The Board of Directors of Economic Development Sedalia-Pettis County (EDC) today announced that Ms. Jessica Craig, has been hired as their new Executive Director.

Randy Kirby
Randy Kirby

Rusty Kahrs, Board President stated, “We have completed an exhaustive and intense search.”  We conducted a competitive nation-wide search only to find the ideal candidate to fill the position is right here.  We wanted a candidate who was passionate about their work and who cared deeply about continuing the relationships that have been built.

We need an energetic individual who will continue and expand upon the goals to bring consensus to the community, pride to the community, and most of all, to provide support to our industries.  Existing industry has always been Linda’s priority and it has proven successful with the number of existing company investments and growth over the years.  With her local, regional and statewide economic development experience, Jessica is sure to continue the momentum for supporting our existing businesses.”

Ms. Craig comes to the position with great leadership skills, 12+ years experience in economic and workforce development, multitude of experience, a passion for the existing manufacturing community, and a deep love of this community.  Craig, like Christle, has received many awards from her peers for her leadership skills in economic development.

John Swearingen, long-time President before Kahrs stated, “I am elated to be able to have Jessica Craig take the helm as our new CEO.  She has a good foundation to get started and I know she will take off and not miss a beat to carry our corporation into the future.  I stated early on in this search I knew what I wanted in an executive…I am so pleased we have found exactly the type of individual I wanted to fill the position.”

A 1999 graduate of Smith-Cotton High School, Ms. Craig stated, “I am honored to be hired for this position.  Leading economic development efforts for years throughout the state, I look forward to bringing that experience home to move Sedalia and Pettis County forward.  Coupled with the one-of-a-kind economic and manufacturing base here, my experience in the field and my passion for this community, I am very excited to capitalize upon all those factors as Executive Director of Economic Development Sedalia-Pettis County.”  Since joining the Missouri Department of Economic Development in 2004, Craig has lead economic development efforts resulting in 12,730 new and retained jobs and $565 million new capital investment throughout the state of Missouri.

Linda Christle stated, “I am so happy they have hired Jessica.  She is the right individual to help the community continue to move forward,” said Christle. “Sedalia is the greatest and I have loved every minute of my 12 years here.  I know it will be in good hands.  Jessica will also have a great support staff with our Executive Assistant, Betty Wood.”  They will be a great team.”

Economic Development Sedalia – Pettis County is a non-profit organization which specializes in marketing Sedalia and Pettis County, Missouri to relocating industrial companies as well as retaining its existing industrial base.  More information can be found at


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