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Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams has hired Christina Oliver away from the Utah Transit Authority to become his new economic development director.

Oliver, 34, who has worked to promote commercial, retail and multi-residential "transit-oriented developments" at key UTA rail and bus junctions, will replace Dale Carpenter. He resigned last week after eight years on the job.

McAdams said Oliver's appointment was the first of several structural changes he intends to implement soon to provide "premier regional service on economic development" to the county's 16 cities and unincorporated areas. His spokeswoman, Alyson Heyrend, declined comment until later on the upcoming changes.

"Bringing in new businesses and helping existing businesses expand are top priorities for me," McAdams said, contending Oliver's experience will augment the county's budget by enhancing private-sector growth and adding more well-paying jobs. "She'll help ensure the county puts its best competitive foot forward in creating a first-class business climate."

Oliver said economic development and air quality "are tied at the hip to transit," so she expects her experience with the potentially valuable transit-oriented developments will benefit McAdams' desire to make progress on both fronts.

Before joining UTA, Oliver was director of corporate recruitment and incentives in the Governor's Office of Economic Development. In that capacity, she participated in relocation and expansion projects involving Goldman Sachs and Nelson Laboratories. Oliver also worked closely with Merit Medical Systems and MediConnect Global on expansion plans, McAdams said in a news release.

Having grown up in Salt Lake County, Oliver said she is well acquainted with the community's "strong work ethic, talented workforce and wonderful quality of life." She pledged to "work cooperatively with both the private and public sectors to establish the county as the best region in the U.S. to open or expand and operate a business."


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