ALEDA names new director

Published 7:22 pm Thursday, January 3, 2019

The Albert Lea Economic Development Agency board of directors announced Thursday the hiring of a new executive director of the organization.

Phillip Johnson

Phillip Johnson, who is from Riverside, California, will fill the position left open since May 2018 when former Executive Director Ryan Nolander was hired as president of Rochester Area Economic Development Inc.

“I am honored and excited to be the new executive director of the Albert Lea Economic Development Agency and I look forward to getting to know the community,” Johnson said. “Albert Lea and Freeborn County hold immense potential for growth and development. In working together with all the stakeholders to develop a long-term vision for the area, I believe that Albert Lea and Freeborn County will continue to grow and prosper into the future.”

Email newsletter signup

Johnson was formerly the assistant executive director of the Salton Sea Authority, where he worked since 2015 on matters such as legislative policy and strategy, outreach coordination and awareness campaigns and long-range planning. He also served as the chairman of the Salton Sea Management Program’s long-range planning committee.

“We are excited to add Phillip to our team at ALEDA,” said board member Mark  Heinemann. “He brings experience in working on challenging issues that have multiple stakeholders with diverse opinions about the right path forward. His ability to balance those views in creating a long-term plan will be of great value to our community.”

Albert Lea City Manager Chad Adams echoed Heinemann’s comments.

“Economic development through creating jobs, increasing tax base, and attracting, growing and retaining businesses is the community’s top priority,” Adams said. “I am confident that Phillip has the collaborative skills, drive and creativity that are needed to help grow Albert Lea and Freeborn County.”

Johnson will begin his position Feb. 4.

ALEDA is the local economic development organization made up of two separate entities: the city of Albert Lea Port Authority and Greater Jobs Inc.