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Robinson to join BLAEDC as economic development officer

Brainerd attorney Chris Robinson is joining the Brainerd Lakes Area Economic Development Corporation (BLAEDC).

Robinson may be best known for the successful law practice he ran in the Brained lakes area for 20 years, or his service on the Brainerd School Board, or as a former East Gull Lake mayor among many other local organizations.

Monday is his first day on the job will be his first day on the job as economic development officer with BLAEDC. BLAEDC Executive Director Sheila Haverkamp pointed to the wide-ranging business skills Robinson brings to the position, as well as his professionalism and his knowledge and understanding of the area’s business climate.

“We couldn’t be more excited to have Chris join BLAEDC,” Haverkamp said in a news release. “He is starting at a time when BLAEDC is growing and enjoying a lot of visibility because of new initiatives we started last year. Chris’ experience will help us enhance those programs and the organization’s reputation as a whole.”

For 17 years, Robinson was an attorney and shareholder with Askegaard & Robinson, P.A., a private law office in Brainerd where he focused on estate planning, real estate, business counseling and civil litigation. Three years ago, he started his own firm, Robinson Law Firm PLC, and ran it successfully until he saw the BLAEDC position as a good opportunity for a career change. In his new position, he won’t be offering legal advice to BLAEDC or on behalf of the organization.

“As a BLAEDC member for the last 10 years, I’ve watched with interest the direction the organization has taken,” Robinson said. “This move is consistent with where by passion is and with my avocation and work with civic and government organizations, which is to grow this community.”

Robinson’s professional career sharpened his skills in commercial development and a variety of business issues like sales and acquisitions. He sees that skill set as critical to his new position because most of his time will be spent working with companies considering Crow Wing County for relocation or expansion.

In his new position, Robinson will also benefit from the knowledge and experience he gained while involved with a number of civic and service organizations. Robinson has served on the Brainerd School Board for three years and is the outgoing chairman. He was East Gull Lake mayor for four years and served on the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission and the Comprehensive Plan Committee. He spent four years on the Brainerd Lakes Chamber Board of Directors, including serving as chairman and he’s been a long-time member of the Kiwanis Club of Brainerd, including six years on its board of directors and serving as president.

“Chris’ involvement in organizations outside of his legal career has really complemented his law practice,” Haverkamp said. “One of the things we really liked about Chris was how he melded his professional career and his work with civic and service organizations to really develop a rich skill set and business focus that will be of great value to BLAEDC.”

At BLAEDC, Robinson will serve as a liaison for businesses that are considering expanding in or relocating to the Brainerd lakes area. He’ll work closely with Haverkamp in recruiting companies to the area while helping existing businesses with their needs when it comes to growing and expanding. He also will coordinate the mentoring and counseling activities within BLAEDC’s Executive Initiative.

Established in 1985, BLAEDC is a community-driven, nonprofit organization created to preserve and enhance the area’s economic base by expanding business, building community and growing jobs in Crow Wing County.

For more information, contact Haverkamp at 828-0096.

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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