Varilek to Lead Minnesota Division of Employment and Financial Improvement – Brainerd Dispatch
ST. PAUL — Matt Varilek, president of the Small Falls-primarily based Initiative Foundation, will lead the Minnesota Division of Employment and Financial Improvement.
“Possessing grown up in a reduce-revenue household, I am passionate about assisting far more individuals love higher financial prosperity,” Varilek mentioned in a news release. “I’m deeply grateful to Governor Walz and Lieutenant Governor Flanagan for the chance to join the talented group at DEED at this pivotal moment. The division has just been entrusted with an unprecedented set of tools and sources, and I am eager to aid place them to operate for the advantage of companies, workers, and households across Minnesota.”
Gov. Tim Walz announced Varilek’s appointment Thursday, May well 25. Varilek will replace Kevin McKinnon, who has been serving as short-term commissioner because March. The Division of Employment and Financial Improvement is the state’s principal financial improvement agency, advertising company recruitment, expansion and retention, workforce improvement, international trade, and neighborhood improvement.
“From strengthening the economy and communities of Higher Minnesota to advocating for smaller companies on the federal level, Matt Varilek brings a wealth of expertise and practical experience to his new function driving our state’s economy forward,” Walz mentioned in a news release. “I appear forward to functioning with him to develop Minnesota’s robust, vibrant, and diverse economy and help our workers and companies.”
Varilek was named Initiative Foundation president in 2016. Prior to joining the Initiative Foundation, he served as chief operating officer for the U.S. Smaller Organization Administration in Washington, D.C. His transition to the DEED commissioner function will happen on June 20.
“Matt Varilek is a steady, thoughtful leader who brings tremendous practical experience driving financial improvement and prosperity in diverse communities across the state,” mentioned Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan. “Having partnered with him to advance loved ones financial safety and kid care in the previous, I am confident in Matt’s capacity to operate inside and across communities — from Higher Minnesota and the Twin Cities to our tribal nations – to construct a far more equitable and inclusive economy that performs for all Minnesotans.”
Previously, Varilek was the chief operating officer for the U.S. Smaller Organization Administration, a regional administrator for U.S. SBA Area VIII, and a candidate for Congress for the at-significant district of South Dakota. Varilek was also an financial improvement director and speechwriter for the offices of U.S. Senators Tom Daschle and Tim Johnson and served as the director of policy and investigation for Natsource LLC.
Varilek earned his bachelor’s degree from Carleton College, his Master of Philosophy in financial improvement from the University of Glasgow, and his Master of Philosophy in atmosphere and improvement from the University of Cambridge.
“Matt has been a tremendous pal, leader and organizational culture-builder for the Initiative Foundation,” mentioned Kim Ellingson, chair of the Initiative Foundation Board of Trustees, in a news release. “While his transition will be bittersweet, we’re in complete help of his appointment as DEED commissioner. His steady and inclusive leadership style, and his practical experience and focused operate on smaller company, workforce improvement, childcare and far more will translate completely to an agency that influences financial improvement in just about every corner of Minnesota.”
As component of its succession preparing, the Initiative Foundation Board of Trustees anticipates naming an interim president and will undertake a professionally supported search for Varilek’s successor. Specifics about the search will adhere to in the weeks ahead.
“The Initiative Foundation has never ever been stronger,” Ellingson mentioned. “Our board and employees are totally committed to serving the area without the need of interruption through this time of transition.”
Reactions to the appointment, incorporated:
“Matt brings an outstanding background for this function, like practical experience with state and federal policy, deep relationships in company, nonprofits and foundations, and an significant point of view from rural Minnesota,” mentioned Minnesota Council on Foundations President Susie Brown, in a news release. “I’m so pleased that Minnesota’s philanthropic neighborhood has a robust and constructive connection with Commissioner Varilek. We appear forward to functioning with him and the DEED group to help Minnesota’s financial improvement possibilities.”
“Matt Varilek is a correct leader and a constant champion for companies in Higher Minnesota,” mentioned Joe Nayquonabe, Commissioner of Corporate Affairs for the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, in a news release. “He was a driving force behind the Enterprise Academy plan inside the Mille Lacs Tribal Economy and as CEO of the Initiative Foundation, he led a convening of other foundations across the state, advertising a ‘better together’ mentality. I’m confident he’ll bring that identical leadership to the workplace of DEED and build an atmosphere of innovation and development.”
“When I served as board chair of the Initiative Foundation, I got to see Matt’s steady and inclusive leadership style in action – welcoming diverse voices and assisting to uncover a path absolutely everyone could really feel superior about,” mentioned Wyoming Machine, Inc. Co-President Traci Tapani. “As a company owner, I’m excited that he brings comprehensive expertise of workforce improvement, smaller company lending, and other difficulties that are significant to companies, significant and smaller. Matt is exceptionally properly equipped to operate productively with the company neighborhood as DEED’s subsequent leader, and I congratulate Governor Walz and Lieutenant Governor Flanaganon a excellent decision.”
For far more specifics about the agency and its solutions, check out the DEED web site at
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