Q&A: Columbia development director Brooks talks job growth

Mike Brooks, a fixture in the Columbia business community for the past five years, will depart from his position as president of Columbia Regional Economic Development Inc. on Nov. 30. He and his wife will be moving back to his home state of Indiana in order to be closer to family.

In his role with REDI, Brooks has aided in efforts such as strengthening the local entrepreneurial community and attracting an IBM service center to Columbia, which created 600 jobs.

Brooks received the Governor’s Career Service in Economic Development Award at the Governor’s Conference on Economic Development on Sept. 5 the Lake of the Ozarks. Brooks, who prefers to see others involved with Columbia REDI receive recognition instead, said that he was very appreciative of the award.

“I typically do not enjoy being out in front like that,” Brooks said. “But at the same time I was greatly appreciative and it was humbling to have that kind of recognition from the state.”

After Brooks announced his plans to retire from REDI, he sat down with Missouri Business Alert to discuss effective tools for economic development and what attracting and growing businesses can mean to a community.

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