San Andreas, CA –- Before the month’s end, Calaveras County will finally have its own dedicated full-time economic development director.
As reported here last week, in an interview with Clarke Broadcasting, county CAO Tim Lutz signaled that, following completions of interviews scheduled back in December, a candidate was chosen and offered the position.
He has confirmed the new director will be long-time Valley springs resident Kathy Gallino, who will begin work Jan. 22. She brings more than 20 years of broad experience working in economic development for the County of Sacramento, having earned her way into senior project management.
Speaking with Clarke Broadcasting on Monday afternoon, Gallino admits being excited to drastically cut her commute as well as feeling extremely honored to have the opportunity. As she explains, “To serve my community is really a big deal — I have lived in Valley Springs for almost 23 years now and have seen a lot of things happen, change and grow and think it is a great opportunity for me to take my background and apply it to my rural roots…and really work with the business community and constituents, finding what works for them, what their needs are — because our different regions of the county are very different.”
A native Californian, originally hailing from the Concord-Bay Area, Gallino shares that she completed her undergraduate degree in Environmental Science and Biology at California State University in Sacramento and initially worked in environmental consulting and remediation for a few years.
That work transitioned — with her focus eventually evolving more towards economic development — when she took a job with Sacramento County in 1999 as it initiated its Business Environmental Resource Center (BERC) to offer free and confidential assistance to businesses opening, or considering locating or expanding to the area. When McClellan Air Force Base closed in early 2001, her role included helping the Sacramento region successfully recover from the loss of 25,000 jobs; environmental cleanup oversight and re-population of the facility and surrounding area with businesses.
“That was a big part of my life and it was really helpful going forward…also working with businesses to become sustainable…successful,” Gallino recounts. Moving forward in her new position, she emphasizes, “One thing we really need to work on as a community is having a Comprehensive Economic Development Plan that takes into account our rural uniqueness, constituents, community…working with our planning department, public works folks and having a real collaborative effort…making it transparent to the community and getting their input.”
A seasoned administrator, negotiator and business/community facilitator, Gallino’s experience includes grant work, developing new programs and other funding opportunities and leading working groups. Her training and certifications include media and public relations, project management and marketing strategies and facilitation/mediation and conflict resolution. She continues to work towards an MA in public policy and administration at Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA. She will be paid a beginning annual salary of just over $113,000.