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FITCHBURG -- Mayor Lisa Wong announced today that Fitchburg resident Jerry Beck has been appointed the city's director of economic development and chief marketing officer, effective December 19. Beck recently served as the director of marketing and community engagement for the Fitchburg Art Museum, where he successfully increased visitors to the museum and worked with the community to promote the downtown as a destination.

Beck is a former Lowell resident who opened the Revolving Museum in the downtown. He was also previously employed by the Innovation Academy Charter School in Tyngsboro.

As economic development director, Beck's primary responsibilities will be to market Fitchburg's many assets, with a focus on business development and attracting private investment. In addition, the focus on marketing will allow the city to work closely with new developments such as Great Wolf Resorts to market Fitchburg's many restaurants, galleries and other retail businesses. Great Wolf is expected to open in the spring of 2014 and attract more than 400,000 new visitors per year to the city.

The selection committee for Beck's appointment included, former City Councilor and Downtown Coordinator Ellen DiGeronimo; former Cleghorn Neighborhood Center Executive Director and City Councilor Dolores Thibault-Muñoz; Fitchburg State University Cultural Affairs Director Mary Chapin Durling; Fitchburg Access TV Executive Director David Svens; and Enterprise Bank Regional Community Banking Director Ken Ansin.

"Jerry has decades of experience in developing historic buildings and working with the private sector to attract businesses, and will hit the ground running," Wong said. "His ability to draw funding and attention on the state and national level is exactly what Fitchburg needs to generate substantial business growth and ignite investment here in Fitchburg."

"Jerry Beck has a unique and successful background in economic development," said DiGeronimo. "He has demonstrated his talents, enthusiasm and respect for the community through his involvement in many creative initiatives."

"Jerry brings tremendous energy and creativity as he partners with Fitchburg in re-imagining its full potential," said Ansin. "I look forward to working closely with Jerry, Mayor Wong, the local business community, and most importantly, the residents of Fitchburg on joining the ranks of other cities who have successfully reinvented themselves."

"This is an extraordinary opportunity to help the community I live in to become an even more vibrant destination for businesses, families, and tourists," says Beck.