Koppen takes new role with City

Ned Koppen

FAIRMONT– Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce President, Ned Koppen, has recently accepted a role with the city of Fairmont. Koppen will begin as the city’s Economic Development Coordinator later this month.

Koppen and his wife, Kim, moved to Fairmont in 1986. He originally sold advertising for Woodward Broadcasting. Then he worked as a sales rep for River Bend Business Products for over 25 years. He’s been with the Chamber for just over four years.

Koppen shared what got him interested in the Economic Development Coordinator position.

“I think it’s a really important position. The things I’ve found that I really enjoy and think are most important in my current position tend to lean toward the economic development side,” he said.

In the past, Koppen said that he’s made a point to partner with the city or the Fairmont Economic Development Authority (FEDA) whenever he can on a project and that both entities have also reached out to the chamber.

“I think it’s important to support other people’s efforts because then they’ll support your efforts as well,” Koppen said.

The position has been open since mid-March when Linsey Preuss, who formerly held the role, parted ways with the city. Since then, FEDA has been utilizing the services of an interim economic development coordinator.

City Administrator Cathy Reynolds said, “We are excited to have Ned join the city of Fairmont team as our Economic Development Coordinator. His knowledge of our community, relationship with the business community and desire to see Fairmont excel will make him an excellent addition to the team.”

As for what he’s most looking forward to, Koppen said he wants to see Fairmont do well.

“I’ve hopefully made a difference in my current position in moving things forward in a positive way and I look forward to doing that for FEDA as well,” he said.

He pointed out that most communities of this size have similar challenges in finding new businesses and supporting existing business.

“I think the three biggest challenges communities in southern Minnesota have are housing, child care and workforce. I’ve worked that angle from the chamber position and will continue to work that angle when I move over to the city,” Koppen said.

The chamber will begin looking to fill the position of president as Koppen starts his new role on Sept. 22. Despite enjoying his time with the chamber, he said he is really excited for the new opportunity.

“It’s a chance for me to grow personally and make a difference in the community. I’m looking forward to working with city staff, the FEDA board and city council when that applies,” he said.


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