The city of Keene on Tuesday promoted long-time employee Molly Martin to economic development director. Martin replaces Landis Adams, who resigned Nov. 9.
Martin began working for the city in June 2010
“I started off as a court clerk; I loved it,” she said. “I worked as a court clerk for quite a few years. I went to school to be a juvenile case manager, but we just didn’t have enough juvenile cases so we sent them all to the county.”
In 2014, Martin was promoted to assistant to the city manager, who, at the time, was Bill Guinn.
“From there, I learned everything I possibly could in the municipality,” she said. “I pretty much dipped my toes in every department and learned budgeting. I had some really great city managers that put me under their wing to show me everything.”
Martin said Michael Talley, who served as Keene’s economic development director from January 2015 to February 2019, inspired her to learn more about economic development.
“Under [former city manager] Brian LaBorde, he put me in development services under permitting so I started really working with developers a lot, going over the plans. I found out that’s what I really love,” she said. “Michael really encouraged me into that position where he could teach me everything he knew.”
What drew Martin in most about economic development was being able to see projects unfold from start to finish.
“It’s the joy of being able to have a vision to see what the city can be, and then when you start talking to people and really kind of start to create that mold — you see things start to happen,” she said. “Even though it might be a slow process, starting something from the very beginning and watching it grow and flourish into something so much greater to benefit not just the city, but the citizens. Where they have more things going on in the city and access to more items and retail.”
Martin said her No. 1 goal is to bring more residents into Keene.
“I envision more residential growth, more rooftops in the city,” she said. “We do have some projects we are working on right now, that I really can’t discuss right now, but I think the citizens will be happy with the things we have coming up in the very near future.”
After Adams resigned, City Manager Michael Boese approached Martin and asked if she was interested in filling the position.
“Before coming over to the city a few months ago, I had the opportunity to have a relationship with a few developers and I saw the relationship Molly had with them,” Boese said. “It was natural. I’m excited about the potential development Keene has coming this way.”
Martin said she was humbled with the opportunity.
“I love working with business owners and developers, and just the overall wealth of the economy of the city,” she said. “Our new city manager is truly an innovator. He seems to know what a city needs, and seems to already anticipate what the city needs, what the council needs and what the citizens need. His compassion is fantastic, and I’m grateful to him and the opportunity the city has given me. I plan to do my best to make this the best city around.”
Martin begins her new position effective Dec. 2.