No such luck. But we did get an email from Sierra Commons, which we’ve supported over the years, along with Robert, going back to its inception. (One example is here. In September, we enjoyed hearing Michael Funk, chair and co-founder of United Natural Foods; and David Wood, founder of Ensemble Designs, speak at a Sierra Commons fundraiser).
Sierra Commons has supported our growing business — and this blog, for that matter. The internet is changing how we communicate, we’ve noted together. We appreciate the group’s “thought leadership” — the Funk and Wood presentation about entrepreneurship was one of the most stimulating discussions I can remember around here. (And I used to sit on the ERC board — still dominated by our western county’s construction and real-estate interests).
Sierra Commons’ “heads up” email pointed to an announcement that is going up on the group’s website later this morning — and it expressed some disappointment in The Union’s “apparent lack of interest in investigating the question” of Sierra Commons future, focusing solely on the ERC instead:
“We at Sierra Commons are proud of today’s news that Robert Trent has been appointed Executive Director of the Nevada County Economic Resource Council. Robert has held this role at Sierra Commons since we opened our doors in August of 2009. His appointment to the post at the ERC is a validation that Sierra Commons’ ground-up focus on micro-enterprise and small business has become a key building block for economic rejuvenation in Nevada County, as well as a testament to his personal capacity and expertise in economic development.
“Robert will continue to serve Sierra Commons as Executive Director in a part-time capacity as he takes up his responsibilities as ERC ED. We’re very happy that our long-time office manager, Kim Albanese, has agreed to assume additional operational responsibilities. We are moving forward with the next Business Ignitor course, starting March 6th, and offering co-working memberships in our beautiful new facility at 792 Searls Avenue in Nevada City.
“Sierra Commons is committed to strengthening our community and our local economy. We wish Robert the best as he works towards this goal with the ERC, and are excited to broaden the partnership between the two organizations.”
We look forward to a broadened partnership as well. In fact, at the September gathering, I half joked to Robert and Jon Blinder that it was time to ask Funk to join the ERC.
He’s about the most successful national entrepreneur I can think of from here; United Natural Foods is now a multibillion-dollar Fortune 500 firm. His business, organic food, is growing at double-digit rates.
At any rate, the ERC will benefit from “new blood”; it long has been too consumed with Grass Valley-centric construction and real estate — and all the politics that go with it.
Our local economy will only be ignited by a multi-faceted, collaborative approach to economic development. It must be regionally focused too. Good luck Robert!
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