Lynch picks Bald for DRED post

Less than a day after announcing the decision by Department of Resources and Economic Development Commissioner Sean O’Kane to step down from the job in March, Gov. John Lynch said he has found a successor – the man O’Kane replaced in 2004.

Lynch said Wednesday he will nominate George Bald, currently director of the Pease Development Authority and a former DRED commissioner, to serve once again in the post.

“George Bald served with great distinction as commissioner of Resources and Economic Development, and I am pleased to nominate him to return to that post,” said Lynch, adding that “New Hampshire needs his talents back at the Department of Resources and Economic Development.”

Bald was appointed to the DRED post in 1998 by then-Gov. Jeanne Shaheen before stepping down in 2004.

In that period, he worked on development of the state’s first telecommunications and economic development plans and increased tourism promotion efforts, forming the Division of Travel and Tourism Development.

He also won widespread praise for his efforts in reopening the then-shuttered pulp and paper mills in Berlin and Gorham, closed after its then-owner declared bankruptcy.

When Bald left the DRED post in 2004, he went on to serve as executive director of the Pease Development Authority – another place of employment he had returned to, serving from 1994 to 1998 as economic development director at Pease. – JEFF FEINGOLD

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