(l to R) Andrea Newell and Aisha Dimotoff. (Angelique Houlihan photo/Houston Today)

District of Houston fills two senior staff vacancies

Economic development and corporate services and grant writing functions now covered

The District of Houston has filled two vacant senior staff positions with two local people.

Andrea Newell is now the economic and community development director, a position created just this year for a function that was once handled under contract by the Houston and District Chamber of Commerce.

Her prime focus will be promoting economic growth through diversifying the local economy.

A District press release also pointed out that Newell will be “addressing community needs, such as the recently announced Canfor mill temporary closure.”

Her past local experience has included two industrial closures — the closure of the Houston Forest Products sawmill in 2014 and the closure of the Huckleberry mine in 2016.

“I have a profound respect for the people of Houston who have shown remarkable resilience through challenging economic times,” Newell said in a release.

“I am eager to collaborate with community members, District council and other stakeholders to develop innovative solutions that will drive economic growth and create new opportunities for Houston.”

Houston mayor Shane Brienen said Newell will be “invaluable in determining and delivering transition resources to our community, and then in diversifying our economy for long-term sustainability and prosperity.”

The second person hired is Aisha Dimotoff who fills the corporate services deputy director and grant writer position that became vacant last year when Madelaine Swift was promoted to the corporate services director position.

Dimotoff has a background in property acquisition and management, has owned her own business and is an experienced para-legal in the area of civil litigation.

“As the new community grant writer, Aisha is looking forward to meeting with local organizations to connect them with available grant funding,” a District of Houston release stated.

Swift said the District is confident her “paralegal and entrepreneurial experience will be a wonderful addition to our team.”

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