Heuton set to retire at the end of the year

Brookings Economic Development Corporation (BEDC) announced today that it has begun the search for the next leader of the organization.

BEDC is the lead entity for economic development in Brookings County, with key strategic focus areas of business development, entrepreneur support, workforce development and community development. The organization is a 501(c)6 non-profit managed by a board of directors consisting of elected officials, public and community leaders and private sector representatives.

“A search committee was formed in April and has spent the last month refining the job description and qualifications for the new hire,” said Dan Hansen, current BEDC board president. “We are confident that there will be significant interest in this important community position and we look forward to finding the best fit to lead the Brookings region into the future.”

Al Heuton

Al Heuton, current executive director for BEDC, announced his plans to retire earlier this year. He is scheduled to work for the organization through the end of 2020. Heuton has been with BEDC since June of 2005 and has been instrumental in driving economic growth and success in Brookings. The community has garnered much national recognition during his tenure, including being named a National Micropolitan Success Story by the Walton Family Foundation in 2018 and #16 Best Performing Micropolitan in the Country by Policom this year.Among his long list of achievements:

  • Recruitment and expansion of businesses that has resulted in the creation of over 1,000 new jobs and capital investments with a taxable value exceeding $100 million
  • Spearheaded the Vision Brookings fundraising initiative which has raised over $7.4 million in private sector investments and leveraged an additional $50.4 million in outside funds
  • Authored the city’s federal BUILD grant application for the $18.7 million interstate interchange grant
  • Responsible for bringing in a total of $24.4 million in grant dollars for the Brookings region
  • Ongoing economic impact from BEDC’s business assistance programs of more than $100 million annually  

“To say that the new leader of BEDC will have big shoes to fill is an immense understatement,” said Hansen. “What Al has done for this community throughout the last 15 years is incredible, and the impact of those efforts will be sustained for years to come.”

One of the main changes made to the job description was a new title – Chief Economic Development Director/CEO.

“The committee and the BEDC board feel very strongly that this person be recognized as the leader and coordinator of all regional economic development strategies and initiatives in the Brookings region,” said Hansen. “We will be seeking participation from our community partners throughout the search process to ensure a wide range of engagement and support.”

The committee has set a closing date of June 30, 2020 for applications with the goal of having someone onboard by October. Those interested in the position can view the full description and application details on the company’s website at brookingsedc.com/careers.


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