Samples of Our Success
Greater Killeen Chamber of Commerce and Killeen Economic Development Corporation Announce Retirement of John Crutchfield and Reveal New President & CEO
(Dallas, TX) – John Crutchfield, current President and CEO of the Greater Killeen Chamber of Commerce and Killeen Economic Development Corporation, announces his retirement from both organizations, effective August 31, 2022. Crutchfield has served as the President and CEO for the past 17 years, beginning in October of 2002. Crutchfield names his greatest successes to be those of lasting, quality relationships with staff, and with business, community, government, and military leaders. Crutchfield is also proud that during his tenure as President and CEO he was able to aid in the creation of Texas A&M University – Central Texas and Interstate 14. During retirement Crutchfield plans to spend more time with his wife Sheila.
After an extensive national search, the Greater Killeen Chamber of Commerce and Killeen Economic Development Corporation has named Scott Connell, CEcD as the new President and CEO, beginning September 1, 2022. Connell brings over 36 years of economic development and chamber of commerce experience to Killeen. Most recently he served as Vice President at the Temple Economic Development Corporation in Temple, TX. Prior to his work in Temple he served several communities throughout Texas and North Carolina. In January, the search committee at the Greater Killeen Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Corporation elected to work with The PACE Group, a Dallas, TX based firm that specializes in national economic development and chamber of commerce executive searches, to provide candidates for the committee’s consideration.
CEO Search Committee Chair, Michael Linnemann said, “I have appreciated the opportunity to work with a great group of our local leadership over the past six months through a focused and successful national search process. I couldn’t be more satisfied with the recommendation of the committee to bring Mr. Connell on as our next President and CEO. Scott has a proven background of success and the right tools to lead our organizations into the future. We look forward to his start here and we welcome him to Killeen!”
Mr. Linnemann continued by saying, “Scott has spent years as a leader in the Texas economic development and chamber of commerce industry. Our committee is confident that he is the right person to drive us forward and we look forward to seeing what he does here.”
Mr. Connell’s 36 years in the Economic Development field was spent at the local level working in public and private sectors for small cities as well as major metropolitan areas. He has worked with companies that represent a diverse array of industries including heavy manufacturing, technical manufacturing, life sciences, headquarters, back offices, light manufacturing, distribution, and start-ups. Some of the companies he worked to locate to communities include McKesson, Dell Inc., McLane Company, Stanley Tools, Pioneer Natural Resources, Niagara Bottling, Atos, among many others.
When asked his thoughts on being chosen for the position, Mr. Connell responded, “I am humbled and very honored to have been selected by a great group of leadership in Killeen. When I look at Killeen, I see a community that holds great assets and high opportunity for growth ahead. The local leaders are passionate about their city and want the best for the future of its people.” He continued, “I look forward to hitting the ground running with partners at the Chamber and EDC team to build on the community’s existing momentum.”
Connell holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from University of Texas at Austin. He also holds his CEcD (Certified Economic Developer) designation and is a graduate of the Advanced Economic Development Leadership program. Scott has completed additional professional courses in management, entrepreneurship, marketing and finance. He is a current member and former board member of the Texas Economic Development Council, a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers, International Economic Development Council, Industrial Asset Management Council, and several other member organizations. He was recognized as one of Consultant Connect’s 2015 North America’s Top 50 Economic Developers.
About The Killeen Economic Development Corporation
KEDC’s mission is to promote the development of commercial, industrial and manufacturing enterprises that promote and encourage employment and the public welfare. Members of KEDC work closely with the Killeen Industrial Foundation and the Greater Killeen Chamber of Commerce
About The Greater Killeen Chamber of Commerce
The Greater Killeen Chamber of Commerce provides vision, leadership and support to business and community leaders to create economic prosperity. The Greater Killeen Chamber of Commerce focuses on programs that achieve progress in the following areas: Business Development, Community Development, Economic Development, and Industry Councils.
