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January 17, 2019

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Two residents take reins of local economic development

Dave Stratton and Jeff Sprague

Two Bluffton residents – Jeff Sprague and Dave Stratton - continue to play significant roles Allen County economic development.

On Jan. 1 the two were involved in promotions in their roles.

Stratton was promoted to replace Sprague as the president/CEO of Allen Economic Development Group. Sprague became president/CEO of Greater Lima Region.

Prior to the transition, Sprague held both positions. Stratton has served as director of business development for AEDG since 2015. He is a Bluffton High School graduate.

AEDG board chair Carol Russell said that the move will allow Jeff to focus on GLR and strengthening that organization AEDG. “And, it will allow Stratton to build on the development with AEDG that Sprague has already accomplished.”

The two entities and their roles are closely related. Both list creating a good business environment and facilitating job growth in their mission statements.

 AEDG’s focus is Allen County. The Greater Lima Region looks at an eight-county region with Lima at its center. Boards of the two groups also share a number of members, including Russell, who represents AEDG on the Greater Lima Region board.

AEDG is funded by both private and public dollars. The more-regionally focused Greater Lima Region is entirely privately funded.

“Our goals for the upcoming year will be to focus on the business community by connecting and attempting to hear and meet the needs that they have before them,” Stratton said. “We see ourselves as maximizers, helping these companies and organization to reach a fuller and more robust potential.”

“There’s tremendous opportunity before us. If you look at the amount of positive job creation that has taken place in Allen County in the last two years, it’s been hugely positive. In the last two years now, we’ve had many new attraction projects — four alone that have created more than 300 jobs,” Stratton said.