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5 Questions with DRED Commissioner Jeffrey Rose: Catching Up on the Past Two Years

Jeffrey Rose marked his second anniversary this week as commissioner of the Department of Resources and Economic Development. We ran really fast and caught up with him to talk about these past two years – the successes, the exciting projects moving forward and, of course, the Red Sox.

1. Congratulations on completing your second year as commissioner! What’s been the most surprising aspect about the job for you?

It’s hard to believe it’s been two years. It’s gone by fast, but I guess that means I’m having fun. Actually that has been one of the most rewarding aspects of the position – how interesting every day is for me. I thoroughly enjoy the diversity of the job and love the mission of the agency. I like to joke that DRED is the agency of fun, but it’s true. You take all the best things about our state and put it under one roof. How can you not have fun?

I’ve also been overwhelmed by the commitment and passion of the staff. We have a great team in place, led by four highly engaged directors. Our employees are absolutely dedicated to the state and impress me at each turn. But when you think about it, it makes sense why our team is so passionate, they are dedicated to mission of the agency. You don’t become a park manager unless you love being outside. You don’t become a forest ranger unless you appreciate our natural resources. You don’t become a business specialist if you don’t care for working with business leaders and you don’t become a welcome center attendant unless you enjoy interacting with public.

Commissioner Rose briefing the Coos County delegation last month about The Balsams.

Commissioner Rose briefing the Coos County delegation last month about The Balsams’ development plan.

2. What are two or three projects you’re most proud of seeing completed during this past year?

It’s hard to limit to just a couple, as we’ve celebrated the completion of many projects over the past year. However, a few highlights that come to mind include working with Comcast leadership in its selection of New Hampshire to become home for its new call center. The new Comcast facility in Hudson has already hired hundreds of employees and there will be more jobs created there.

Another highlight is the public – private partnership that led to the amazing new welcoming centers in Hooksett on Interstate 93. It was so rewarding to participate in the dedication ceremony on the new northbound facility last month, particularly to honor the legacy of the late Councilor Burton. He was passionate about the North Country, about the state and about our welcome centers.

I was really proud of our effort to complete the third largest conservation project in state history with the Androscoggin Headwaters. This beautiful area – more than 31,000 acres – will be protected as a working forest for generations to come.

Finally, we’ve accomplished some really exciting stuff over at Cannon Mountain. With the improved snowmaking capacity, our partnership with US Ski Association and Franconia Ski Club and the expansion at Mittersill, the energy is palpable.

3. Which industries in the state do you see as being poised for the greatest level of success or growth in 2015?

Manufacturing continues to be the backbone of the state’s economy and it’s great to see some of the growth at key companies throughout the state, but I’m particularly excited about some of things happening within the bio-medical field in New Hampshire. There are about 265 companies doing work in this industry, refining cutting edge technology with a goal of making our lives better.

Novo Nordisk in Lebanon comes to mind, and its work in treating diabetes; so does Gamma Medica in Salem. This company is making advances in the war against breast cancer with its molecular imaging technology. Biotech start-up Avitide, also in Lebanon, is refining purification technology for improving process of manufacturing protein drugs.

4. What are your biggest priorities for your third year as commissioner?

My top priority is the redevelopment of the historic Balsams Resort in Dixville Notch. This is a transformational opportunity for our North Country and stands to make New Hampshire the ski capital of the East. The $143 million project expects to create over 1,500 jobs in Coos Country and would spur nearly $1 billion of economic activity over the next decade.

This project is not just critical for the North Country – it will bring millions of dollars into the state’s coffers through increased rooms and meals tax, real estate transfer tax and a host of other revenue generators.

I’m also working diligently on my review of the Mount Sunapee Master Development Plan. I anticipate making an announcement on my draft decision of the MDP in the weeks ahead and look forward to continuing the public engagement process.

5. You’re a passionate baseball fan. How do you think the Red Sox will fare this year?

Ah yes, an important question. Much like spring itself, there is always a sense of optimism at the start of the season. I can’t wait for baseball season (and weather) to start. I am confident the Red Sox will be significantly improved over last season. There is some great young talent on the team and much improved offensively; however, I’m a little concerned over the pitching depth. I feel like we’ll be right in the mix for the post season, but either some young talent needs to emerge or a few trades need to bolster the pitching staff to be considered World Series contenders. That being said, I think we can do it. It’s going to be an exciting year.

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