Arkadelphia Regional Economic Development Alliance and Chamber of Commerce Announce New CEO
(Arkadelphia, AR) – After an extensive national search, the Arkadelphia Regional
Economic Development Alliance (AREDA) and Area Chamber of Commerce has named Shelley Short, IOM as the new CEO, beginning September 6th, 2022. Short brings over 15 years of economic development and chamber of commerce experience to Arkadelphia. Most recently she served over seven years as Vice President of Programs and Partnerships at the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce and Executive Director of the Arkansas Economic Developers and Chamber Executives (AEDCE) organizations. Prior to her work at the Arkansas Chamber and AEDCE she served more than nine years in multiple roles at the Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC), finishing her time at that organization as the Director of Marketing. In January, the search committee elected to work with The PACE Group, a Dallas, TX based firm that specializes in national economic development and chamber of commerce executive searches, to provide candidates for the committee’s consideration.
AREDA CEO Search Committee Chair, Dr. Wesley Kluck said, “It has been a pleasure over the past several months to work with an excellent group of local community and business leadership through a streamlined and ultimately successful national search process. I can say that I am very pleased with the recommendation of Ms. Short to be our organization’s next leader and am thankful to the board for making it official. Shelley Short has the best state and regional connections and a proven background of success. We are very excited to welcome her to Arkadelphia!”
Dr. Kluck continued by saying, “Shelley has lived and worked in Arkansas throughout her entire career. She loves our state, is passionate about our community, and I cannot think of anyone better to market Arkadelphia to businesses.” During her time at the state agencies, Short managed all marketing efforts including trade show participation, site location consultant events, advertising, website development, and communications related to both internal and external marketing of Arkansas as a business location destination. She successfully led the merger of Arkansas Economic Developers and Arkansas Chamber of Commerce Executives into one unified entity in 2016, now known as AEDCE. This created one of the only joint chamber and economic development membership organizations in the country. Ms. Short also worked on the public policy/political front helping to manage the effort in 2016 to pass a ballot initiative known as Issue 3. This Issue allows chambers and economic development organizations to contract with municipalities for services and project support.
When asked her thoughts on being chosen for the position Short responded, “I am honored to be selected by wonderful leadership in Arkadelphia and Clark County. They are passionate and committed to growing their community and region.” She continued, “I look forward to working with the Alliance team to craft a vision together that will bring prosperity and economic opportunities to all those who call Clark County home.”
Short holds a B.A. of Political Science from University of Central Arkansas and a M.A. in Political Management from Regent University. She is also a graduate from the University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institute as well as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for Organization Management. She holds membership is several economic state, regional, and national economic development and chamber of commerce associations, including Arkansas Society of Association Executives (ASAE) Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE), International Economic
Development Council (IEDC), Southern Economic Development Council (SEDC), U.S. Chamber of Commerce Business Leads Workforce Fellowship, and others.
About The Arkadelphia Regional Economic Development Alliance
The Arkadelphia Regional Economic Development Alliance (The “Alliance”) is an umbrella organization that oversees the chambers of commerce for Amity, Arkadelphia and Gurdon, the Economic Development Corporation of Clark County (The “EDCCC”) and the Clark County Industrial Council (The “CCIC”). The Alliance was formed pursuant to the Clark County Strategic Plan, a long-range visioning document created over a fifteen month period by approximately 500 residents of Clark County with the purpose of identifying and implementing comprehensive community initiatives that improve quality of life and economic opportunities for all residents of the county. The purpose of the Alliance is to bring about economic growth in Clark County.
About The Arkadelphia Area Chamber of Commerce
The Arkadelphia Area Chamber of Commerce is a business-driven leadership organization responsible for fostering the economic growth and development of the Arkadelphia area, to ensure that business, industry, and education may operate profitably, and to enhance the learning opportunities and quality of life for every citizen.
Roger Pavey announced as Executive Director at Western Illinois Regional Council and Community Action Agency
(Macomb, IL) – The Western Illinois Regional Council and Community Action Agency (WIRC-CAA) has named Roger Pavey as their new Executive Director after an extensive search with The PACE Group, a national executive search firm based in Dallas, TX. Pavey brings 30 years of experience in social work, community action, and nonprofit management to the area and will start work beginning June 20, 2022. Most recently, he served more than twenty years as Chief Executive Officer for Community Action of Eastern Iowa in Davenport, Iowa.
