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Haston named Lebanon economic development head

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Sarah Haston

The search has ended - Lebanon Mayor Philip Craighead announced Tuesday morning that Sarah Haston has been named the city's new Economic Development Director.

Haston told The Wilson Post that she is "extremely excited" about the new opportunity with the City of Lebanon.

"I couldn't have picked a better time to join this team. The potential for growth and new opportunities is substantial," she said, before briefly discussing her plans for the city.

"My vision for the course of this New Year is to help create a cohesive strategic plan that will assist in the city's mission, as being one of the most desirable and business-friendly cities in Middle Tennessee. I plan on actively recruiting new businesses, especially supporting emerging sectors that create quality, good-paying jobs and fostering an educated and job-ready local work force by driving the improvement of the academic performance by connecting businesses, learning institutions and community agencies," Haston explained.

"Together we can help create and maintain a safe, clean, green and fiscally-sound business environment that benefits residents, businesses and the region."

Haston is originally from California, but relocated to Tennessee with her husband and two daughters more than five years ago. She has served as the vice president of corporate business development and marketing at Nationwide Studios, Inc. for the past three years.

A release from the mayor's office said Haston comes to serve as the city's EDD with 14 years of "business to business" sales experience along with marketing and development experience - with an emphasis on digital strategies.

Haston has a bachelors degree in Political Science from the University of California, San Diego. She plans to further her education by enrolling in the Tennessee Certified Economic Developer Program. Upon completion, she will be a certified Economic Developer by the State of Tennessee.

Haston's experience includes sales development and strategic marketing. She has also received numerous sales awards and recognition as a top sales performer.

"Much of (her) sales and marketing foundation is in online 'community development' having managed New Media Marketing and Interactive projects for a number of industries and advertising firms in San Diego and Nashville," the release stated.

Craighead said that Haston is highly regarded in her past leadership roles. "Her experience with corporate sales, strategic planning and development, as well as leadership, will be a real asset to the continued growth of the city. Sarah has excellent communication and presentation skills, with a true passion that comes across in her presence and daily drive," he added.

Haston's first day on the job was Tuesday, Jan. 19. The position was previously held by businesswoman Helene Cash.

Cash served in the position from March to August 2015, before stepping down to pursue a new venture in the jewelry industry.

Staff Writer Sabrina Garrett may be contacted at sgarrett@wilsonpost.com.

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City of Lebanon, director, economic development, Helene Cash, hired, Lebanon, Philip Craighead, recruiting, Sarah Haston
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