Northern Michigan Woman Announced as Director of Office of Rural Development
The Director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Gary McDowell, says Lucas is “uniquely qualified” for the job.
“She knows what needs to be done, she knows the issues and she’s a person that can put this together and really make this a successful department. Which, of course, will help all of us in the rural part of the state,” McDowell says.
In January, Governor Gretchen Whitmer established the Office of Rural Development. The office will face issues in rural areas such as broadband access, infrastructure and education. McDowell says the office will be totally focused on people in the rural part of the state.
“This office will be their partner. When they’re looking for help. Whatever their dreams, aspirations are for their community,” McDowell says. “They can turn to this office to help them through that maze of state and federal regulations and all the other hurdles that they have to get through.”
Lucas has spent most of her career in small towns and rural areas in northwest Lower Michigan and the Upper Peninsula. McDowell said in a press release that her “20 plus years of passion and experience will serve Michiganders well.”
Sarah Lucas is currently the CEO of Lake Superior Community Partnership in Marquette. She takes over as Deputy Director for the Office of Rural Development Apr. 18th. McDowell says he hopes the new office will build a more prosperous rural economy.
“[This office] will make sure that rural Michigan won’t get left behind in the new economy,” McDowell says.