News Tribune business columnist Dan Voelpel will become Puyallup’s new economic development director beginning June 15.
Voelpel’s thrice-weekly column has appeared in The News Tribune since May 2003.
“Writing this business column was the best job I’ve ever had,” said Voelpel in explaining his move to the city job. “But Puyallup’s offer to do something different and challenging was too attractive to pass up.”
Puyallup City Manager Gary McLean said the city hopes to tap Voelpel’s extensive knowledge of the business community and development issues.
“Dan’s regional contacts, insight, background and energy make him the right choice for Puyallup,” said McLean. “For the last six years, while working for The News Tribune, Dan developed a deep understanding of economic issues facing the South Sound. Prior to that, his 12 years working in the Tacoma City manager’s office gave him the government experience that is essential for this job.”
The new economic development director served as communications supervisor for the City of Tacoma from July 1991 to May 2003.
Voelpel said he’s eager to begin the new job.
“If you look around the Puget Sound region for cities with the greatest upside, Puyallup tops the list. It has positioned itself as a desirable destination for a wide range of business and investment opportunities,” Voelpel said.
In recent years, Puyallup has redeveloped its downtown, improving streets and infrastructure, building a new city hall, library and market pavilion. On South Hill, the city is working with the new owner of a former microchip plant to renovate that high-tech campus into a more marketable property.