CLAY COUNTY — The Clay County Economic Development Council has named David Slater as its next executive director, to begin Aug. 24. “I’m honored with the EDC’s selection,” Slater said. “Opportunities for Clay County are immense. But there’s a lot to do. We’ve got to tap our full potential, and I believe the EDC, working with others, can do just that.” Slater noted several issues he hopes to address, ranging from internet access in rural areas to funding aimed at helping with area transportation needs. The EDC’s support for area businesses remains critical, a release states. One goal involves the strategic plan Big 4, which includes development of vacant land around Interstate 435 and Missouri Highway 152. “That’s one of the prime interchanges in greater Kansas City, but it’s largely empty,” Slater said. “We’ll be working on that.” The Big 4 includes expansion of the KC Tech Academy in Liberty; a “587” project for high quality development surrounding I-435 and Highway 152; expansion of the University of Missouri Center for Excellence in Orthopedics at Liberty Hospital; and creation of 50 new Clay County businesses and 5,000 jobs. EDC Chair Greg Canuteson said Slater’s selection was easy. “David has shown great leadership as mayor and intense commitment to Clay County for many years,” Canuteson said. “We’re delighted that he has accepted the challenge of leading Clay County.” Slater has served eight terms as mayor of Pleasant Valley, first elected in 1987 under the age of 30. He also brings more than 20 years of experience in banking and finance. Slater has represented Clay County on numerous regional and state groups, including Mid-America Regional Council; the executive board for the Metro Mayors Caucus currently serving as chair; board of directors for the Northland Regional Chamber of Commerce; and the Missouri Mayors United Board of Directors. In 2016, Slater was presented the Distinguished Service Award by the Missouri Municipal League and, in 2019, the Leadership Award by the Mid-America Regional Council. “David has incredible energy and great relationships with all the mayors around the county and the state,” Canuteson said. “He will be able to use all these connections for the betterment of the county.” With a master’s in business administration from Webster University and an accounting degree from Missouri Western State University, Slater’s community involvement includes the St. Pius X board of directors and the Missouri Western State University Alumni Board. Slater succeeds TJ Berry who recently accepted the position of deputy district director for the Kansas City Region of the Small Business Administration.
David Slater, director of the Clay County Economic Development Council, takes the helm this month.