Kari Collins to join county as Director of Community and Economic Development
Kari Collins will join Ramsey County as Director of the Community and Economic Development department, effective November 13. Her responsibilities will include leading department staff and managing contracts to advance Ramsey County’s economic development initiatives, including the Rice Creek Commons and Riverfront Properties projects.
"We're thrilled to welcome Kari to Ramsey County," said Johanna Berg, Deputy County Manager of Economic Growth and Community Investment. "Her experience and leadership in economic development at the local level will benefit our communities greatly as we continue driving our initiatives forward with our local and community partners."
Since early 2016, Collins has served as Community Development Director at the City of Roseville. Prior to that, she was the city's Assistant to the City Manager for four years. Collins served for four years as the zoning administrator and board secretary at the City of Milwaukee before moving back to the Twin Cities.
"It's both an honor and wonderful opportunity to be joining Ramsey County and the talented Community and Economic Development team at this time," said Collins, "The county and its partners are moving ahead with a number of projects and initiatives that will shape our communities for decades."
Collins holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Augsburg College and earned a master's degree in urban studies from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She serves as a member of Urban Land Institute Community Development Director Product Council, the Economic Development Association of Minnesota, and the American Planning Association. She was recognized in 2017 by the Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce with a Leadership in Local Government for her work on the Rice Street/Larpenteur Avenue multi-jurisdictional visioning plan and by Hamline University in 2016 with a Women in Public Service "Rising Star" award.
A self-described "proud Maplewood native", Collins lives in Blaine with her husband, Rob, and their two sons Soren and Kellan.