A one-time business adviser to former Philadelphia Mayor Ed Rendell has been named as the assistant secretary of business development for Maryland.
The Board of Public Works approved yesterday the hiring of Daniel C. Gundersen, who will oversee efforts to market Maryland as a location for businesses from other states and countries.
He will head one of five divisions of the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development and oversee a staff of 60. Gundersen, who has been working for the department without a contract for a month, will be paid a salary of $98,500.
Gundersen, 40, said he was interested in the job because it offered a "phenomenal opportunity."
Richard C. Mike Lewin, secretary of the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, restructured the department last year.
"Secretary Lewin has developed an advertising and marketing strategy that allows Maryland to reach key perspective businesses in a way that is unprecedented," Gundersen said.
"The state is very well positioned to compete and go head on with other states for some of the best businesses in the nation and world."
While marketing Maryland, the department's goal is to target high-growth businesses -- such as information technology, telecommunications and biotechnology -- to move or expand their operations here, Lewin said.
"Our economy is red-hot," and the department is trying to keep it that way, he said. "No one has repealed the economic cycle yet. Who knows when there will be an economic retraction?"
Lewin said Gundersen's experience and energy will add to the effort to keep Maryland on top.
Prior to his new job, Gundersen served five years as an economic development adviser for Rendell, whose eight-year administration in Philadelphia ended in December.
Gundersen also directed efforts in Philadelphia to attract, retain and expand businesses for the federal empowerment zone initiative.
Before that, Gundersen spent 15 years in Philadelphia working with city business leaders in developing public-private partnerships.
Gundersen "is a hard-working, hands-on economic development professional who has a wonderful knack of cutting through the red tape and getting the deal done," Rendell said in a statement.