March 2009

Delaware Economic Development Office Director Alan Levin

If Alan Levin was looking for a new challenge when he accepted Governor-elect Jack Markell's invitation to become Director of the Delaware Economic Development Office (DEDO), he got it.

When Jack Markell announced Alan's appointment on December 4, 2008, we knew the economic news was grim, but the news wasn't as bad then as it got in January, and then February. While key economic information won't be available until DEFAC's March 16th meeting, the State currently faces a $606 million shortfall for the FY 2010 budget. Delaware's unemployment rate, historically below the U.S. average, is now growing faster than the national average. Businesses are hurting. Local governments are facing revenue shortfalls, as well.

Alan brings a wide-ranging background to his task. Everyone knows him as the son of Happy Harry, who took over when his father died and expanded the chain to 76 stores and 2,700 employees before selling it to Walgreens in 2006. He has a political science degree from Tulane and a law degree from Delaware Law School, and served as a Deputy Attorney General in the Delaware Attorney General's Office and as an Executive Assistant and Counsel to U.S. Senator Bill Roth in the 1980s before becoming President of Happy Harry's in 1986.

Both the Governor and Alan have said that the economic development emphasis will be, first, on Delaware businesses. Alan has said, "government should not be an impediment; it should be an assist to growing business." Delay in the permitting process will be one of the first targets.

Alan Levin will share his vision for DEDO, his primary focus as Director, and his plans for enhancing economic development in the State during these difficult economic times.

Beverley Baxter


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