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Bevin’s economic development chief, Terry Gill, to return to private sector

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Governor Matt Bevin joined Kentucky Georgetown manufacturing plant president Susan Elkington in the unveiling of the new RAV4 Hybrid.

Gov. Matt Bevin is losing his economic development chief — Terry Gill of Louisville.

Bevin said Tuesday in a release that he was accepting with regret Gill’s resignation as secretary of the state Cabinet for Economic Development, effective at the end of May.

Gill, who has held the job since January 2017, said he is returning to the private sector but he did not identify in what role. His annual state salary is $250,000.

Bevin said he will recommend that the Kentucky Economic Development Partnership Board appoint the cabinet’s executive officer, Vivek Sarin, of Louisville, to be interim secretary upon Gill’s departure. Sarin, a longtime friend and political supporter of Bevin, was hired by the state in May 2017 at $250,000 a year after Shelby Industries, his family business in Shelbyville that made towing and trailering equipment, shut down in October 2016.

The partnership, a public/private group of state officials and business executives chaired by the governor, is to begin a national search for a new cabinet secretary.

Bevin said Gill’s leadership “brought to our economic development efforts the perspective of a business executive who knows the opportunities and challenges that companies face every day. We are grateful for his willingness to put his business career on hold in recent years to serve within state government during such a transformative time.”

Before accepting the position of secretary, Gill was president of OneTouchPoint, a marketing services organization which provides Fortune 500 manufacturing, health care and consumer product companies with a full range of brand support and marketing services.

During Gill’s tenure as economic development secretary, Kentucky has announced more than $15.8 billion in new investment and nearly 32,400 new jobs, including a state record $8.77 billion in investment in 2017.

Bevin noted that Gill worked to attract four major economic development projects for Kentucky — Amazon Air, Braidy Industries, Toyota’s Reborn project and Nucor Corp.

Gill said it “has been an absolute honor to serve the governor and the commonwealth.” He said he is leaving “with a great sense of satisfaction for what we have achieved, and I look forward with great excitement to determining what my next opportunity will be.”

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