MATTOON (JG-TC) -- The East Central Illinois Development Corp. has announced that Larissa Seward has been selected as its new executive director.

Seward previously served as deputy director of Prairieland Council, Inc., a nonprofit community development organization in Mason County.  The East Central Illinois Development Corp. reported in a press release that Seward led many development projects in Mason County and the surrounding area.

"Larissa’s 10 years of experience partnering with private developers to utilize state and federal programs for housing and business development will be very useful in leading the ECIDC," this organization reported. Seward holds a bachelor’s in animal science and management from Oklahoma University, and a bachelor’s in business and financial management from Capella University.

The East Central Illinois Development Corp. was incorporated in 1984 and is one of the longest running regional economic development groups in Illinois. This organization focuses on developing economic growth through collaborative efforts with community leaders, private businesses and local citizens. They serve Christian, Clark, Coles, Crawford, Cumberland, Douglas, Edgar, Effingham, Jasper, Moultrie and Shelby counties.

"Larissa’s initial goal as the new executive director is to learn what the communities want and need in order to develop a strategy that will spur economic growth for generations to come," the community development organization reported.

Seward's office is located on the campus of Lake Land College in Mattoon. She can be reached via telephone at 217-540-3517 or email at