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Dale Carpenter, whose work in Utah's economic development began with Gov. Calvin Rampton, is retiring after eight years of directing Salt Lake County's efforts to boost its financial resources.
County Mayor Ben McAdams announced Carpenter's retirement Monday. A search is under way for a replacement.
"Dale has had a long, distinguished career in promoting economic development in Utah," he said. "Thousands of jobs have been created and many Utah families have prospered as a direct result of his efforts."
Carpenter worked in Rampton's Department of Community and Economic Development before being named agency director in 1983 by Gov. Scott Matheson. After that, he moved to the private sector as president of DBC Development, responsible for economic development analysis, marketing, site selection and land acquisition. He also was part of the regional securities firm Dain Bosworth, specializing in public finance, and has been an academic, teaching at Louisiana State, Southern Illinois and the University of Utah.
Former County Mayor Peter Corroon hired Carpenter in 2005. In the past eight years, McAdams said, Carpenter created five redevelopment projects using tax-increment financing, advanced training for small businesses, secured grants and a "foreign trade zone" designation that allows for duty-free manufacturing, created a "Utah Facts Book" for economic development and worked with cities and chambers of commerce on cooperative ventures.
"I am appreciative of the opportunity to work in the economic development profession for over 30 years," said Carpenter, 72, who expects to remain with the county until mid-summer while deciding among several options as a "senior adviser-type person. I'm excited about entering a new chapter. I've loved what I've been doing my whole economic development career."
Carpenter is particularly proud of the redevelopment efforts he spearheaded in Magna and west Millcreek.
"In Millcreek, which is adjacent to Murray city's RDA, about 2,100 new homes have come on line. It really is doing what an RDA is supposed to do," he said. "And if you saw Magna Main Street eight or nine years ago compared to what it is now, there's no comparison."
Jeff Edwards, president and CEO of the Economic Development Corporation of Utah, called Carpenter a "consummate professional" and "tireless advocate" whose work helped businesses large and small. "We have also appreciated his understanding of the essential role Salt Lake County plays in statewide economic development as the home of our capital city and the state's greatest economic engine."
Responded Carpenter: "I hope I never forgot I was about the public's business."