NORWALK, Conn. -- Norwalk has hired Elizabeth Stocker to serve as the city's new economic development director, responsible for bringing new businesses and investments to the city.
"This is a position that's critical to the future of Norwalk," Mayor Harry Rilling said as he announced Stocker's appointment Tuesday evening. "We are poised for moving forward in a way unseen before in Norwalk's past.
"We have lots of development projects that are just starting to move forward, we have others that people are expressing an interest in, and it was important to me to make sure we did our due diligence and we found the right person for the job and we believe that Ms. Stocker is that person."
Stocker has served as Newtown's director of economic and community development and planning since 1990, and previously served five years as an assistant planner for Norwalk. A resident of Milford, she is expected to begin her new position in Norwalk at the beginning of August.
"It's a nomination that is based on the candidate's experience, her academic achievement and, most importantly, the unwavering work ethic that she was able to demonstrate to us in the interview process," said Tim Sheehan, the city's redevelopment director.
Stocker said she is excited to begin her new duties in Norwalk, and will have to first familiarize herself with the city's priorities when it comes to attracting new business.
"I expect there to be quite a few challenges when it comes to new business attraction," she said. "One of the things that is very important in economic development is to continue to work with the businesses here, to help them grow and thrive."
She said that Norwalk's geographic position and diverse population were among the factors that would help attract business to the city.
"I think that, as a community that has been built up and we see a lot of redevelopment now, there's an extreme amount of opportunity here," Stocker said.
"She's going to be a facilitator," Rilling said. "So if somebody wants to open a business in the community or expresses an interest, she'll be available to speak with them, to work with them, to help them open that business."