WIRC Board Chair and Executive Search Committee Chair, Kim Pierce said, “The WIRC and CAA boards are very pleased to announce Roger Pavey as the next leader of this important organization. I have no doubt that his experience, skillset, and leadership will help us improve our ability to serve the region and fulfill our mission.” Pierce continued by saying, “Mr. Pavey has built a wonderful reputation in the community action world and has left a strong positive impact on every organization he has worked with. We are excited to see him do the same here.” When asked about what led to his decision to accept the position, Mr. Pavey stated, “I was not looking to change positions when The PACE Group connected me with Western Illinois Regional Council and Community Action Agency. Every interaction with the staff and Boards of Directors made me want to join their team and to work with them for the people and communities of western Illinois. I’m honored to join WIRC-CAA and excited to work with the staff and volunteers to further the mission.”
During his tenure at Community Action of Eastern Iowa, Pavey led his program for over two decades in providing services for the communities in their area, including: home weatherization, family development and self-sufficiency programming, child care resource & referral, head start, early head start, among others. They also incorporated the principles of Results Oriented Management and Accountability (ROMA) to assure investments produce meaningful outcomes that advance the organization’s mission. Mr. Pavey managed his organization’s grant writing and was successful in attaining competitive grant rewards every year.
Pavey holds certifications as a Certified Community Action Professional (CCAP) from the National Community Action Partnership, a Family and Community Development Specialist by the University of Iowa School of Social Work’s National Resource Center for Family-Centered Practices, and is a trainer for the Results Oriented Management and Accountability (ROMA) certification program. He received his Bachelor of Science in Political Science from Black Hills State University, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude. He later worked a Post-Graduate Fellowship at Idaho State University and received his Master of Arts in Political Science from the University of South Dakota, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude. Mr. Pavey provides volunteer service for the Ecumenical Housing Development Group, served on the Iowa Workforce Development Financial Committee, and has been a member of the Board for Davenport Junior Theatre.
Arlington Economic Development Corporation
Announces New Executive Director Broderick
Green to Lead AEDC
Arlington, TX – December 1, 2021 – Arlington Economic Development Corporation announced today that after an extensive national search with executive search firm, The PACE Group, the organization has named Mr. Broderick Green as AEDC!s new Executive Director. He will begin on December 15, 2021.
“Broderick’s credentials, experience and personality make him an excellent leader for economic development in Arlington,” said Trey Yelverton, City Manager of Arlington. “He has demonstrated success in all facets of economic development, business development and community leadership. We are very excited to have someone of his ability leading AEDC. I am confident he will bring innovation and strategic direction that will be a true asset in the continued
development of the Arlington economy.”
Mr. Green has more than 13 years of#experience in economic development and leaves his position as Senior Manager of Economic Development for Amazon in Washington, D.C. in his move to Arlington. Prior to his time at Amazon, he led the business development efforts for the JAXUSA Partnership in Jacksonville, FL
“I’m incredibly excited to lead this new Economic Development Corporation.” Mr. Green said. “My passion for local economic development was sparked early in my career while rebuilding communities torn apart by natural disaster. Everything I have done since then has prepared me for this unique opportunity to get back to what I love most – serving people. I’ve been fortunate to experience the energy of this community and share the conviction that Arlington is ‘America’s Dream City’.”
Mr. Green obtained his Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of New Orleans and is a graduate of University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institute. He has been recognized by multiple economic development organizations for his innovation and impact on economic development including, DCI’s Rising 40 under 40 Star in Economic Development and Consultant Connect’s North America’s Top 50 Economic Developers List. In addition, he has received several recognitions for his work and impact in the communities he has served.
Mr. Green gave some insight into how he will begin his work by saying, “The foundation here is solid, but my immediate goals are to build AEDCs direction and work quickly to expand on recent successes. I’m ready to hit the ground running and look forward to partnering with local leadership to showcase
Arlington’s strengths as a place to establish or expand a business.”
