Escanaba picks DDA leader

ESCANABA – Escanaba’s recently-appointed Downtown Development Authority (DDA) director officially begins his new job Monday but already has his sights set on improving business downtown.

Ed LeGault, 55, of Escanaba, was hired as director of the DDA during the authority’s regular meeting on Wednesday. He was chosen from among five final candidates who were interviewed by the DDA’s personnel committee last month.

“I really thought the 150 Celebration was a great opportunity,” LeGault said when asked what he’s looking forward to as the new DDA director. “I want to create an environment where we can do more of that to compliment business and drive more traffic here.”

LeGault, a former resident of Escanaba, returned to the city two years ago after working out-of state for AT&T and Citigroup, where he gained experience in business management – including budgets.

He has recently been employed as a sales consultant for Reinhart Foods and will leave that company to work as DDA director.

Following a unanimous vote to hire LeGault, he thanked the board for their faith in him and said he is looking forward to working with the authority and downtown businesses.

City Manager Jim O’Toole said LeGault brings private sector experience to the job that will help the downtown businesses and physical improvements move forward.

LeGault is replacing current Director Judy Schroeder who is stepping down to work part-time with the agency.

LeGault and his wife, Shendell, live in Escanaba with their daughters, Paige, a fourth-grader, and Sheyanne, a freshman at Escanaba High School. He also has a son, Jimmy, in Milwaukee, a son, Matt, in St. Louis, and a daughter, Emily, also of St. Louis.

LeGault is a graduate of Escanaba High School. Following college at Central Michigan University, he moved out of the area to work for AT&T in New Jersey, Wisconsin, and Missouri. His past career includes working as manager at AT&T call centers.

LeGault was also employed at Citigroup and Citimortgage. His work included taking over management of a struggling broker business and also selling home equity loans.

In other business Wednesday, the board appointed Dan Bender as DDA vice chair. Bender replaces Charles Chapman who resigned from the authority due to moving outside the district.

The next regular DDA board meeting is scheduled for Dec. 4.