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Article posted: 8/16/2013 5:42 PM

New economic development leader in Hoffman Estates

By Jessica Cilella

Hoffman Estates has named a new economic development director to replace outgoing director Gary Skoog.

Kevin Kramer, who works in Barrington's economic and community development department, will take on the day-to-day responsibilities of the Hoffman Estates' economic development program starting Sept. 9.

Kramer will work to recruit and retain retail, hospitality, industrial and office users. He will also direct marketing efforts with land owners, real estate brokers and the development community.

"This is a great opportunity for me, and I'm thrilled to be part of the village's economic development team," Kramer said in a news release. "I look forward to making this great community an even better place for residents and our businesses, both existing and those we will attract to Hoffman Estates."

Kramer has a degree in urban and regional planning from the University of Illinois at Urbana. He will report to Assistant Village Manager for Development Services Mark Koplin.

"Kevin brings an outstanding attitude and personality to the village, along with his drive and commitment to quality economic development," said Village Manager Jim Norris.

Skoog said Friday he is semiretired, but plans to work part-time until the end of the year to help Kramer transition into the position and to find a way to formalize the Golden Corridor Manufacturing Group.

"I was kind of the main coordinator and instigator (for the group) and I know all the players," Skoog said. "We need to get formal to be sustainable ... and that means either connecting onto an existing organization or start our new 501(c)(3)."

"We're trying to fill the pipeline for manufacturing and toolmakers because right now there's a major skills gap and they just can't find enough workers that would have the skills," he added.

Skoog started working for Hoffman Estates 11 years ago, after serving as the economic development director for the city of Elmhurst. He said working in a village with a lot of open space has been rewarding.

"A lot of communities are landlocked and can't really expand," he said, noting that he has been fortunate to be able to bring in major companies along I-90 in Hoffman Estates, such as Cabela's and Tate and Lyle. "It gives me a sense of pride to know that I had a part in making that happen."

Skoog said he also appreciated working in a village that celebrates diversity and family, and with a village board that was supportive.

"They've been a progressive group and open to new ideas and suggestions," he said. "It's been a pleasure to work with them."

After Sept. 9, Kramer can be reached at (847) 781-2662, or by email at kevin.kramer@hoffmanestates.org.

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