long time interest in returning to central Missouri to not only be near family and friends but to put to use the skills and experience learned over the past 10 years as a site selection consultant and real estate executive. "This is my home and I want to do whatever I can to positively enhance the quality of life here in central Missouri through job creation and economic investment", Laffoon commented.
Mr. Laffoon will be one of the driving forces for the Mid-Missouri economy as he works with business leaders, public officials and other economic advocates to increase recognition for the CORE region.