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January 3, 2013
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Rick Brainard hopes to join Grand Junction City Council in 2013

Local businessman Rick Brainard is now gathering signatures in his petition to run for the at-large seat on the Grand Junction City Council this year.

Brainard, who is vice president of business development with West Star Aviation, was named Entrepreneur of the Year by Colorado Mesa University in 2010.

He said he decided to run for the at-large seat "because of our community's need for stronger economic development leadership" at the municipal level.

The Council's at-large seat is now held by local Realtor Bill Pitts.

"I'm constantly amazed at the potential our community has for economic growth," Brainard said.

He currently serves on the Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce Board and the Community Hospital Foundation Board. He is also a former board member of the Grand Junction Economic Partnership.

"A lot of that potential is going unrealized," he said. "When a community, like Grand Junction, has strong healthy businesses, the whole community thrives. So, rather than complain about missed opportunities at the Council level, I decided to do something about it."

A snowboarder, motorcyclist and golfer, Brainard knew he'd found home when he relocated to Grand Junction in 2005 after Premier Air purchased West Star. West Star Aviation is one of the top 10 largest private-sector employers in Mesa County providing more than 300 jobs locally.

Brainard earned a BS in Flight Technology from Western Michigan University and has logged more than 2600 hours as a commercial pilot. He lives in the Redlands.

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The Post Independent Updated Jan 3, 2013 03:17PM Published Jan 3, 2013 03:14PM Copyright 2013 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.