The Anoka County Board of Commissioners at its March 23 meeting approved the hiring
of Samantha Markman as the county’s new economic development director.
Markman will be working with the county, local cities, chambers of commerce, regional
planning and economic development organizations, and commercial real estate brokers to assess
the economic development needs of the region, create plans to encourage growth in the area, and
she will develop strategies for engaging key stakeholders.
Markman comes to Anoka County with a background in economic development and
planning. She holds a bachelor’s degree in urban studies from the University of Minnesota, and
she was most recently the economic development coordinator for the City of Faribault. While
working in that capacity for Faribault, Markman was integral in helping Daikin Applied, a
worldwide leader in air conditioning and other indoor air quality products, navigate city procedures
and access local and state incentive programs to build a $40 million facility for a new product line.
Markman was a staff member at the City of Faribault when the municipality was named City of
the Year by the Minnesota Real Estate Journal in 2019.
Markman’s planning background includes experience as a transportation planner at SRF
Consulting Group, and she interned as a design planner for the Metropolitan Council of the Twin
“I’m excited about the regionalism approach to this position at Anoka County ––
maintaining existing connections with partner communities and invested stakeholders will be
important to ensure economic development in Anoka County remains steady,” Markman said.
“I’m also looking forward to facilitating new relationships that will serve as a means to attract and
grow new business in our area.”
Bruce Sayler, principal, Connexus Energy community and economic development, noted
Markman’s skillset will be an asset to cities and businesses in Anoka County.
“I’m excited to see Ms. Markman join us in leading the Anoka County Regional Economic
Development initiative,” he said. “Her broad background and energy level will not only continue
the great work already accomplished but will also bring the initiative to the next level.”
Lori Higgins, president, MetroNorth Chamber of Commerce, said she feels Markman will
thrive in her new role.
“Ms. Markman is well prepared to hit the ground running with our economic development
initiative,” she said. “We’re looking forward to a great partnership with her, and we’re confident
Ms. Markman is the right person to further enhance economic growth in our area.”
Scott Schulte, chair, Anoka County Board of Commissioners, said Markman is poised to
continue the important work that has made Anoka County an economic leader in the region.
“Anoka County and our regional partners identified the need to have a dedicated employee
in an economic development role just over three years ago, and since that time we’ve realized just
how important this position is when it comes to helping businesses and the overall local economy,
especially during this difficult time when so many people have been impacted by the pandemic,”
he said. “My fellow board members and I are confident Ms. Markman will fit seamlessly into this
position, she will be an important contact for established and new businesses, and she will help
guide the growth of our regional economy.”
Contact Samantha today to learn more about the opportunities available in Anoka County!
Samantha Markman | Economic Development Director
2100 3rd Avenue, Suite 700 | Anoka, MN 55303
(o) 763.324.4609 | (c) 612.358.8925