Earlier this year, The City of Arlington and AEDC!s Board contracted with The PACE Group to launch its national search for the organization’s first Executive Director. As part of the process, the group spent a substantial amount of time with City leadership to understand AEDC’s focus for its search and evaluation
AEDC Board Chairman and President of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce, Michael Jacobson, said, “It has been my privilege over the past several months to work with the highly dedicated committee of AEDC board members and community leaders in leading a rigorous and efficient selection process. Broderick not only meets our expectations but exceeds them. The economic future of Arlington is in
AEDC is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to recruit business and industry, help local companies grow and generate quality job opportunities throughout the Arlington metro area. AEDC aids new businesses considering the area for expansion and new investment. AEDC also provides retention and
expansion assistance to existing industry.
Schenerlein Takes Helm at Wheeling Heritage
WHEELING — Scott Schenerlein knows all about hospitality and event planning, and he said those skills will help him succeed as Wheeling Heritage’s next executive director.
During this time, Schenerlein even collaborated with Wheeling Heritage on many events.
“I have been director of sales and conference services, and made contacts that are transferable,” he said. “All the parties and weddings come through our office.
“Hospitality draws a good parallel with what they (Wheeling Heritage) do and what Oglebay does.”
Schenerlein’s hiring comes as the organization embarks on a new strategic plan and is involved with many ongoing projects, including the creation of a subgrant program through the Paul Brun Historic Revitalization Grant from the National Park Service, renovation of the Wheeling Artisan Center and planning for a future Wheeling Heritage Center.
“The city is at a tipping point and poised for success, and it will be fun to watch the future unfold,” he said. “I am so excited to be coming downtown to be part of the organization.”
More than 50 candidates applied for the job of executive director at Wheeling Heritage, according to Walker Holloway, chairman of the board for Wheeling Heritage. Many of these came from across the nation.
Four finalists were selected from among the group, with three being local and one being from out of the area, he said.
“(Schenerlein) is a phenomenal leader and motivator,” Holloway said. “He is extremely energetic and excited to do the job. We’re happy to have him.”
Wheeling Heritage’s Board of Directors partnered with The Pace Group, an executive search and recruitment firm, to facilitate the recruitment and interview process.
“We feel very lucky that our search with The Pace Group led us to such a talented pool of qualified applicants,” Holloway said. “Scott was a standout candidate and we are thrilled to welcome him as Wheeling Heritage’s new executive director. His unique experience and enthusiasm will be instrumental in leading the organization into the future.”
He agreed that there is a hospitality link between what Oglebay Park tries to bring there, and what Wheeling Heritage tries to bring to downtown Wheeling and neighboring areas.
Much of Schenerlein’s role will be to partner with Ohio County, the city of Wheeling, the Wheeling Area Chamber of Commerce, the Wheeling Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Regional Economic Development Partnership, according to Hollway.
In early August, former executive director Alex Weld announced she was leaving Wheeling Heritage to become the executive director of Generation West Virginia, a statewide group with the goal of retaining and attracting more young people to the state.
Jay Frey, a Wheeling Heritage board member, assumed the role of interim director on Sept. 17. His temporary leadership gave the organization time to work with The Pace Group to find a permanent executive director.
Tupelo Airport Authority Names Joe Wheeler Executive Director at Tupelo Regional Airport
(Tupelo, MS) The Tupelo Airport Authority (TAA) Board of Directors today announced Joseph Wheeler as its new Executive Director, following an intensive nationwide search. Wheeler has 15 years of airport experience throughout the country. He currently works as the Airport Director of the Greater Lafourche Port Commission in Galliano, LA. He will take over as the TAA Executive Director on April 1st, 2021.
“The Board of Directors of the Tupelo Airport Authority is pleased to announce that Joe Wheeler will be our new Executive Director. We interviewed several top candidates located throughout the Southeast, and we found the best for Tupelo. The Board is impressed with Joe’s experience in airport operations, property management, and his history as a pilot. Joe is motivated by success and the Board is confident that his leadership will strengthen our airport’s positioning for the future. I am excited for everyone in Tupelo and the area to get to meet him.” said Eric Gibens, TAA’s Board Chair.
The TAA Board, comprised of Business and Community Leaders, worked hand-in-hand with The PACE Group, a leading executive search firm. A top-notch pool of candidates was developed, and finalists were interviewed by the Board over the last several weeks. Cliff Nash, the previous TAA Executive Director retired in January after 5 1/2 years with the organization. The TAA Board membership consists of Chairman Eric Gibens, Trice Webb, Bryan Hawkins, Scott Reed, and Steve McAlilly.
