FARMINGTON — Four Corners Economic Development announced Monday that an Ohio man has been hired as the group's first chief executive.

Ray Hagerman will take over as CEO beginning April 1.

He most recently served as vice president of investments for the Dayton Development Coalition in Dayton, Ohio.

"He's got a pretty extensive experience in a variety of areas in economic development," said Sally Burbridge, board chairwoman of the Farmington-based group. "He's got a great financial background, which will be very beneficial for the organization as it moves forward, as well as the whole community."

Hagerman will look to meet many business people in his first weeks on the job.

"The first order of business is going to be really getting out and meeting a lot of the businesses in the community," Burbridge said.

Burbridge said she's confident Hagerman will work well with the group's seven-member executive board.

Hagerman could not immediately be reached for comment Monday.

Four Corners Economic Development, also known as 4CED, was formed last year out of its predecessor, San Juan Economic Development Service, or SJEDS.

The group's transformation came about because of a desire by business and civic officials to diversify the local economy beyond the volatile oil and gas and coal industries that have been the region's main employers for decades.

Business leaders also wanted to increase private-sector investment in economic development efforts.


SJEDS ran on a budget of about $100,000 that was funded mostly by local governments.

A group of local business leaders helped push for changes. A study they commissioned identified several business sectors that could be expanded in San Juan County, including health care, energy and manufacturing, tourism, agriculture, education and home-based businesses.

"I am excited to begin this new chapter in our evolving economic development efforts for San Juan County," added Burbridge, "and on behalf of the 4CED board we welcome Ray Hagerman and his wife, Dona, to our community."

Chuck Slothower can be reached at; 505-564-4638. Follow him on Twitter