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David Rippe, executive director of the Hastings Economic Development Corporation, was named Tuesday by Gov. Pete Ricketts to be director of the Nebraska Department of Economic Development.

Rippe will succeed Courtney Dentlinger, who is leaving the post to become government affairs manager for the Nebraska Public Power District.

Rippe will take over the state position Dec. 18 and receive a $142,000 annual salary.

"Dave brings broad experience with both the state and local economic development community here in Nebraska," Ricketts said.

"During his time in Hastings, he helped secure new investments, with expansions at Ag Processing Inc., Thermo King, Eaton and Dutton-Lainson Company," the governor said.

Rippe has worked to advance downtown revitalization efforts in Hastings and has helped lead the community's talent and workforce development initiatives, Ricketts said.

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Earlier, Rippe served as an economic development consultant in business recruitment for the state Department of Economic Development. From 2005 to 2008, he was a fiscal analyst in the legislative fiscal office.

Ricketts said he believes Rippe's knowledge and relationships "will help Nebraska's economic development team bring more good-paying opportunities, attract new investment and grow Nebraska's brand nationally and internationally."

Rippe said Nebraska has "a tremendous workforce, great quality of life and a positive business environment."

All of those are "attractive traits to potential businesses looking to relocate, expand or invest in Nebraska," he said. 

Reach the writer at 402-473-7248 or

On Twitter @LJSDon.


Political reporter

Don Walton, a Husker and Yankee fan, is a longtime Journal Star political and government reporter.

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