Officials, business community honor Christle for development award

By Pat Pratt

June 16, 2014

Local officials, the business community and friends came together Monday to honor Linda Christle who received the Missouri Economic Development Council’s Professional Economic Developer of the Year award at the annual conference June 11 at Lake Ozark.

“What she does for the city of Sedalia with economic development and getting the Economic Developer of the Year award is quite an honor, so we decided to show our appreciation for everything she does and have a little celebration for her,” said Sedalia Mayor Stephen Galliher.

Christle has served as the executive director for Economic Development Sedalia-Pettis County since July 2004. Prior to that, she served as President of Gage County Economic Development for 14 years. In 1992, she became a certified economic developer, one of only 700 nationwide.

“If someone has a dream of having a company and you get to help them achieve that dream or grow their company — even if you have a person who wants to provide for their family and through that company growing they get a job — I don’t think there is much more of a reward a person could ask for,” Christle said.

While she expects little reward, Christle has certainly been on the move in 2014.

“I really truly believe Pettis County and Sedalia is a can-do community,” Christle said. “There is no obstacle. Instead of saying, ‘we cannot do that,’ they find a way to make it work. Everybody works together as a team — nobody is worried about who gets credit for what. It’s the fact that the community achieves that a company was able to grow here, that a person was able to get a job to put food on the table.”

BioStar Systems, a waste-to-energy company, announced intent to create a $60 million plant that will create 23 jobs upon completion. State Fair Community College’s Energy Innovation Center went online and Impact Signs Awnings Wraps Inc., announced a 3,600-square-foot expansion to its facility on South Limit Avenue. Black Dawn Manufacturing & Coating, a firearms and accessories manufacturer, announced an expansion project that includes a $1.5 million capital investment expected to create 19 new jobs.

“When a company grows, we are proud of that,” Christle said. “It’s like our own child is doing something wonderful. I think that is why Sedalia has such potential.”