Lars Torres will depart the state’s Office of the Creative Economy on Oct. 24. He’ll take over as executive director of Generator, a combination artist studio, classroom and business incubator in Burlington.
Torres has led the Office of the Creative Economy since March 2013. Before taking the job, he opened Local 64, a coworking space in Montpelier. Torres has at least 15 years experience across the arts, public policy, education and community development, according to a 2013 news release announcing his entry into state government.
“I was ready to dive back into entrepreneurial world,” Torres said Tuesday.
“Vermont is at a uniquely ripe moment to be fostering entrepreneurialism and innovation among its small startups and independent creatives,” Torres said. “I wanted to be somewhere where that would be the focus of our efforts.”
He said the tools available to the state’s economic development efforts tend to fit larger entities that already have solid business footing and are poised for economic growth.
Lisa Gosselin, Commissioner of the Department of Economic Development, in which the OCE resides, praised the work Torres did while being spread very thin across many different areas.
“He made a lot of wonderful connections,” Gosselin said. “He really looked at supporting existing organizations. And frankly, when it’s a one-person office, that’s what we really have to do: look to who can be our eyes and ears and arms and feet.”
Gosselin said the department intends to formally recruit for his replacement, but the timeline for filling his position is flexible.
In Fiscal Year 2014, Torres earned $59,144 in base pay, plus benefits, according to public records from the Department of Human Resources.
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