Pendleton will have a new economic development director come Friday morning.

Kevin Hale, chairman of the Pendleton Economic Development Director Committee, will introduce the new hire at a public reception which the Round-Up City Development Corporation will host 8 a.m. Friday at the Pendleton Convention Center.

In November 2007, the Pendleton City Council approved a proposal from the Round-Up City Development Corporation to create the new position.

Prior to that, the council increased business license fees to help raise $74,000 for the position, a move the RCDC and the Pendleton Chamber of Commerce strongly supported. Those increases took effect Jan. 1.

The city also allocated an additional $37,000 from prior business license receipts and the RCDC contributed $15,000 to bump the budget for the position to $125,000.

The city, chamber and RCDC also selected representatives to serves on the committee to oversee the director. Along with Hale, other committee members include Bob Reese, Hap Cooley, John McBee from the chamber and City Councilman Steve Taylor.

The committee then created a job description, conducted a regional search and interviewed potential candidates.

The committee made its final choice a few weeks ago but kept quiet about its selection at the request of the new director. Even at the March 18 city council meeting, Taylor only revealed the committee had hired a man who "carries a big shovel."

Now the work to create this position and fill it will come to initial fruition with the revealing at the reception.

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