April 11, 2012

WAEDA welcomes Gary Satern

By Michael Johnson, Editor

During a time that Gary Satern likens to “nine months in a pressure cooker,” he referred to Washburn as a place of escape and solitude. At that time he was working on the Lawrence Welk Heritage project in Strasburg, ND. Satern said his economic development came under fire after he got a $400,000 grant and had plans to use it to develop the town rather than just develop the Lawrence Welk theme in the Welk home and exhibits. He said on weekends he'd come to Washburn, get some broasted chicken and enjoy a quiet weekend in a town where no one knew his name.  He found out in his years as an economic developer that it's a job that often ruffles feathers on the way to change. But it's a job that he enjoys. After making national news for his work in Strasburg,  he's come to Washburn and has plans to make a name for himself here, too. Satern approached the Washburn Area Economic Development Association shortly after their previous economic developer resigned from her position, even before they advertised that the position was open. He offered to do the job, saying that Washburn was a special place to him and he wanted to see some things get done around the town. After discussion and a look over his credentials, the board decided to give it a shot on a year-to-year basis.

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