PRESIDENT – Rockford Area Economic Development Council
Rockford Economic Development Council, under the umbrella of the Greater Rockford Growth Partnership, is seeking a President/CEO to drive the economic interest of this exciting partnership.
The Greater Rockford Growth Partnership is on the leading edge of what has quickly become a national best practice – combining the efforts of the community chamber and the economic development organization. The partnership is dedicated to providing private sector leadership to grow the economy and improve the quality of life in Winnebago County-Rockford Region. Together with its partners, the Rockford Area Economic Development Council, the Rockford Chamber of Commerce, and future partners will focus on creating a more competitive business climate and marketing the Greater Rockford region for investment and job creation.
Rockford Area Economic Development Council markets the region to attract new capital investment, while assisting existing business with resources for sustainable growth. It works with partners to improve the competitiveness of the region in the daily work of economic development and serves as the area’s data collection agency on capital investment, new and retained jobs, and new or renovated space. Rockfordil.com
Rockford Chamber of Commerce delivers benefit to the community by leading in the promotion of economic growth, advocating for the interests of business and providing service and educational opportunities that help its members grow. Rockfordchamber.com
This is your chance to lead the economic development effort to increase and sustain prosperity for Winnebago County-Rockford Region.
You will be successful by:
- Building on your proven TRACK RECORD of success in Economic Development to evolve and grow a strong pro-business climate.
- Utilizing your skill in DEVELOPING and DRIVING STRATEGY to identify growth opportunities.
- Developing STRONG COLLABORATIVE RELATIONSHIPS to build bridges across the region and remove barriers to success.
- Committing to an unwavering INTEGRITY, ETHICAL PRACTICE and skilled DIPLOMACY to position the Rockford Economic Development Council as a trusted growth partner to investors and all stakeholders.
The President, Economic Development has the lead economic development responsibility and leads the Economic Development Partner component of an umbrella partnership organization that hosts the non-profit Rockford Chamber of Commerce and Rockford Area Economic Development Council (Chamber & RAEDC) located in Winnebago County. The host organization is the Greater Rockford Growth Partnership. This position is responsible for the management of prospect activity including recruitment and expansion of new and existing primary employers for the region. The President, Economic Development actively engages with site selectors, company executives, business owners, brokers and public officials to encourage companies to locate or expand in the region.
ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING:
The major responsibilities of this position include, but are not limited to:
- Leads in the development, maintaining, and executing the roadmap and strategy for regional economic development.
- Serve as the point person for GRGP/RAEDC for the region. Is the leader in facilitating and coordinating the economic development strategies with similar regional organizations and municipalities.
- Actively participate in the Chamber & RAEDC’s targeted marketing and recruitment initiatives to attract new primary employers to the region including advancement of the team goals and objectives identified in the strategic plan.
- Interface with the Illinois Department of Economic Development Opportunity (DCEO) and Intersect Illinois on attraction prospects, core target industry initiatives, and programs.
- Proactively engage with national site selection consultants through conferences, visits, meetings, familiarization tours, etc.
- Manage prospect inquiries and projects from initiation to completion including extensive documentation of activity and data management.
- Design and prepare business proposals and responses to prospect inquiries, Requests for Information and Requests for Proposals.
- Coordinate and host prospect visits including all preparations through the execution of the visit. • Provide incentive analysis and follow up on coordination of incentives with local and state agencies on behalf of the prospect.
- Provide regular reports to the GRGP CEO for presentation to the Board and other stakeholder groups on attraction and related program activities.
- Participate in targeted prospecting trips, trade shows and headquarter visits as part of outbound marketing recruitment and business retention efforts.
- Work with local businesses in the retention and expansion services. Serve as both technical advisor and advocate with local communities
- Lead and Manage an economic development team focused exclusively on business attraction, expansion, and retention.
- Serves as the sales leader for economic development in the region, including team development, coaching, and execution of strategies.
- Maintain an in-depth working knowledge of local and state incentive programs.
- Maintain a strong working knowledge of the local commercial real estate market.
- Manage prospect referral opportunities with Chamber & RAEDC members.
- Maintain an active awareness and knowledge of community issues and engage in community boards and activities that advance and/or affect the business climate.
- Represent the Chamber & RAEDC, its mission, and activities to members, elected officials, community leaders, business leaders and the public to include formal presentations. Maintain and nurture relationships with Chamber & RAEDC members and partner organizations.
- Assist other Chamber & RAEDC divisions as necessary in support of the organization’s mission to include encouragement of membership and investment in the organization.
- Participate in community events to represent or promote the Chamber & RAEDC, the business community, and/or the community at-large.
REQUIRED KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ABILITIES
- High level of professionalism to interact with C-level executives, company representatives, elected officials, peers and the public. The successful candidate will have demonstrated high level integrity and transparency.
- Maintain confidentiality and exercise discretion and judgment in dealing with sensitive and confidential information, as well as possess the ability to perform well under pressure and meet deadlines.
- Highly motivated self-starter that possesses strong organizational, analytical and time management skills to be able to handle multiple projects and priorities, anticipate the needs of prospects and exhibits good follow-through skills.
- Excellent oral and written communication skills as well as exhibits a strong attention to detail, high level customer service, problem solving, and project management abilities.
- Strong presentation skills and a thorough knowledge and understanding of economic development practices and principles.
- Excellent understanding of the needs of business and deal making skills to discern prospect needs and make appropriate decisions regarding information submitted, key introductions to be made, etc.
- Work exceptionally well independently and in a team environment and possess the ability to self-direct duties with minimal supervision.
- Display a positive attitude and be amicable, even tempered, cheerful and upbeat with community members, prospects, and co-workers.
- Proficient computer experience with Microsoft Office suite programs, Salesforce, CRM tools and other applications and/or software programs.
- Knowledge of Winnebago County and the surrounding region preferred
EDUCATION OR FORMAL TRAINING
Bachelor’s degree in business, economics, marketing or a related field is preferred. An equivalent combination of education, training and experience may be considered.
A minimum of five years’ experience in economic development is required. Consideration may be given for a proven track record in the attraction, retention and expansion of jobs.
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.
- The employee must regularly lift and /or move up to 10 pounds; frequently lift and/or move up to 25 pounds.
- Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision and the ability to adjust focus.
- While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to sit; use hands to finger, handle, or feel and talk or hear.
- The employee is frequently required to reach with hands and arms.
- The employee is occasionally required to stand; walk and stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl. The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions
ABOUT OUR REGION:
The Rockford Region is a community focused on the quality of life for both its residents and its companies. Striving to be a Top 25 community, the region is competitive with the best in the US and throughout the world.
Uniquely situated between the metropolitan communities of Chicago, Milwaukee, and Madison, the Rock River Valley is the best of both worlds—a thriving “big, small-town community,” and also within easy driving distance of the attractions one might find in much larger cities.
The Rockford region is a place that’s affordable, convenient and brimming with potential. Opportunities abound, and there’s always an open seat at the table for anyone who steps forward to become an integral part of the Rockford community.
Home ownership is attainable, short commute times are enviable, and diverse entertainment options range from food to beer to arts and culture make building a life in Rockford an easy choice.
We are well known for innovative roots, the Rockford region’s economic future is bright thanks in part to the nation’s sixth-highest concentration of aerospace production employment, as well as thriving advanced manufacturing and healthcare industries. Educational partnerships ensure that hard-working, skilled talent is ready to fill the labor pool.
Residents in Rockford are ambitious and driven by values. There’s a willingness and desire to collaborate to solve problems, deal with the tough stuff as it arises, and have the conversations necessary to move the needle.
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