Governor Jim Pillen has appointed K.C. Belitz to be the next director of the Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED). Belitz, who is currently the chief operating officer for the Nebraska Community Foundation, will assume his new role on July 5.
“K.C. brings the right experience and enthusiasm to lead DED and market Nebraska,” said Governor Pillen. “He understands firsthand the needs of the state and concerns in both rural and urban communities when it comes to issues like maintaining a stable workforce, retaining our youth, attracting businesses, and growing businesses that have already established roots.”
Surrounded by officials from state chambers of commerce when his appointment was announced, Belitz spoke about his key strategic goals as incoming DED Director – identifying strong business potential within Nebraska, providing great customer service and being the state’s “front door” and recruitment team for businesses and people.
“I can’t imagine a better time in this state’s history to be working in economic development,” said Belitz. “It seems like the pieces are in place and Nebraska is poised for really exciting developments in the next few years. I’m looking forward to being on the team that’s working to maximize those opportunities.”
Belitz has worked as the COO of the Nebraska Community Foundation since 2019. Before, he served almost two decades as president of the Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce, which grew into the state’s third largest chamber during his tenure.
“Just like most industries, economic development has dramatically shifted in the last decade,” noted Belitz. “Economic developers are tackling things they never would have imagined a decade ago. Economic development, community development and workforce development have become almost one pursuit. I think that gives us new opportunities to build partnerships that move Nebraska communities forward!”
Belitz has a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Northeast Missouri State University. He and his wife Collen have one daughter, Emerson.
Joe Fox, director of business development at DED, will continue to serve in the interim director role until Belitz starts on July 5.