Lake Superior Community Partnership CEO Sarah Lucas named Deputy for Rural Development

Sarah Lucas was chosen to be Deputy for Rural Development in the Michigan Department of...
Sarah Lucas was chosen to be Deputy for Rural Development in the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development's newly created office.(LSCP)
Published: Mar. 15, 2022 at 11:39 AM EDT
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MARQUETTE COUNTY, Mich. (WLUC) - Lake Superior Community Partnership (LSCP) CEO Sarah Lucas has recently been appointed to State of Michigan’s newly established Office of Rural Development, effective April 18.

“While we are disappointed to see her leave the LSCP, we are excited for Sarah to join the Office of Rural Development, which the LSCP has been a cheerleader for in supporting its creation,” said LSCP Chairman of the Board Roxanne Daust. “This state department is extremely important to Upper Michigan, and we are excited to have a friend of the LSCP and the community leading the direction of the new department.”

In January, Governor Gretchen Whitmer established the Office of Rural Development within the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) via Executive Directive 2022-01 to focus on the strategic needs of rural Michigan, including economic and workforce development, infrastructure, public health, and environmental sustainability.

“I’ve spent my career working with and championing the causes of rural communities and care deeply about the challenges and opportunities they face,” said Lucas. “I’m honored to have this opportunity to use the knowledge and relationships that I’ve built over the years to support rural Michigan through the Office of Rural Development, and I’m excited to continue to work with partners like the LSCP in this new role.”

As the Deputy for Rural Development, Lucas will serve as the state’s point of contact for community leaders on urgent rural issues.

“Having spent most of her career in small towns and rural areas in northwest Lower Michigan and the Upper Peninsula, Sarah has deep connection and understanding of the challenges facing our rural communities. Her 20 plus years of passion and experience will serve Michiganders well,” said MDARD Director Gary McDowell. “Rural Michigan is a fundamental part of Michigan’s economy. This new office will play a crucial role in supporting MDARD’s efforts and leading new ones as we work together to build a more prosperous rural economy.”

During her time as the LSCP CEO, Lucas has spearheaded new community initiatives and led the implementation of the organization’s vision and strategy. To ensure continuity and continued momentum on all of the LSCP’s strategic priorities, Lois Ellis, Executive Director of the Dickinson Area Economic Development Alliance (DAEDA), will serve as Interim CEO while the position is being filled, while continuing to serve in her current position. Ellis worked for the LSCP as Vice President for many years before her Dickinson Area role. She works directly with LSCP staff daily as a major regional partner in economic development.

“With such an experienced team currently staffed at the LSCP, I am confident it will be a smooth transition until the new CEO is hired,” said Ellis. “The community can continue to expect our team to continue to meet the economic development needs of the county.”

Lucas’ last day with the LSCP will be April 15, 2022. The board of directors are currently seeking a replacement for the position.

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