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Lee County Economic Development Group Parts Ways With CEO


The Lee County Economic Development Group (LCEDG) parted ways with its CEO this week. Joe Steil had served in that role for roughly two years, prior to which he was a member of the organization's Board of Directors.

LCEDG announced the “restructuring” in an email this week.

Board Chairman Dave Schwarz said in an email to Tri States Public Radio that the restructuring “...was a data and budget-driven decision by our Board of Directors.” A spokesperson for the organization said a key factor was the amount of money being spent on employee-related expenses.

The restructuring leaves two full-time employees in place: COO Dennis Fraise and Marketing & Communications Manager Dana Millard.

Schwarz said the duties of the CEO will be assumed by Fraise, Millard, and the members of the Board of Directors. He said the restructuring “will not change the focus or direction of our operations."

The restructuring comes as LCEDG is embarking on a five-year capital campaign to raise $1.3 million to $1.6 million. The group said the money will be used to:

  • Support existing industry expansion and retention
  • Develop effective efforts to attract skilled workers and expand training for the existing workforce
  • Significantly expand outreach marketing of Lee County to new types of industries/technologies
  • Focus resources on communicating with key stakeholders in Southeast Iowa

LCEDG is currently funded with a mix of public and private dollars.
Schwarz said LCEDG’s Board of Directors thanked Steil for his service as a board member and CEO.

Steil said in a text message to Tri States Public Radio that he wishes LCEDG success in the future.

“Many opportunities are in play for the future (of LCEDG) on various fronts and I aspire they all become reality.”

Jason Parrott is a former reporter at Tri States Public Radio.