Chris Robinson, Brainerd lakes area attorney for 20 years, Brainerd School Board member and former East Gull Lake mayor, joined the Brainerd Lakes Area Economic Development Corporation (BLAEDC) as economic development officer.
BLAEDC executive director Sheila Haverkamp cited Robinson’s wide-ranging business skills, as well as his professionalism and his knowledge and understanding of the area’s business climate.
For 17 years, Robinson was an attorney and shareholder with Askegaard & Robinson, P.A., a private law office in Brainerd where he focused on estate planning, real estate, business counseling and civil litigation. Three years ago, he started his own firm, Robinson Law Firm PLC, and ran it until he saw the BLAEDC position as a good opportunity for a career change.
In his new position, he won’t be offering legal advice to BLAEDC or on behalf of the organization.
“As a BLAEDC member for the last 10 years, I’ve watched with interest the direction the organization has taken,” Robinson said. “This move is consistent with where my passion is and with my avocation and work with civic and government organizations, which is to grow this community.”
Robinson’s professional career has sharpened his skills in commercial development and a variety of business issues like sales and acquisitions. He sees that skill set as critical to his new position because most of his time will be spent working with companies considering Crow Wing County for relocation or expansion.
Robinson will also benefit from the knowledge and experience he gained while involved with a number of civic and service organizations. Robinson has served on the Brainerd School Board for three years and is the outgoing chair; he was East Gull Lake mayor for four years and served on the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission and the Comprehensive Plan Committee; he spent four years on the Brainerd Lakes Chamber board of directors, including serving as chair; and he’s been a longtime member of the Kiwanis Club of Brainerd, including six years on its board of directors and serving as president.
At BLAEDC, Robinson will serve as a liaison for businesses that are considering expanding in or relocating to the Brainerd lakes area. He’ll work closely with Haverkamp in recruiting companies to the area while helping existing businesses with their needs when it comes to growing and expanding. He also will coordinate the mentoring and counseling activities within BLAEDC’s new Executive Initiative.
Established in 1985, BLAEDC is a community-driven, non-profit organization created to preserve and enhance the area’s economic base by expanding business, building community and growing jobs in Crow Wing County.