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Office of Governor Pete Ricketts

Governor Ricketts Names Director of Economic Development

Lincoln – Today, Governor Pete Ricketts named Brenda Hicks-Sorensen as the new Director of the Nebraska Department of Economic Development. Her appointment comes at the conclusion of the national search for an innovative leader to lead the department commenced at the beginning of December.

Hicks-Sorensen of Malone, Wisconsin recently served as Vice President of Economic and Community Development for the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation in Madison, Wisconsin where she was responsible for the overall management of a twenty-one member team, a $4.3 million operating budget, and over $34 million in business and community assistance funds. During her tenure, she developed a business attraction strategy for the State of Wisconsin. Successful recruitment efforts include Collaborative Consulting, Ta-Chen, Kenall Manufacturing, and Amazon.com.

Previously, Hicks-Sorensen served as the President of the Fond du Lac County Economic Development Corporation, the Economic Development Coordinator for Washington County Planning & Parks Department, and the Associate Director for the City of West Bend Housing Authority. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and a Master of Science in Urban Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. In 2006, she was recognized as the Outstanding New Economic Developer of the year by the International Economic Development Council.

“As we looked for an innovative leader for the Department of Economic Development, Brenda stood out because of her record of successful recruitment,” said Governor Pete Ricketts. “Brenda will be an asset to our state as we look for new ways to strengthen our economy, add jobs, and grow Nebraska for the next generation.”

“I’m excited about the opportunity to work with Governor Ricketts,” said Brenda Hicks-Sorensen, Director of the Nebraska Department of Economic Development. “Because Nebraska is positioned at the junction of major transportation corridors, the state is uniquely positioned for strong economic growth. I look forward to working with the governor to develop a strategy for economic growth and business recruitment for the state.”

Additional announcements about candidates for CEO of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services and the Director of the Nebraska Department of Corrections will be made at a later date.