LINCOLN, Neb. — Gov. Pete Ricketts has appointed a central Nebraska economic development official to lead the state’s Department of Economic Development.

Ricketts announced Tuesday that he has chosen David Rippe, executive director of the Hastings Economic Development Corporation.

The governor’s office says Rippe helped businesses expand in his area and worked on the city of Hastings’ downtown revitalization efforts. He also helped with recruitment and job-creation efforts and several small business startups.

Rippe previously worked as a business recruiting consultant for the Department of Economic Development and an analyst for the Legislative Fiscal Office.

Rippe holds a bachelor of science degree in accounting from Nebraska Wesleyan University and a master of business administration from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Rippe is scheduled to start Dec. 18, with an annual salary of $142,000.