After he was informed of Wheeler’s acceptance of the position, Mayor Jason Shelton of the City of Tupelo announced “We are excited to welcome Joe Wheeler on board. His education, experience and knowledge of this region will enable Tupelo Regional Airport to continue providing excellent service to Northeast Mississippi as its main transportation hub.”
Mr. Wheeler holds a Bachelor of Commercial Aviation and Master of Commercial Aviation, both from Delta State University in Cleveland, MS. He is rated as a Commercial/Instrument Pilot and is a Certified Flight Instructor as well as Instrument Instructor. Wheeler also holds certifications from several additional aviation, commerce, safety, and operational organizations.
Prior to joining Greater Lafourche Port Commission, Wheeler served for four years as the Executive Director of Houma Terrebonne Airport Commission in Houma, LA and two years as Airport Manager for the City of Stevens Point, WI. He also served an earlier term with Greater Lafourche Port Commission as Airport Manager. Wheeler went to Wisconsin after beginning his career in aviation as a technician in Greenville, MS, contract pilot for the University of Mississippi in Oxford, and flight instructor in Cleveland, MS. Wheeler has served his entire career in aviation.
“My wife and I look forward to starting this new adventure in the Tupelo area. We are deeply humbled to become a part of the community.” said Wheeler. He also stated, “Working with the TAA Board has been an absolute pleasure, and I look forward to continually working with the board for many years come.”
The new TAA Executive Director will head up efforts to increase operational efficiency at the airport as well as encourage and support the economic growth of the Tupelo region. He will focus on developing and implementing TAA’s development marketing program, building relationships with commercial airlines, pilot recruitment, property management, and community engagement.
Albuquerque Economic Development, Inc.
Announces New President Danielle Casey to Lead AED Beginning October 2020
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – September 18, 2020 – Albuquerque Economic Development, Inc. announced today that aHer an extensive national search with Dallas-based executive search ﬁrm The PACE Group, the organization has named Ms. Danielle Casey as AED’s new president. She will begin on October 26, 2020.
“Danielle exceeded our expectations. She has the credentials, experience and poise to be an eﬀective leader for economic development in our community,” said Eric Weinstein, Chairman of the AED Board of Directors. “Danielle has demonstrated success in all facets of economic development and business. We are thrilled to have someone of her ability leading AED, and we are conﬁdent she will bring innovation and strategic direction that will be a true asset in developing the greater Albuquerque economy.”
Ms. Casey has more than 20 years’ experience in general management, economic development, municipal and regional nonproﬁt leadership, business development and marketing and communications.
“I am thrilled to be joining such an exceptional team of professionals under the leadership of an immensely committed Board of Directors,” Ms. Casey said. “Being chosen to serve in this important role is a true honor. I look forward to oﬃcially arriving in October, and getting to work. With the new realities brought about by COVID and an upcoming legislative session, there is no time to waste in capitalizing on our advantages. I am eager to roll up my sleeves and build on AED’s history of success in advancing regional competitiveness and generating new employment opportunities for the community.”
Prior to joining AED, Ms. Casey served as the Executive Vice President for the Greater Sacramento Economic Council in California. She also previously led the economic development eﬀorts for the City of Scottsdale and City of Maricopa in Arizona. Early in her career, she applied her bachelor’s degree in anthropology to fundraising and management roles at the Heard Museum of Native Cultures and Art in Phoenix.
Ms. Casey has a master’s degree in public management from Northern Arizona University, and earned her bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University. She is a Certiﬁed Economic Developer (CEcD) and a Certiﬁed Economic Development Finance Professional (EDFP). In addition, she is involved in industry organizations such as the International Economic Development Council (serving on its Board of Directors), Land Economics Society, Site Selectors Guild, Industrial Asset Management Council and CoreNet Global.
Ms. Casey said she is excited to be back in the Southwest. “Coming to Albuquerque for this role is not only a professional dream to me, but a personal one as well. Its rich Southwestern culture and history, limitless outdoor activities, amazing climate, and diverse and welcoming community are all reasons why I am thrilled to make it my new home.”
