Less than 17 months after he was hired, the executive director of the Door County Economic Development Corp. is departing to become a full-time candidate for the state Senate.

Caleb Frostman, who succeeded DCEDC founder Bill Chaudoir on Nov. 29, 2016, announced Thursday that he will resign effective April 27 to pursue his candidacy for 1st Senate District seat most recently held by Frank Lasee.

Unless other candidates emerge before the Tuesday, April 17, filing deadline, Frostman, a Democrat, will face the winner of a May 15 Republican primary in a special election June 12. The winner will serve the last six months of Lasee’s term and will have to stand for re-election in November. State Rep. Andre Jacque and businessman Alex Renard are the GOP hopefuls.

The DCEDC Board of Directors accepted Frostman’s resignation at a special meeting Wednesday.

Frostman stated: “I’ve never had a more meaningful job in my career and feel truly honored to have served in this role for the last year and a half,” Frostman said. “I’m extremely proud of our quality programming delivered by our dedicated staff and feel deeply grateful to have worked for such an incredible organization and board of directors.

“Campaigning will be close to a full-time endeavor and DCEDC needs a full-time executive director to guide the ship.”

Darren Voigt, chairman of the board, said DCEDC wishes Frostman “nothing but the best” as he pursues his future efforts.

“Caleb’s time with the DCEDC has continued to move us forward as one of the model economic development organizations for the rest of the state,” Voight said. “We thank Caleb for his leadership of DCEDC and his dedication to Door County. During his tenure, Caleb quickly integrated into the Door County community and served as a positive and passionate advocate for both DCEDC and its related programs.”

The organization said accomplishments under Frostman’s leadership include:

+ A highly successful 2017 Door Kewaunee Legislative Days with 130 attendees making significant progress on all five agenda items, including a 10-fold increase in broadband funding and a $3.6 million state Harbor Assistance Program grant to Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding;

+ Introducing the very first Door County Manufacturing Days in October 2017 with 270 high school students and more than 400 members of the public visiting nine Door County manufacturers in Sturgeon Bay’s Industrial Park;

+ Re-instituting the High School Home Construction Project after a three-year hiatus, involving 11 students from the four mainland schools;

+ The implementation of the Inspire module, connecting more than 40 businesses with local youth for work-based learning opportunities;

+ Working with public and private interests to deliver a comprehensive, county-wide housing study; and

+ Closing four new Revolving Loan Fund loans totaling $436,000, requiring the creation of 18 new jobs in the county and leveraging more than $5.5MM in private financing.

DCEDC Board Vice-Chair, Patti Vickman will chair the search committee for Frostman’s replacement in collaboration with Human Resources Consulting, LLC.