By Kyle Siegel
Most every time you see a new business coming to Sedalia, you can be assured that Executive Director of Economic Development Sedalia-Pettis County (EDSPC) Linda Christle had a hand in making it happen.
Christle has been the executive director of EDSPC since 2004 and it has been her job to make sure Sedalia continues to entice new business, retain old businesses and help current ones expand.
Christle was born in Minnesota and in the sixth grade she and her family relocated to Storm Lake, Iowa.
There Christle attended high school before attending Buena Vista College in Storm Lake.
In high school Linda was a member of the band and chorus. In band she played the oboe and also was a drummer for the marching band.
“You can’t play an oboe in the marching band,” she said with a smile.
Christle holds a bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Business from Buena Vista College and she has put it to good use.
After college Christle got married and had two children.
Her oldest son, Tony, lives in Florida, and the youngest son, Jay, lives in Iowa.
“I got married and had my children. When they started school I actually managed retail.
“After retail I went into the trio of chamber of commerce, tourism, and economic development,” she said.
In 1990, Christle began working with the town of Beatrice, Nebraska in those areas.
“In 2000, the community that I was working in grew the three organizations to the point where they needed their own directors. I took over economic development and I worked there until 2004,” Christle said.
In 2004, Christle relocated to Sedalia and took over the executive director’s position with the EDSPC.
Christle explained what her duties with the EDSPC entail.
“I work with existing companies, mainly manufacturing. Our focus is manufacturing, distribution, warehouses, green, and technology.
“We focus on recruitment, retention, and expansion,” she said.
Christle is very humble and does not take all of the credit for the economic development of Sedalia.
“The city does an excellent job with helping with companies. It has become a business friendly community. That helps tremendously,” Christle said.
Christle stays busy when not working with the EDSPC. She is a member of the board for the Center for Human Services, as well as a member of the Sedalia Rotary Club.
She is also a member of the Missouri Economic Development Council.
“At various times I serve on committees for the City of Sedalia if they ask me.
“Sedalia 200 has an outreach program and I am serving on that. Working with the youth, trying to make sure that their needs are met is really rewarding,” Christle said.
In her spare time, Linda enjoys traveling and spending time with her family.
“I also like to ride my Harley. I don’t get to ride it as much as I would like,” she said.
“If you really enjoy your work, which I do, it tends to be part of your pleasure,” Christle said.
She added, “It’s been so enjoyable living in Sedalia. With all the people I work with, it is just an excellent community to be in, and it is a very progressive community. It is a very realistic and down to earth community. It is a community that helps itself move forward.”