The Southern Colorado Economic Forum has hired a new leader with an extensive background in economics, grant writing and public health to help guide the region into the future. .

Tatiana Bailey will take over as director of the forum this summer. She has a doctorate in Public Health from the University of Michigan and works as a private consultant in the health care field. She also is an adjunct professor of health economics, health policy and finance at the University of Michigan and Walsh College.

It was Bailey's expertise in health care that set her apart from other candidates, said Ron Chernak, president of the FBB Group and a founding partner of the forum.

"She also has extensive experience in grant writing, so, we feel she can expand that capability of the forum by getting the forum more grants, and providing economic analysis review for the community," Chernak said.

Tom Zwirlein, who has been co-director of the forum, also said Bailey proved to be the best candidate for the job because of her work on economic development in Detroit.

"Some of the work she is currently doing on funded research projects in Detroit are very interesting as they relate to the economy and that community," Zwirlein said.

The forum was founded 18 years ago to bring together "local experts from the public, private and academic sectors to report on our economy," according to its website. "The Forum offers the community an annual snapshot of local economic activity and provides forecasts to help businesses plan for the upcoming year."

The forum currently is led by Fred Crowley, who is retiring, and Zwirlein. Both are part-time. Once Bailey arrives on June 15, she will be the sole director, working full-time, Chernak said.

Bailey was a candidate to lead the forum once before, but withdrew her candidacy when her husband could not find a job in the area, Zwirlein said.

Forum officials did not disclose how many candidates there were for the job.


Contact Ned Hunter: 636-0275