November 10 , 2008

Finstad named Executive Director/CEO of Center for Rural Policy and Development

ST. PETER, Minn. — The Center for Rural Policy and Development today named State Rep. Brad Finstad as its executive director and chief executive officer.

Finstad, who served three terms in the Minnesota House of Representatives, becomes the third person to head the organization since its creation in 1997 as Minnesota’s only statewide, nonprofit, nonpartisan rural policy research center. He succeeds Jack Geller, who resigned from the post in August 2007, and Interim Director Louis Hohlfeld.

“Brad’s legislative, business and agri-business experience is a great fit for the Center,” said Timothy Houle, Center board member and Crow Wing County administrator who chaired the Center’s Search Committee. “Most important, Brad is passionate about rural Minnesota issues and leveraging the assets of the Center to improving the shared life and vitality of rural Minnesota communities.”

Finstad, who in February announced that he would not seek re-election to the House, said the Center and its mission of providing quality, objective research are a great match for his desire to continue advancing rural issues on a statewide level.

“Ultimately, the Center’s reputation for its non-partisan assessments of how issues affect the success of rural Minnesota is what drew me to the position,” Finstad said.

In the public sector, Finstad served on the Minnesota House’s agriculture, finance and health and human services committees and for the past two years served as assistant minority leader. He gained statewide attention in 2006 when he authored and successfully shepherded passage of legislation authorizing public financing of the new Twins ballpark.

He previously served as the Agriculture and Rural Policy Adviser/Liaison for former Congressman Mark Kennedy.

In the private sector, Finstad has held numerous management positions dealing with business development and human resources.

Finstad also has been involved in numerous ag organizations, including the Minnesota Corn Growers Association, the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation, the Minnesota Pork Producers, the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association and the Minnesota Association of Cooperatives. He is also a member of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce.

Finstad, 32, and his wife, Jaclyn, are both Minnesota natives and live in rural Comfrey with their four children, Greta, Thomas, Jake and Margo. He received his bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Education from the University of Minnesota.