SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall appointed Lorena Riffo-Jenson as the new director of the Department of Economic Development on Wednesday, Oct. 19.

Riffo-Jenson has served as the interim director since July and will be the first Latina to lead the department, according to the press release. She will oversee the Salt Lake City Arts Council, business development teams and programs such as Tech Lake City and American Rescue Plan Community Grants.

“I’m grateful to work with the dedicated and passionate team in economic development,” Riffo Jenson said. “I look forward to furthering the mission of making Salt Lake City a better place to not only build a business, but also a life.”

Riffo-Jenson has a diverse background in education and executive leadership. She founded VOX Creative, a marketing and communications firm, and led Utah’s hosting program during the 2002 Olympic Winter Games.

“Lorena is a tremendous asset to our city’s department of economic development,” Mendenhall said. “Over the past year and half, she has helped our local businesses recover from a global pandemic while strengthening ties to the business community.”