EDC selects new director
October 20, 2017
SAULT STE. MARIE — After a nationwide search and screening process the Board of Directors of the Chippewa County EDC is pleased to welcome a local young man, Chris Olson, as their president/executive director.
“Chris brings with him extensive experience in Program Management and Business Development and a network of business connections that will be beneficial to the EDC's efforts to assist and expand local businesses and bring new businesses and jobs to our area. He has the personality and background that will enable him to work well with other economic development agencies at a time when our region wide Logistics Study is reaching completion," said Board Chairman Don McLean. "We look forward to a bright and exciting future for area economic development under his leadership.”
Olson was born and raised in Sault Ste. Marie. He earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering technology from Lake Superior State University, an Executive MBA at Baker College in Flint. and post masters coursework in finance at Oakland University, in Rochester.
Olson lived and worked in the Detroit area for 20 years in engineering, program management, business development, manufacturing, and quality in the automotive and industrial markets. Most recently he worked as a supplier integrated engineer at General Motors in the Sport Utility Cross Over Fuel Systems Group in Warren.
“I am very excited to begin working with the Board of Directors and the partners of the CCEDC to bring new economic opportunities to the area,” said Olson. “The CCEDC is well poised to expand its economic footprint in the region and I am ready to help facilitate that growth. I feel very fortunate to be able return to an area that offers such unique resources and a high quality of life for me and my family”
Olson resides in Barbeau and is married to Dr. Britton D. Ranson Olson, a tenured associate professor of biology at LSSU. They have three children.
The Chippewa County EDC was created in 1977 to help overcome the financial crisis in the county when Kincheloe Air Force Base left. Working with private companies, other economic development agencies, and all levels of government, the county EDC strives to retain and grow existing businesses and bring new businesses to the area to create jobs and improve the quality of life in Chippewa County and the Eastern U.P.
The CCEDC also manages the Chippewa County International Airport, the Chippewa County Air/Industrial Park, and a two and a half mile railroad. The company has also operated a winter automobile testing facility at Kincheloe for 30 years.
The current president/executive director, Tom Ewing, will be retiring following a transition period.