Doug Williams has been appointed the interim director of the Ellis County Coalition for Economic Development. He assumes the duties of Aaron White, who is no longer with the non-profit organization after seven years at its helm.

Williams, a Hays real estate developer, will lead the operations until a long-term replacement is found. Williams spent the first 14 years of his career in the real estate business as a broker/owner of a RE/MAX franchise. During that time, he was involved in numerous real estate investment projects.

In 1991, Williams founded System Solutions Inc., a company involved in the sale of IBM information systems. The company began with two employees and grew to 75 employees at the time it was sold to Rural Telephone Service in 1997. Williams then started InfiniTec, Inc., and Medical Business Resources. Infinitec, Inc., a computer software company, was the primary software provider for over 70 of the 105 county governments in Kansas. Infinitec, Inc., was sold to Wheatland Electric Cooperative in 1999. Medical Business Resources, a physicians billing service, was sold in 2003. In 2005, Williams re-entered the real estate business in Hays.

"The coalition is critically important to the long term growth and prosperity of our community, and I know that the board of directors and I are committed to work towards making that happen any way we can," Williams said.

The coalition is a not-for-profit organization aimed at advancing the economic health and vitality of Hays and the surrounding communities.

A few recent endeavors include the arrival of Hobby Lobby, a soon-to-be constructed convention center, development of innovative job training initiatives, and BriefSpace, a co-working space and business incubator that will be opening soon in downtown Hays. The Coalition also administers a housing redevelopment program and training programs designed to offer skilled-trade training to area workers.