EUSTIS — The city recently hired its first economic development director from a pool of nearly 50 applicants.
Tom Carrino, economic development manager for Urbana, Ill., for the past eight years, began his position last month.
Carrino was one of three well-qualified finalists for the $92,000-a-year position, said Dianne Kramer, acting city manager. But his experience and references convinced the search committee, which include city staff members, business owners and the Lake Eustis Area Chamber of Commerce, that he was the right fit for the newly created post.
"We had excellent candidates, but Tom has a wide range of economic-development experience and great references," Kramer said.
A certified economic developer via the International Economic Development Council, Carrino previously worked for Cocoa's Economic Development Office for four years, including a stint as manager from 2004-06.
"It's an honor to be selected for this position," said Carrino, who has a master's degree in public administration with a concentration in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Central Florida. "From an economic development perspective, the city of Eustis presents some very exciting possibilities."
Christie Bobbitt, chamber executive director, said the new position was needed and her organization is eager to work with Carrino on projects.
"We look forward to positive growth in Eustis," she said.
Kramer said Carrino's successful economic-development experience, especially in Florida, will be an asset to Eustis.
"He knows what the state is like and that really made him stand out over the other candidates," she said. "We're all excited to be working with him."