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Department names Lori Becklenberg as new Deputy Director of Regional Engagement Division

The Missouri Department of Economic Development (DED) announced today that Lori Becklenberg will serve as its new Deputy Director for the Regional Engagement Division, which promotes regional economic growth through tailored solutions for business and community development projects.

“Lori’s enthusiasm and experience in business and community development make her a perfect addition to the team, and we’re excited to welcome her aboard,” said Michelle Hataway, Director of the Division of Regional Engagement. “Our division is unique in that team members are located in communities across the state to promote programs and resources that help drive growth. Lori’s leadership skills and background in business attraction will be extremely valuable as we serve rural and urban areas statewide.” 

In her new role, Becklenberg will oversee DED’s International Trade and Investment Office, which is housed within the Regional Engagement Division, as well as helping plan the Governor’s trade missions. Regional Engagement serves as the primary contact for DED’s partners and customers as they access state and federal agency resources. The division consists of six teams distributed across all regions: central, southwest, southeast, northern, and the Kansas City and St. Louis metro areas. Regional Engagement also operates 15 international offices located across the globe.

Becklenberg previously served as Vice President of Business Attraction with AllianceSTL, an initiative of Greater St. Louis Inc., where she led efforts in business development and delivered economic development solutions to employers expanding or relocating to St. Louis. Becklenberg has experience in building relationships with industry leaders, real estate professionals, and other key stakeholders. She has also served in leadership roles with the St. Louis Regional Chamber and in 2020 was named a Top 50 Economic Developer in North America by Consultant Connect. Becklenberg has additionally filled various leadership roles with the Missouri Economic Development Council and holds a degree in business administration from William Woods University.

“I’m excited to take this next step in my career and serve alongside a team working to strengthen businesses and communities,” Becklenberg said. “Over the years, I’ve served in various roles that have not only provided me with valuable experience in economic development, but also displayed Missouri’s many strengths. The Show-Me State is a great place to live and work, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to help lead the Regional Engagement Division as it encourages job creation and better quality of life.”

The Regional Engagement Division was established in 2019 during DED’s reorganization that dedicated more resources to business development and ensured efforts were targeted to each of the state’s urban and rural regions. So far in Fiscal Year 2022, DED has contributed to the completion of more than 70 business projects that have resulted in the creation of nearly 7,000 new jobs and more than $1.7 billion in investment.

For more information on the Regional Engagement Division, or for the latest updates on business expansion and retention projects, visit DED’s website.