Amanda Ohlensehlen has been chosen to be the city’s new economic development coordinator.
Ohlensehlen has worked since June of 2008 as the sales manager for the Havelock Tourist and Event Center.
The University of Missouri graduate is currently working toward a master’s degree at East Carolina University in science and sustainable tourism and that focuses on community development. She has also recently completed a course in economic development form the UNC School of Government.
“I have been vested here in the city of Havelock for many years and I’m very excited for the opportunity to fill this new role,” said Ohlensehlen. “I think it is very important to the future of Havelock. I’m ready to delve further into some projects and help organize some of the activities to retain and recruit business.”
Ohlensehlen said her current line of study will translate well into her new position like what types of practices and policies can be put in place to balance not only economic growth but also environmental and sociocultural factors as well.
“Many of the projects and research that I have completed give examples of best practices and certainly the critical thinking and the problem solving skills that are necessary for this field,” Ohlensehlen said.
City manager Frank Bottorff said Ohlensehlen is extremely talented and has a tremendous future.
“When this position became available, I really couldn’t think of anybody more prepared and ready to take this position so we look forward to putting the burden on her for helping us with some more economic development efforts,” said Bottorff.
A frequent topic of discussion among city leaders is diversification and broadening the scope of economic development beyond that which is offered by Cherry Point.
Up to now, the city hasn’t had anyone on point with that effort.
“Right now we don’t have a person focused on being the point of contact for economic development,” said Bottorff. “Frankly, when people call, we don’t have the process or the people to answer the calls from those people. We want somebody completely focused on being the face to our business customers and our future business customers.”
The salary for the job is $55,000 a year.
Ohlensehlen said she is excited to play this new role for the city,
“I have a lot of research to do and getting brought up to speed on what inventory and assets we have available and what sort of resources we can look to to promote growth,” she said. “It certainly is a career path that I have been interested in for some time.”
Mayor Will Lewis said he was pleased to see Ohlensehlen promoted.
“Amanda has done a lot of great work for us through the years and a lot of network building the community and she has already done a lot of the economic development work that we have been successful at so when we started looking at who would be a great fit for that position Amanda is well in tuned with a great connection already and understands what Havelock really needs,” said Lewis. “She has spent a lot of years here understanding what we need at the Havelock Tourist and Event Center and that’s going to translate well to the city of Havelock.”