LACONIA — Belknap Economic Development Council Executive Director Carmen Lorentz has been nominated by Governor Maggie Hassan to become the state's new director of the Division of Economic Development. The appointment was made public Thursday by State Senator Andrew Hosmer during a speech before the Laconia Rotary Club.
''I'm thrilled with the opportunity and welcome the challenges of the new position,'' said Lorentz, a Lakes Region native.
''We're very sorry to see her go. It's a loss for Belknap County but a gain for the state of New Hampshire,'' said Sean Sullivan, chairman of the board of directors for BEDC.
He said that Lorentz had provided strong leadership, notably in the areas of advanced manufacturing and workforce development through the 200 by 2020 initiative, which links students with job internship opportunities.
Sullivan said the BEDC is in the process of starting a search for her successor.''We want to continue with the strong momentum that she has provided us with.''
Lorentz lives in Gilmanton with her husband, Jonathon, and son, Julius, and has headed the BEDC since March of 2011. Prior to that she was a senior economic development specialist for the consulting firm of Carmoin Associates of Saratoga Springs, N.Y., where she assisted more than 50 communities across the Northeast in economic development planning, business attraction, and downtown revitalization.
A 1995 graduate of Gilford High School, Lorentz (then, Carmen Reed) went on to study International Affairs at George Washington University. She spent several years in Washington, DC, lobbying Congress on foreign policy issues and working at an international foundation.
Lorentz focused on state and local government policy in her Master's degree program at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy. She subsequently participated in New York's Public Management Institute, which afforded her the opportunity to analyze state economic development policies.
Her nomination is expected to come before the Executive Council for confirmation on January 15, and, if confirmed, she is expected to start work late this month.
The Division of Economic Development is a division of the state's Department of Resources and Economic Development (DRED) and is currently led by interim director Christopher Way.
Hassan had nominated Rochester Community Development Director Karen Pollard, who also served as deputy city manager in that city, to the economic development post in October but Pollard withdrew from consideration in November, electing to remain in her position in Rochester.