Business & Real Estate

Elk Grove hires new economic development director

Elk Grove has a new economic development director, the city announced Tuesday, filling a spot that had been left vacant for several months.

Darrell Doan, 41, will start as the city’s new economic development director in May. He is currently the economic development division manager for the city of Alameda.

Elk Grove’s former economic development director, Randy Starbuck, abruptly left in September, after he was publicly reprimanded by the City Council for failing to market the city. City leaders worried Elk Grove was being left behind as Roseville and other cities in the region scored major development deals and reeled in new businesses.

“It took longer than we may have liked,” said Kristyn Nelson city spokeswoman, about the search process. “It was to make sure we found the right person.”

Doan joins Elk Grove at a critical time, as officials begin to develop the Southeast Policy Area, a 1,200-acre master plan area west of Highway 99 and north of Kammerer Road. It is Elk Grove’s first city-initiated master plan since incorporation in 2000.

Doan said he is looking forward to “aggressively” pitch Elk Grove to corporations, in a bid to solve the city’s jobs-housing imbalance.

“We’re the second largest city in the region, but we have this reputation of it’s just a place where people live,” he said. “We’re not that far from the Bay Area. I think there’s tremendous opportunity for growth.”

He received a bachelor’s degree from UC Davis and holds a master’s degree from Rutgers University.

Doan’s salary in Elk Grove will be $146,192.

Call The Bee’s Richard Chang at (916) 321-1018. Follow him on Twitter @RichardYChang.