ST. PAUL — Matt Varilek, president of the Small Falls-primarily based Initiative Foundation, will lead the Minnesota Division of Employment and Financial Improvement.

“Possessing grown up in a decrease-revenue household, I am passionate about assisting additional people today appreciate higher financial prosperity,” Warilek stated in a news release. “I am deeply grateful to Governor Walz and Lieutenant Governor Flanagan for the chance to join the talented group at DEED at this vital time.” The division has just been entrusted with an unprecedented set of tools and sources, and I am eager to assistance make them operate for the advantage of corporations, workers and households across Minnesota.”

Governor Tim Waltz announced Varilek’s appointment on Thursday, May possibly 25. Varilek will replace Kevin McKinnon, who has served as interim commissioner given that March. The Division of Employment and Financial Improvement is the state’s lead financial improvement agency, advertising employment, job expansion and retention, workforce improvement, international trade and neighborhood improvement.

“From strengthening Higher Minnesota’s economy and communities to advocating for little corporations at the federal level, Matt Varilek brings a wealth of expertise and expertise to his new part driving our state’s economy,” Walz stated in a news release. “I appear forward to operating with him to develop a robust, vibrant and diverse Minnesota economy and help our workers and corporations.”

Varilek was named president of the Initiative Foundation in 2016. Prior to joining the Initiative Foundation, he served as the chief operating officer of the US Modest Enterprise Administration in Washington, D.C. His transition to the part of DEED Commissioner will take location on June 20.

“Matt Warilek is a steady, thoughtful leader who brings a wealth of expertise driving financial improvement and prosperity in diverse communities across the state,” stated Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan. “Possessing worked with him in the previous to advance loved ones financial safety and youngster care, I am confident in Matt’s potential to operate inside and across communities—from Higher Minnesota and the Twin Cities to our tribal nations—to create a additional just and inclusive economy that does for all Minnesotans.”

Previously, Varilek was the Chief Operating Officer of the US Modest Enterprise Administration, the Regional Administrator for US SBA Area VIII and the Congressional Candidate for the Common District of South Dakota. Warilek also served as director of financial improvement and speechwriter for the offices of U.S. Senators Tom Daschle and Tim Johnson and served as director of policy and analysis for Natsource LLC.

Varilek holds a BA from Carleton College, an MA in Philosophy of Financial Improvement from the University of Glasgow and an MA in Philosophy of Atmosphere and Improvement from the University of Cambridge.

“Matt has been a tremendous pal, leader and organizational culture builder for the Initiative Foundation,” Kim Ellingson, Chair of the Initiative Foundation Board of Trustees, stated in a news release. “Even though his transition will be bittersweet, we totally help his appointment as DEED Commissioner.” His steady and inclusive leadership style, as nicely as his expertise and focused operate on little small business, workforce improvement, youngster care and additional, will translate completely to an agency that impacts financial improvement in each corner of Minnesota.”

As component of its succession arranging, the Initiative Foundation’s Board of Directors anticipates the appointment of an interim president and will undertake a professionally supported search for Varilek’s successor. Facts of the search will adhere to in the coming weeks.

“The Initiative Foundation has in no way been stronger,” Ellingson stated. “Our board and employees are totally committed to serving the area with no interruption for the duration of this period of transition.”

Reactions to the appointment integrated:

“Matt brings an extraordinary background to this part, which includes expertise with state and federal policy, deep relationships in small business, nonprofits and foundations, and an vital viewpoint from rural Minnesota,” Minnesota Council of Foundations President Susie Brown stated in a news release. “I am so pleased that Minnesota’s philanthropic neighborhood has a robust and constructive partnership with Commissioner Warilek.” We appear forward to operating with him and the DEED group to help Minnesota’s financial improvement possibilities.”

“Matt Warilek is a correct leader and constant champion for small business in Higher Minnesota,” Joe Naikuonabe, commissioner of corporate affairs for the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, stated in a news release. “He was the driving force behind the Enterprise Academy plan inside the Mille Lacs Tribal Economy and as Executive Director of the Initiative Foundation, he led the convening of other foundations across the state, advertising a ‘better together’ mentality.” I am confident that he will bring that similar leadership to the DEED workplace and generate an atmosphere of innovation and development.”

“When I served as Chairman of the Initiative Foundation Board, I saw Matt’s steady and inclusive leadership style at operate – welcoming diverse voices and assisting to uncover a path exactly where every person could really feel great,” stated Wyoming Machine, Inc. co-chairman. Traci Tapani. “As a small business owner, I am excited that he brings comprehensive expertise of workforce improvement, little small business lending and other difficulties that are vital to corporations, big and little.” Matt is very nicely-equipped to operate productively with the small business neighborhood as DEED’s subsequent leader, and I congratulate Governor Walz and Lieutenant Governor Flanaganon on their fantastic choice.”

For additional particulars about the agency and its solutions, pay a visit to the DEED web site at

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