Economic Undertakings

Madera EDC chooses Bobby Kahn’s successor

Darren Rose has been selected as executive director of the Madera County Economic Development Corp. Photo via

published on September 26, 2022 – 12:45
Written by Edward Smith

The Madera County Economic Development Corp. has chosen its new executive director, replacing a 20-year veteran.

EDC’s Board of Directors has approved a contract with Darren Rose to lead the organization. Rose runs her own public relations firm, Rose Strategic Communication. He has extensive experience in the world of politics, which outgoing manager Bobby Kahn says will come in handy.

Rose worked 12 years for former Rep. George Radanovich, a Republican who represented parts of Fresno from 1995 to 2011.

Rose said that in his time with Radanovich he worked on issues ranging from transportation to tourism to water, saying basic knowledge of the region and its economic makeup was extremely important.

“The other side is knowing all the players in the region, having an understanding of the agrarian and water economy and its challenges,” Rose said.

Rose also served as a strategic advisor to the California High-Speed ​​Rail Authority, according to her LinkedIn profile. He graduated from Fresno State with a Master of Arts in International Relations and a Bachelor of Science in Criminology.

“I think Darren hits the ground running because of his background in the political arena because he knows who the players are,” Kahn said. He’s a smart young man. He can intervene.

Rose replaces Kahn, who took over as executive director in 2002.

More recently, Kahn helped woo Auto Zone’s distribution center in Chowchilla. The company inaugurated the 540,000 square foot building in August, which aims to create 300 full-time jobs in the region. The $150 million project is expected to be operational by the end of 2023.

Rose said he let his team run the day-to-day at Rose Strategic Communications.

Now he is meeting with stakeholders in the region and tackling existing projects to ensure the transition goes smoothly.

One undertaking is the Built 4 Scale effort coordinated between the CDEs of Fresno, Madera, Kings, and Tulare counties. They create workforce training programs and business services in the construction, manufacturing and transportation sectors.

Rose said he sees the changing economy as an opportunity.

“We are going through tough times economically with the incoming SGMA (Sustainable Groundwater Management Act) mandates,” Rose said. “I think it will cause change, but it will also create opportunities for current employers and students. It’s no secret that we need to look for opportunities to diversify our economy.

Rose said he has always been interested in economic development.

“We have agriculture, tourism, light industry. It’s a big area and I believe it’s the future of our valley,” Rose said.