Earlier this summer, AED’s executive search committee contracted with The PACE Group to launch its national search following President Gary Tonjes announcing his retirement aHer 25 years with AED. As part of the process, the group surveyed a variety of stakeholder groups including members, board members, staﬀ, and public partners, which helped AED focus its search and evaluation eﬀorts.
“It has been my privilege over the past six months to work with a talented committee of AED board members and community leaders, leading a rigorous and eﬃcient selection process,” Weinstein said.
AED is a private, nonproﬁt organization whose mission is to recruit business and industry, help local companies grow and generate quality job opportunities throughout the Albuquerque metro area. AED provides conﬁdential assistance to businesses considering the area for expansion and new investment. Since its creation in 1960, AED has recruited more than 250 companies and more than 35,000 jobs to the Albuquerque metro area. AED also provides retention and expansion assistance to existing industry. For more information about AED, visit www.abq.org.
DCOA Announces New President and CEO
(Abilene, Texas) – After an extensive search, the Development Corporation of Abilene (DCOA) has named Misty Mayo as the new President and CEO, beginning August 19, 2019. Mayo brings over 25 years of economic development and corporate experience to Abilene. Most recently she served over four years as CEO at the Boerne Kendall County Economic Development Corporation (BKCEDC).
DCOA CEO Search Committee Chair, Paul Cannon said, “It has been my privilege over the past six months to work with a talented committee of community leaders through an efficient selection process. I can’t say that I have ever been more excited about recommending a candidate, and the committee is so very pleased that the DCOA has made it official. Misty Mayo has the education, experience and poise to be a great and effective leader of economic development in our community. The future is bright!”
Paul continued by saying, “Mayo has worked in Texas throughout her career. Before Boerne, she served nearly a decade in San Antonio as Executive Vice President at the Economic Development Foundation and has demonstrated success recruiting high paying jobs and increasing economic opportunity to Texas towns.”
“We are thrilled to have someone of Misty’s stature and economic development experience leading DCOA,” said Mayor Anthony Williams. “She will bring innovative and strategic direction that will be a true asset in developing the Abilene economy,” he continued.
During her tenure at BKCEDC, Mayo led efforts for the attraction of over 30 new companies, including a medical and retail office center, high end mixed-use development, a new national hotel facility and Buc-ee’s. She raised the national profile of the Texas Hill Country region to attract investments in healthcare, multiuse commercial and retail space and information technology. Operationally, she reorganized the organization’s structure and updated their branding, website and communications strategy.
While in San Antonio, she led the effort to recruit large healthcare and biosciences companies, as well as manufacturing, information technology, cybersecurity, datacenters and corporate headquarters to the Alamo city. She has led varied projects for companies such as: Becton Dickinson, Medtronic, Allstate,
Petco, CST Brands, Security Service and HVHC Vision Works. Mayo was also responsible for developing the local business retention and expansion efforts that focused on supporting existing company growth.
“The DCOA could not be more excited to welcome Misty Mayo as our CEO. We are very grateful to Charlie Dromgoole for so ably filling in as Interim CEO and to Paul Cannon and the search committee for the excellent work in locating Misty. She brings exceptional talents and experience to fill the position as leader of economic development for our community. With Misty at the helm of the DCOA and working with our economic development partners at the Abilene Industrial Foundation, Abilene Chamber of Commerce and the City, the DCOA Board is confident Abilene is poised for great things ahead,” said John Beckham, DCOA Board Chairman.
Mayo holds certifications from a variety of economic development organizations, including International Economic Development Council (IEDC) and Texas Economic Development Council (TEDC), as well as Business Retention and Expansion International (BREI). She holds a B.A. from West Texas A&M University and a non-profit management certification from Texas Tech University. She is a current Board Member of the Texas Economic Development Council.
She was active in the Kendall County community including serving as a Board Member of the Bandera Electric Cooperative Charitable Trust Foundation; Board Member of the Boerne Education Foundation; and as a Board Member of the Boerne Chamber of Commerce.
A native of Texas, Misty has lived in a variety of countries, states, and cities in Texas growing-up as an Army Brat. She and her husband, Ted, have three children and are excited about moving to Abilene.
