Rochester’s new Community Development Department staff has doubled.

Sarah Oslund, the interim executive director for the Rochester Downtown Alliance, was tapped this week to serve as the city department’s communications and engagement coordinator.

She will assist with the implementation of a communications plan, support media relations and provide community engagement for the department.

“Sarah brings a strong technical background, as well as developed community connections,” said Community Development Director Cindy Steinhauser, who has been the department’s sole employee since it was created to start taking over some city planning duties. “She is passionate about the Rochester area, and I am pleased to have her as a part of the team. Communications and community engagement work is critical to the success of the Community Development Department. No matter how large or small a project is, it is vital that we connect with residents, businesses and organizations.”

Oslund, who holds a master’s degree in management from St. Mary’s University and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Minnesota State University Mankato, became the RDA interim executive director in July. She also owns and operates Inspire, a Rochester-based communications, public relations, and marketing consulting firm, which was founded in 2015.

Oslund said she’s excited about her new position and the opportunity to “be part of a team dedicated to ensuring that growth is both strategic and sustainable.”

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