Chelan County has a new hire for a newly-created position.

On Tuesday, the Chelan County Commissioners announced the hiring of Ron Cridlebaugh as its first-ever economic services director.

Cridlebaugh is currently the director of economic and business development for the Chelan-Douglas Regional Port Authority.

Commissioner Kevin Overbay says Cridlebaugh brings a wealth of experience to the county.

"Ron brings about twenty years of experience in economic development, personnel and grant management, small business development, budget and strategic planning, and tourism and promotion. So we're really excited to have him on board in this new position."

Overbay says the new role involves a variety of pieces which are all centered around shaping the county's current and future economic vitality.

"The economic services director will actually be more of an external services individual that will oversee Ohme Gardens, Wenatchee River Park, the Chelan County Fair & Expo, the Cashmere airport, and the fire marshal's office, as well as our homeless housing programs, both our farmworker housing and our current homeless program piece that we do, as well as our veteran's relief."

The economic services director position replaces the county's previous economic development director position, which had been held by Blake Baldwin and interim director Sasha Sleiman.

The new position was created upon the recommendation of a consulting firm Chelan County has been working with since October 2021, who advised a restructuring of the roles for several directorships at the county.

Cridlebaugh begins his post at the Commissioner’s Office on April 3.

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