The Mayo family will move to Abilene just prior to August 19th, at which time additional details will be released.
Located in the heart of Texas, Abilene, is able to provide generous incentives for new and growing businesses. The Development Corporation of Abilene (DCOA), formed in 1989, is a Type A municipal economic development corporation and works to help existing businesses grow and recruit new employers to Abilene who will create quality jobs and new business investment and opportunity.
Lisa Peck Selected as City of Hannibal’s City Manager
(Hannibal, Missouri) – The City of Hannibal is excited to announce Lisa Peck as the community’s next City Manager. The announcement follows an intensive executive search by The PACE Group.
“Lisa’s experience in city management and economic development was a big attraction to us.” said Mayor Jim Hark, “Lisa brings a proven track record of leadership and development of municipalities and I feel she will lead the City of Hannibal into the future that is in line with our financial and economic development goals,” continued Hark.
Third Ward Councilwoman Melissa Cogdal added “I am excited to welcome new leadership in our City Manager position. After much time, research, and consideration Mrs. Lisa Peck will begin her service on June 24th. Mrs. Peck brings new vision, ideas, and experience to the position. I look forward to working with her in serving the 3rd Ward’s needs as well as the needs of the community of Hannibal. The hiring process is a long and tedious one that was not taken lightly by the Council and I am ready to see the new leadership working together for the continued improvements and future projects of Hannibal.”
“I feel that Lisa’s interest in restoring older homes is a good fit for Hannibal as many of our historic homes and buildings can be found in the downtown and surrounding Central Park neighborhood area that I represent in my ward,” commented Mayor Pro Tem Dobson.
Peck comes to Hannibal from the City of Fenton, MO where she served as City Manager. She holds more than a decade’s worth of experience in city management and community development throughout Missouri and Illinois. Mrs. Peck has specific experience in community grant-writing, developing short-term and long-term plans for municipalities, and directing city staff to achieve set goals.
Hannibal’s new City Manager holds a Master’s Degree in Public Policy and Public Administration from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, completed coursework in Fundamentals of Economic Development & Fundamentals of Planning and Zoning at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, and earned a Professional Community and Economic Developer Certification from the Community Development Council. Some of her previous affiliations include the St. Louis Regional Chamber Economic Growth and Fiscal Policy Committee, the St. Louis Regional Chamber Infrastructure and Transportation Committee, the Leadership Council of the Southwestern Illinois Economic Development Network, the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), and the Illinois Federation of Business Women.
“I am very excited and appreciate the opportunity to join the professionals on the City of Hannibal’s staff,” said Peck, “I look forward to becoming part of the community and working with the Mayor and Council to continue moving Hannibal into the future while maintaining and enhancing the traditions that make this historic city unique and special.”
Peck will assume her new role in Hannibal on June 24, 2019.
New President and CEO Announced at Economic Development Alliance of Jefferson County, AR
(Pine Bluff, Arkansas) – The Economic Development Alliance of Jefferson County has named Allison J. H. Thompson as the new President and CEO after an extensive search with The PACE Group, a national executive search firm based in Dallas, TX. Thompson brings over 20 years of economic development to Jefferson County and will start work beginning 1 September 2019. Most recently she served over twelve years as Director of Economic Development at the City of Cedar Hill, TX and simultaneously the Executive Director of the Cedar Hill Economic Development Corporation.
Alliance Board Chairman, David Beck said, “The Board is so very pleased to announce Allison Thompson as our next President and CEO. I am confident she will help us to continue moving Jefferson County into a bright future and we are excited to see her start work.” Beck continued by saying, “Ms. Thompson has built a stellar reputation in the economic development world and has left a strong positive impact on every community she has worked with, we are ready to see her do the same here.”
Chuck Morgan, Executive Search Committee Chairman stated, “The Search Committee was proud to present Allison J.H. Thompson as our selected candidate to the Board for consideration as our organization’s next President & CEO. The national search process was rigorous, and we were presented with multiple candidates with excellent credentials and experience. I anticipate that Ms. Thompson will do an fantastic job for Jefferson County and I am excited to see her begin working in our county.”
