The Missouri Department of Economic Development (DED) announced today that Michelle Hataway has been appointed Deputy Director of DED. Hataway’s prior role as Director of the Division of Regional Engagement will be filled by Lori Becklenberg, who has been promoted from her previous position as the division’s Deputy Director.
“I’m incredibly proud Michelle is stepping into this new role as Deputy Director of DED,” said Maggie Kost, Acting Director of the Department of Economic Development. “Michelle’s passion, experience, and proven leadership will be highly valuable as she helps oversee the overall direction of our department. Our Regional Engagement Division is in capable hands with Lori, whose wealth of knowledge in economic development is a tremendous asset to our team.”
As Deputy Director, Hataway will assist in leading DED’s divisions and programs working to expand economic opportunities statewide. For more than six years, Hataway has served in several roles with DED and led various efforts, including major economic development projects. Examples include General Motors’ investment in Wentzville, the expansion of Bayer’s North American Crop Science Division in Creve Coeur, and Quaker Windows’ expansion in Eldon. Hataway also serves as President-Elect of the executive committee for the Missouri Economic Development Council. Prior to joining the Department, she held positions with her family’s 90-year-old business and Netflix.
“I’m humbled and excited to serve the department and our state in this new capacity,” said Michelle Hataway, Deputy Director of the Department of Economic Development. “Throughout my career, I’ve been fortunate to learn from countless public and private sector partners in economic development, including our dedicated team members at DED. It’s an honor to accept this role of leadership to guide efforts that create opportunities for Missourians to prosper.”
Lori Becklenberg, as Director of Regional Engagement, will lead the six regional teams that promote business growth both statewide and internationally. Regional Engagement spans the entire state to provide a local point of contact, access to resources, and economic development and trade solutions. The division also operates 15 global offices and helps plan the Governor’s trade missions.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to lead Regional Engagement, which is a team that’s incredibly unique and valuable in service to our state,” said Lori Becklenberg, Director of the Division of Regional Engagement. “Our division is located across Missouri, with project managers serving the areas in which they actually live and work. This regionally-targeted approach allows us to determine local businesses’ needs in order to provide solutions that create jobs, strengthen communities, and grow our economy.”
Becklenberg previously served as Vice President of Business Attraction with AllianceSTL, an initiative of Greater St. Louis Inc., where she led efforts in business development and assisted employers expanding or relocating to St. Louis. Becklenberg has experience in building relationships with industry leaders, real estate professionals, and other key stakeholders. She has also served in leadership roles with the St. Louis Regional Chamber and the Missouri Economic Development Council. In 2020, Becklenberg was named a Top 50 Economic Developer in North America by Consultant Connect.
About the Division of Regional Engagement
The Regional Engagement Division serves as the first and primary contact for DED’s partners. The Division is responsible for business retention and expansion while guiding customers through the project process. Regional Engagement also refers to resources and provides solutions to fit customers’ needs.
About the Missouri Department of Economic Development
The Missouri Department of Economic Development (DED) works to create an environment that encourages economic growth by supporting Missouri’s businesses and diverse industries, strengthening our communities, developing a talented and skilled workforce, and maintaining a high quality of life. Through its various initiatives, DED is helping create opportunities for Missourians to prosper.
For the latest updates on DED’s current or future programs and initiatives, visit DED’s website.