county hires director of economic development | Local News


The new Taos County executive recruit takes on a slightly different role. New Director of Economic Development, Patti Sunday, has been hired to find private capital to help Taos County’s rapidly changing economy.

Sunday, who comes to Taos County from Panama City, Fla., where she served as the city’s economic development officer, was recruited late last year to fill a brand new position created by the count.

She said she was building the role as she went along, but acknowledged “it’s mostly about attracting private capital.” We have a lot of people doing stuff with government funds.

Rather than the more traditional bureaucratic act of asking for money to ask for money, Sunday’s focus will be on finding sources of private money to inject into the local economy. “I’m probably the least governmental person in this building,” she said.

The county created the position to help bring in new sources of funding and broaden the county’s tax base through the introduction of new private capital, Taos County Executive Brent Jaramillo said.

Before she can start reaching out to her network of private donors, Sunday said she begins her work by identifying the needs of the various “micro-economies” that exist in Taos County.

“In the county there is the macro economy – all of that – but there are also little micro economies,” she said, referring to places like Taos Ski Valley, Red River and Arroyo Seco. .

This is where her background in advertising (she ran an advertising agency in Mexico for 20 years) comes in handy, as she said getting to know the different micro-economies is like getting to know your customer. .

“Taos is a customer, Arroyo Seco is a customer, Picuris Pueblo is a customer, and none of these are the same,” it said on Sunday. “They are all in the same region. But they are completely different. Thus, the approach to economic development is very much about “knowing your customers”. ”

In order to get to know the area she is looking for investment better, she said she traveled to different parts of the county to learn about places and businesses on a more personal level. However, she said the best way to recognize and analyze the county’s economic needs is to run the numbers.

Sunday is data savvy and said she enjoys working with hard facts. “We have to get our metrics first in order to tell our story and be competitive nationally,” she said. “The data will show us the industries where we’re short and then I’ll create assets where I attract certain types of entrepreneurs and private capital, to say, ‘Here’s something we know we’re missing and here’s something thing that could happen.’ ”

Sunday, who officially started at the peak of the year, said it would take him about 90 days to collect the data, by which time various needs could begin to be met.

Although she was clear that the data will show overall needs, Sunday acknowledged that affordable and sustainable housing was one of the areas of focus. She made a clear distinction between ‘affordable housing’ and ‘sustainable housing’, saying the focus should be on providing housing that is sustainable for people over time, not just affordable at the moment. “I think private capital will probably be the entity that solves this problem [sustainable housing issue] not just government funds.

Sunday is excited to see what private capital can do for Taos County. “We were trained here to either rely on ski resorts and tourism or [figuring out] a way to get the most public funds, and then we live or die by it. Now we’re introducing a whole new option into the mix.

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