Region 9 Economic Development District of Southwest Colorado

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Dolores County Extension Director, Gus Westerman, named Economic Development Leader of the Year.

March 12, 2019

Gus Westerman, the Dolores County CSU Extension Director, and Chairman of the Dolores County Development Corporation (DCDC) has been awarded the “Ed Morlan” Economic Development Leader of the Year award by the Region 9 Economic Development District of Southwest Colorado. 

Every year, Region 9’s Board of Directors honors a southwest Colorado resident that goes above and beyond his or her paid position and makes a significant positive impact on the regional economy. Westerman was recognized at Region 9’s 30th Anniversary celebration held on March 8th at the Double Tree Hotel in Durango.  

Westerman serves as Chairman of the all-volunteer Dolores County Development Corporation (DCDC) and puts in numerous hours, leading the county level economic development organization. More recently, Westerman advocated for Dolores County to be approved as Rural Jumpstart County.

“With Gus at the helm, the DCDC is one of Region 9's thriving economic development groups. This amazing group meets monthly, oversees a business park and runs a microloan program for local businesses,” said Laura Lewis Marchino, Region 9’s Executive Director. 

The Economic Development Leader of the Year award honors these individuals for their achievement and commitment as leaders in economic and community development efforts. The award was first given in 2001 and was renamed in 2017 to honor Region 9’s founding Executive Director. Previous winners include: Joe Keck, retired Southwest Small Business Development Center Director; Ken Charles, former Regional Manager with the Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DoLA); Gary Masner, Southwest Colorado Accelerator Program for Entrepreneurs (SCAPE) mentor and investor; John Wolgamott, Stone Age Tools and the late Leonard Burch, Southern Ute Tribal Chairman.  For more information, please contact Region 9 at 970-247-9621.