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Economic Development Staff

Our experienced Economic Development team has a long track record of assisting businesses to grow and achieve success in Davenport. Our team provides a host of site selection services and connections for doing business in Davenport.

Bruce Berger, Director, Community Planning and Economic Development
CPED - Bruce Berger
Bruce is an Iowa native and graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with undergraduate and graduate degrees in Political Science, Economics, and Public Policy. He has worked for the City of Davenport for over 23 years in a variety of roles, starting as an intern and ultimately being named Director of Community Planning and Economic Development in June 2015. Bruce completed the Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government through Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and is certified as an Economic Development Finance Professional via the National Development Council. Under his direction, Davenport was chosen by Kraft Heinz Foods and Sterilite Corporation as the location for their new manufacturing facilities in the Eastern Iowa Industrial Center that will create and retain nearly 1000 jobs in our community. Bruce and his team are eager to help your business find success in Davenport!

Susanne Knutsen, Economic Development Manager
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As Economic Development Manager, Susanne Knutsen interacts with projects of all sizes ranging from owner operated small businesses to large scale manufacturing expansions. A former park ranger with a Master’s degree in Forestry, Susanne began her career in economic development 12 years ago, and has continued to expand her skill set. She holds both the International Economic Development Council’s Certified Economic Developer title and the National Development Council’s Economic Development Finance Professional certification. Over the past 12 years, Susanne has worked on projects totaling over three quarters of a billion dollars in private investment into Davenport. This has translated in over 5,000 jobs created and retained for the Quad Cities. Recent successes include expansions by Kraft Heinz and Sterilite Corporation manufacturing facilities. Susanne welcomes your business to our community, and is excited to act as your business concierge on behalf of the City of Davenport.

Laura Berkley, Economic Development Analyst
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‚ÄčLaura Berkley is the newest member of the Economic Development team. Prior to joining the City, Laura worked at Bi-State Regional Commission as the lead on the regional Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy for a five-county area. Laura is an Augustana College graduate and is currently working on her Masters of Community & Economic Development at Western Illinois University.

Sarah Ott, Management Analyst II
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Sarah has been a part of the Economic Development team for over 5 years, beginning as an Economic Development Coordinator and serving most recently as a Management Analyst II. Sarah has a Master's degree in Community and Economic Development from Western Michigan University and holds an Economic Development Finance Professional certification from the National Development Council. In addition to working on numerous business attraction and rentention projects, such as the Kraft Heniz and Sterilite projects, Sarah also works across City departments to ensure all aspects of the development process proceed smoothly. Sarah led the process that designated the Eastern Iowa Industrial Center as a Certified Site through the State of Iowa and has secured numerous State and Federal grants for infrastructure improvements on behalf of companies investing in Davenport.