While Rubel, an OEDC board member, was not on the interview committee, he did, with the full OEDC board, get to vote on which potential employee would get the offer.
"They bring the top three candidates to the board, and then we vote," he said.
Former executive director of the Ottumwa Economic Development Corp., David Barajas Jr., had started in early 2011 and stepped down at the end of 2013. The vacancy has stood until now.
While in Ottumwa, Barajas helped with the creation of the Young Professionals Organization,\ and pushing the importance of broadband possibilities.
Barajas accepted a new position in Marshalltown.
"What we need to do now," said Rubel, "is continue what we have a good start on, which is collaboration and projecting a mentality of optimism for our community. The power of people coming together is really significant. I think we have a movement of collaboration in this region today that maybe we didn’t enjoy years ago."
Gardner said Stroh does bring a "capacity for relationship building" to the job of leading OEDC.
Stroh will begin her new duties on June 16.
— News reporter Mark Newman is on Twitter @couriermark