Arneson steps in to lead economic development

Monday, April 21, 2014

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MASON CITY | Shaun Arneson is excited about the economic development opportunities being created in North Iowa this year.

But the interim president of the North Iowa Corridor Economic Development Corp. also knows the importance of working with existing businesses to help enhance and expand them.

"In the average community, 70 to 75 percent of new jobs and new capital investment come from existing businesses," he said.

Arneson, 45, has experience in that area. For the past two years he has been vice president of existing businesses and project management for the North Iowa Corridor.

He became interim president earlier this month when Brent Willett left to take a leadership position with a Greater Des Moines Economic Development Initiative.

Arneson is a native of George, Iowa, population 1,080, in the northwest corner of the state.

"It's near Rock Rapids if that helps you," he said with a laugh.

In high school he envisioned being a teacher some day and got his bachelor's degree from Simpson College in Indianola. But he developed an interest in planning and economic development and received his master's degree in community and regional planning from the University of Nebraska.

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