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Matt Varilek


Matt Varilek became the DEED Commissioner on June 20, 2023. Since late 2016, he served as President of the Little Falls-based Initiative Foundation, which supports economic and community development in the 14 counties and two sovereign tribal nations of Central Minnesota. Previously, he was Chief Operating Officer for the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), regional administrator for U.S. SBA Region VIII, and a candidate for Congress in South Dakota. He also served as an Economic Development Director and Speechwriter for the offices of U.S. Senators Tom Daschle and Tim Johnson, and Director of Policy and Research for Natsource LLC, an energy brokerage based in New York. Commissioner Varilek earned a B.A. from Carleton College, a M.Phil. in Economic Development from the University of Glasgow, and a M.Phil. in Environment and Development from the University of Cambridge. He lives in rural Benton County near Rice with his wife and three children.

Photograph of  Matt  Varilek
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