ST. GEORGE – St. George’s Area Economic Development has hired John Minnick as the new Executive Director, replacing St. George’s City Councilor Gregg McArthur.
Minnick recently moved from Las Vegas, Nevada, where he worked as a Business Development Officer in the Office of Technology Transfer and Economic Development for the Research and Economic Development Division of UNLV.
When St. George News met Minnick, he only had five days of work. Because of this, he said he was extremely busy trying to learn his new role while juggling dates.
Minnick brings 20 years of experience in economic development, business development, innovation management, entrepreneurship, startup, workforce development and training to his new role. A native of Salt Lake City, Minnick chose to take the job for two reasons. The first, he said, was that he had accomplished everything he set out to accomplish in Las Vegas.
“And I wanted to be closer to my family,” he said, noting that his brother works for the St. George Police Department. “As a native of Utah, with family in southern Utah, I am invested in the success of the greater Washington County area.”
One of the things Minnick said he loves about St. George and Utah in general is the way the story intertwines with new developments. In Las Vegas, Minnick said, things don’t often age well. There is no historic business district, he says.
“And that has an impact on the culture. Here in St. George, new and old businesses seem to be able to coexist with each other.
That’s the bulk of what Minnick hopes to accomplish in his new role. That is, helping new businesses get established, while ensuring that established businesses can grow and prosper.
“Whether you’ve just started a business and need capital to produce more products to meet growing demand,” he said, “I want to be a resource. If you are an established business looking to expand into new markets, I can also help you, among other things.
Minnick said he admires the strength of St. George’s economy. He hopes to build on current efforts to bring tech, aerospace and other high-paying jobs to southern Utah through workforce training. But, he said, it’s a balancing act.
“We need to maintain those things that make St. George a great place to live,” he said, “while making sure we grow as we wish. The only thing that is constant in life is change, so we would do well to accept it and deal with it to the best of our ability.
When interviewed for the job, Minnick said he was asked how long he would stay in St. George.
“I said until I accomplished everything I had planned,” he said. “It could take a few years; it could take the rest of my life.
Former deputy director of economic development for the St. George area, Rusty Hughes, who joined the city of Washington in May as director of economic development, thinks John is a great addition to the team.
“He’s going to hit the ground running,” said Hughes, “contributing his knowledge, skills and energy to achieving our goals.”
Business and community partners will have the opportunity to meet John Minnick at the “What’s Up Down South Economic Summit” in St. George on January 13, 2022. Register for the event at sgasummit.com.
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