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Jo Clifton is the Politics Editor for the Austin Monitor.
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Kevin Johns announces retirement
Wednesday, November 29, 2017 by Jo Clifton
Kevin Johns, who has served as director of an extremely busy Economic Development Department for the past eight years, has announced that he will be retiring on Dec. 22. Interim City Manager Elaine Hart notified employees of Johns’ decision to retire in a memo praising his work to grow small business as well as large and leveraging Austin’s cultural diversity. “The recent partnerships with the Greater Austin Asian Chamber of Commerce and Alibaba, the greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Monterrey, Mexico and the International Partner Award with the Greater Austin Black Chamber of Commerce highlight his track record,” she wrote. In addition, under his leadership the department “has also successfully launched many new initiatives, including more recently, Soul-Y Austin Business Incubator and the Fashion Incubator partnership with Austin Community College,” Hart said. Former City Manager Marc Ott hired Johns from Palm Beach County, Florida, where he was also director of economic development. He has a master’s degree in city planning from Georgia Tech University and was also director of planning for Parsons Corporation in Atlanta. Hart said she would announce the appointment of an interim director of the department prior to Johns’ departure.
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