Friedenauer resigns from HEDC with plans to move from Haines


June 4, 2020

Haines Economic Development Corporation executive director Margaret Friedenauer is resigning from her position this month and is leaving Haines for a job in Wisconsin.

Friedenauer, a former assembly member, was hired in January 2018 as the executive director of HEDC three months after the borough assembly first funded the organization that was created to facilitate economic development in the borough.

The borough assembly last month cut all funding to the development corporation. Friedenauer said the cut wasn’t her reason for stepping down, but that she was excited for the opportunity to work and live near family in Wisconsin.

“It’s not any reflection that HEDC isn’t going to continue its work,” Friedenauer said. “I think it was discouraging to see the leaders of our community cut itself off. I think this work is important to the community and the community should know that the HEDC board members are committed people and business leaders and are the best people to propel economic development in this community.”

Friedenauer said she will begin work as an economic recovery coordinator with a Wisconsin tribal organization at the end of this month. She said the job is located a few hours away from family.

Friedenauer said she and her husband, John Hagen, plan to rent their home and keep ties to Haines.

“We’re still going to be property owners and property tax payers in the Haines Borough,” Friedenauer said. “We still have family here.”

In a press release, HEDC board president Heather Shade said HEDC will use its financial reserves to continue operations and pursue grant funding opportunities to work on its five-year economic development plan.

“It saddens me to lose Margaret’s enthusiasm, knowledge and skill in our community,” Shade said. “Margaret’s experience and education with economic development has been a great asset to Haines and to our organization. We will miss her.”

Friedenauer will work until June 25. HEDC has no immediate plans to hire another director.

“With the complete cut of borough funding support for Haines Economic Development Corporation for the 2021 fiscal year, it is not clear whether HEDC will immediately seek to fill the vacant position of executive director,” Shade said.


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