Patterson promotes two to fill spots as Oakland County’s top economic developers

WATERFORD, MI — July 10, 2009 —

Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson has promoted economic development head Doug Smith to the deputy county executive spot left vacant by the death of Dennis R. Toffolo.

Smith, 59, of Bloomfield Township, has been director of Oakland County’s Department of Economic Development and Community Affairs since 2006. His appointment is effective immediately. Smith will oversee the county’s economic development programs, including Emerging Sectors®, Medical Main Street and the Economic Growth Alliance and also the Brooksie Way Half Marathon.

Dennis R. Toffolo, 62, had been the county’s top economic developer and one-time president of Hudson’s Department Stores. He died unexpectedly on May 20.

“I had six weeks to review the position and the arrows kept pointing to Doug Smith,” Patterson said. “He’s experienced, he knows Oakland County and I value his insight. He’ll make a strong addition to the team.”

Smith previously served for nine years as Troy’s economic development director. He said his appointment was bittersweet, considering he was replacing a close friend and colleague.

“I hope to carry on Dennis’ legacy,” Smith said. “He was a skilled businessman and economic developer who was respected throughout the community and the state for his vision, energy and calming influence. I’m honored to have been chosen.”

Smith also served as vice president and chief administrative officer for Walsh College and was an aide to Gov. William Milliken on the State Board of Education.

With Smith’s appointment, Maureen Krauss, 47, of Rochester Hills, was promoted to replace him as director of Economic Development and Community Affairs. She has been deputy director of the department since 2005 and has been employed by the county since 1998.

“She has been a stalwart supporter of economic development and was heavily recruited by other counties,” Patterson said. “She is fully capably of running the department and I wanted to give her that opportunity.”

Krauss is a graduate of Albion College and the University of Michigan. She has been an economic developer in Macomb and St. Clair counties and Peoria, AZ before coming to Oakland County as a senior business development representative in 1998.

“The department will continue to work aggressively to attract and retain high tech companies while working with our communities and businesses to plan for the future and enhance Oakland County’s superb quality of life,” Krauss said.

Krauss is on the board of directors of the Swedish American Chamber of Commerce — Detroit, the British American Business Council of Michigan, the Italian American Association of Business and Technology and is past president of the Michigan Economic Developers Association.