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New director of economic development announced


Columbia city manager Mike Matthes announced Monday that Stacey Button will be taking over for Mike Brooks as the City’s director of economic development. Brooks, who served for five years, will look to retire in November.

As economic development director, by agreement, Button will also serve as president of Regional Economic Development, Inc. (REDI), an organization that promotes economic development in the Columbia-Boone County area. Button is currently the Director of Economic Vitality in Flagstaff, AZ.

“Everything she’s been doing is everything we’re looking for,” said Matthes. “And that’s what’s surprising; you know that’s not always the case when you fill a role as unique as REDI president.”

A REDI board member said Button will have quite the agenda come later this year as they look to address the Proposition 2 ballot issue concerning development fees. The board wants to address the issue of construction fees, which they say threaten Columbia’s ability to maintain steady economic growth.

“Most importantly, what we would want to see happen at this point would be to have some civil discourse on this matter,” said Todd Culley, the REDI chair. “There are many good things that are already in the works, and we certainly expect her to build on that and garner some additional success for the community.”

Button has over 20 years of experience, including six years as Flagstaff’s economic director. Button will be paid $130,000 annually and will assume office effective January 5, 2015.