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Walworth County Economic Development Alliance head takes job in Ohio

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Gazette staff
April 13, 2010
— Fred Burkhardt, head of the Walworth County Economic Development Alliance, has been named the new president of the Greater Logan County, Ohio, Chamber of Commerce.

Burkhardt will begin his new duties June 1, according to a story on the Ohio Small Business Development Web site.


During his tenure in Walworth County, Burkhardt is credited with securing a four-county, $1.26 million regional grant for entrepreneurship development and development of a Hometown Entrepreneurship Loan Program designed for new and emerging businesses.


But some Walworth County Board supervisors have questioned the effectiveness and oversight of the Economic Development Alliance.


In January, supervisor Dan Kilkenny urged the county board to seek an audit or financial review of the economic development alliance, partly due to what he referred to as Burkhardt’s “serious financial problems.”


“I am not suggesting that something is necessarily amiss with WCEDA’s finances because of the executive vice president’s personal financial problems, nor am I making any accusations,” the supervisor wrote.


“But I think that if you asked a professional auditor, they would advise that an audit would probably be in order under the circumstances.”


Burkhardt in January admitted in an interview with the Gazette that his personal finances weren’t in the best shape, but he said experiencing a business failure and personal financial struggles helps him connect with businesses at a level that few economic leaders can match.


“What I’m experiencing personally is unfortunate, but it’s not a unique situation to me, nor it’s a unique situation in the rest of the world,” he said in January.



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