Melisa Drugge, who’d been head of the Greater Eastern Oregon Development Corporation, of Pendleton, since 2001, became the state of Oregon’s business development officer serving seven Eastern Oregon counties last week.

According to Wallowa County Commissioner Mike Hayward, who helped in the interviewing process that selected Drugge, the purpose of the position is to help procure available funding for both the private and public sector to create jobs.

Drugge replaces Rick Minster, who held the post for 14 years before retiring earlier this year.

Although Drugge’s new position will keep her based in Pendleton, the job will include miles of driving time as her geographically large coverage area will keep her traveling between Wallowa, Union, Baker, Grant, Umatilla, Morrow, and Malheur counties.

Hayward said two of the many entities within Wallowa County that benefited greatly from the work of Minster were Integrated Biomass Resources LLC and Wallowa Resources.

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