Puyallup City Hall. Photo by SounderBruce via Flickr.

The City of Puyallup has announced that Meredith Neal will be the first to occupy the newly created role of economic development manager.

Neal has a background in working on the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber’s Manufacturing Industrial Council. She also has experience in resource management and implementing policies that help to advance positive economic conditions. Neal has a master’s degree in organizational leadership from Antioch University and a bachelor of arts in urban planning and community development from Evergreen State College.

In late 2019, the Puyallup City Council approved the creation of this position within the city. With this new position, Puyallup plans to expand economic prosperity by ensuring and securing commercial and residential investments. They also want to begin promoting access to family-wage jobs.

One of the main focuses of 2020 will be to implement strategies for the city’s development plan in the downtown area. This plan will touch on reusing buildings, pedestrian walkability, development feasibility, and helping to create a strong identity for the downtown area. By creating a stronger identity within the city, Puyallup hopes to offer great experiences for those who live there and visitors alike.

“Meredith has the experience and skills needed to promote economic development here in Puyallup,” interim city manager Steve Kirkelie said in a statement. “We are glad to welcome her and excited to start seeing the results of her outreach and advocacy for our residents, businesses, and everyone else who cares about the well-being of our community.”