Jeff Carpenter to take helm at Tracy EDA

Jeff Carpenter

By Seth Schmidt

A former Tracy man, Jeff Carpenter, has been offered a contract to serve as Tracy’s economic development coordinator.
The Tracy City Council authorized the contract with Carpenter Monday night, at the recommendation of the Tracy Economic Development Authority. The 14-month contract is to begin Nov. 1, and continue through Dec. 31, 2018. Carpenter will succeed Tara Onken, who will become the Economic Development Director for the Marshall EDA on Dec. 1.
“Welcome Jeff, it’s a pleasure to have you here,” said Mayor Steve Ferrazzano. “We’re looking forward to getting the ball rolling and doing good things.”
Onken promised a “seamless transition,” stating that she was “excited and thrilled” for Carpenter to be working in Tracy.
Carpenter will bring 24 years of management experience with the Schwan Food Co. in Marshall to his new position.
From 1993-2017, he was a zone manager responsible for the day-to-day sales and operations of 11 locations in three states. From 1993 to 2006, Carpenter was a Schwan sales manager. Carpenter was with Schwan’s for 31 years, starting as a plant worker, and later acquiring a truck sales route.
In his letter of application, Carpenter described himself as a “highly ambitious, innovative leader with an extensive record of success” in “achieving challenging goals and developing new business relationships and opportunities.”
He and his wife, Sandy, are the parents of two Tracy Area High School graduates: Ashlei (TAHS 2006) and Aric (’10). The family moved to Tracy in 1993, and moved to Lake Benton two years ago.
Carpenter, who is now working as a substitute teacher, said Tuesday that’s he’s looking forward to his new responsibilities, and working toward the opportunities he sees in Tracy. He plans to come into the Tracy EDA office during October and work with Onken, to help familiarize himself with EDA projects and objectives.
• • •
As the Tracy economic development coordinator, Carpenter will be a contract worker, rather than a city employee. The contract calls for him to work full-time, and be paid $5,400 a month.
The City of Tracy currently pays the Marshall Chamber of Commerce $4,000 a month for Onken’s 32 hour a week position. Onken is an employee of the Marshall Chamber.
The City of Tracy’s contract with the Marshall Chamber was to expire Nov. 1. However, in the interest of a smooth transition, the council accepted an EDA recommendation, and requested an extension from the Marshall Chamber, to have Onken continue to work in Tracy through Dec. 1.
Council member Bill Chukuske recused himself from voting on the motion to hire Carpenter, since he has a contract to maintain EDA-owned apartments.