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Scott steps down after 20 years

After 20 years, Noreen Scott is retiring from leadership of Rio Rancho Economic Development Corp.

Scott has served as director of the organization since 1994. Her retirement was effective March 1, but she’s staying on part-time for a while to help.

Nathan Tafoya, who already works for the EDC, is acting director while the board decides whether to hire him or conduct a search, Scott said.

Noreen Scott.

Noreen Scott.

She picked now to step down because “20 years seemed like a good amount of time.”


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Scott said her post-retirement plans aren’t firm yet, but she looks forward to traveling and spending more time with her new granddaughter.

“I see a very positive future for the EDC,” she said.

The organization started as a joint project between the City of Rio Rancho, AMREP and the private sector in 1992. Since she left state government to lead the EDC, Scott said, it’s helped 95 businesses locate or expand in Rio Rancho to create 15,000 economic-base jobs as the population tripled.

“We’ve been blessed to bring some really, really good companies that have stood the test of time here,” she said.

Scott also praised the board of directors, her staff and the community.

“I think Rio Rancho sits on the cusp of another growth spurt,” she said.

Rio Rancho is a special community with a can-do attitude and the ability to accomplish a lot when people pull together, Scott continued.

“I’m not moving away,” she said. “I’m still solidly committed to its success. These are my friends and neighbors.”

“Thank you for all that you do,” Mayor Tom Swisstack said to Scott at the RREDC lunch Thursday, as he publicly noted the many years she has devoted to local economic development.

Scott did not announce her retirement plans at the lunch. She said, in a later phone interview, RREDC will likely have a formal announcement when it is ready to announce the strategy for getting a new director.

Swisstack, in a phone interview later, said the city is interested in expanding its economic possibilities. He said he expects the city and county, as well as RREDC and the local chamber of commerce, to work together more closely and develop a new economic vision for communities in the area.