KINGMAN - Mohave County is looking for a new Economic Development director.
The former department director, Jonas Peterson, accepted a position in Santa Clarita Valley, Calif., about two weeks ago, County Public Information Officer Darryle Purcell said. Bennett Bratley, the business program representative for the department, has temporarily stepped into Peterson's shoes.
"I thought he did a great job for Mohave County," County Supervisor Gary Watson said. "We were really lucky to have such an amazing young man work for the county as long as he did."
Peterson was hired as the county's deputy director of economic development in 2005. When the county reorganized its departments in March 2009, he became the director.
The Arizona Association for Economic Development recently recognized him as Developer of the Year for 2010. He was also recognized with the 2008 Horizon Award from the Institute for Sustainable Development.
Peterson also wrote an e-book, "Minding Our Own Business," about ideas and concepts that can bring new business into an area. He uses Mohave County as an example throughout the book. The e-book can be purchased from Amazon.com.
The Economic Development Department was designed to encourage businesses to move and set up shop, as well as help local businesses expand in Mohave County. It runs the Building Bridges to Business and Economic Development Information Center.
Peterson was also the chairman of the North River Economic Region, which also focuses on business-related issues in Kingman, Bullhead City, Lake Havasu City, Mohave County, La Paz County, Parker, Quartzite, the Colorado River Indian Tribe, Fort Mohave, the Havasupai Indian Tribe and the Hualapai Nation.
Before working for the county, Peterson was the marketing and business development manager for the Lake Havasu City Partnership for Economic Development. He also worked as a rural development specialist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The county has already posted the opening on its Web site.