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VAN WERT — The Van Wert Commissioners announced Thursday that Sarah K. Smith has been elevated to the position of Van Wert County Economic Development Director. Smith has been serving as business outreach coordinator for the county for nearly a year. The Van Wert County Commissioners are in the process of reorganizing the county’s economic development efforts and also announced the hiring of Leesa Brown in the position of program manager.

Smith’s duties, according to Commissioner Thad Lichtensteiger is now full-time and “will be county-wide including townships, villages and the city of Van Wert.”

Brown is a Van Wert County native who has experience as press secretary for the Ohio Attorney General, the public affairs officer for the United States Department of Justice, and has served in various positions for the Ohio State University Medical Center, Ohio University, the Franklin County Board of Commissioners, the Ohio Treasury, and also worked as executive director of policy and public affairs for the Ohio Attorney General.

According to Lichtensteiger, “Brown will serve to assist the Economic Development Office and enhance communications. Working with our rural constituents to access grants for infrastructure and community development will be an emphasis. Her duties will commence on April 28.”