During her tenure in Cedar Hill, Thompson led efforts to attract many new companies including names such as PepWare, idX Dallas, and Dallas Aeronautical Services while also helping several local businesses to expand. When asked her thoughts on taking over as President and CEO, Thompson stated, “From the beginning of the search process, I was impressed with the focused determination of the search committee. I am honored to have been selected by people who are passionate about growth in Jefferson County that benefits all who call it home.” She added, “I look forward to working with our team and strategic partners to strengthen alliances, advance strategic plans, and make the future vision a reality.”
Thompson holds certifications and recognition from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), the National Development Council (NDC), and the Industrial Asset Management Council (IAMC). She is a Certified Economic Developer, CEcD, and Fellow Member, FM, with IEDC, Economic Development Finance Professional, EDFP, with the NDC, and Mary Jo Hanover Award recipient from IAMC. Thompson received her B.S. in Criminal Justice from Texas Christian University and a M.A. in Urban Affairs from the University of Texas at Arlington. Active in many organizations, she is a current Board Member of the Texas Economic Development Council, North Texas Commission, and Chair Elect of the Best Southwest Partnership.
New Executive Director Announced at Barren County Economic Authority
(Glasgow, Kentucky) – The Barren County Economic Authority has named Maureen Carpenter as the new Executive Director after an extensive search with The PACE Group, a national executive search firm based in Dallas, TX. Carpenter brings over 15 years of economic development experience to Barren County and will start work beginning January 1st, 2020. Most recently she served over eight years at the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce as Vice President of Partnership Services and previously as Vice President of Economic Development.
BCEA Board Chairman, David Peterson said, “I’m very excited with the hire that we made and I think we’re going to move Barren County forward with Ms. Carpenter’s acceptance of this offer.” Peterson continued by saying, “I really look forward to BCEA being one of the best economic development authorities in the state of Kentucky, if not the United States. There is no doubt in my mind that Ms. Carpenter is the right person for this position at this time.”
When asked for his comments regarding the hiring of Carpenter, Executive Search Committee
Chairman, Larry Glass, stated, “Maureen Carpenter is a home-run hire for Glasgow Barren County as our next BCEA Executive Director. Maureen comes to us from the most successful Economic Development Engine in the Country at the Bowling Green Area Chamber. The BCEA is lucky to have someone as talented as she is.”
Ms. Carpenter has had face-to-face meetings with Mayor Harold Armstrong of Glasgow, Mayor
Dwayne Hatcher of Cave City, and Barren County Judge Executive Micheal Hale. The decision to offer the position to Carpenter was unanimously supported by the BCEA board.
After being asked his thoughts on the hire, Mayor Armstrong of Glasgow commented, “The hiring of the new director is another step in the right direction for Glasgow and Barren County. I think Ms. Carpenter will be a perfect fit and I look forward to seeing her on the job.” He continued.
“We are excited for her to bring her expertise to our community and expect that she will help us to increase our economic competitiveness regionally and nationally as well as help us in our constant endeavor to be a better place to live, work, and raise a family.”
When asked the same question County Judge Executive Micheal Hale stated, “Our county has gotten serious about economic development with the hiring of Maureen Carpenter. She comes from one of the better programs in the United States and she will be able to take us to the next level. We are excited to have her on board!”
“Maureen’s success with economic development in this region was a big attraction to us.” said
Mayor Dwayne Hatcher of Cave City, “Ms. Carpenter brings a proven track record of leadership in our region and I feel she will lead the BCEA into a future that is in line with our goals. She is an outstanding pick!”
During her tenure in Bowling Green, Carpenter led efforts to attract many new companies including names such as Bilstein Cold Rolled Steel, Constellium, and North Point Development. Overall, the chamber has closed more than $2.5 billion in business expansion and attraction projects and worked on projects expected to create more than 5,000 new jobs over three years with her leadership as Vice President of Economic Development. Over 324 new partnerships were developed in her time as Vice President for Partnership Services. When asked her thoughts on taking over as Executive Director, Carpenter stated, “There is great synergy throughout Barren County right now and I look forward to being a part of the positive changes ahead. I am very appreciative of the opportunity to serve the community as the new Executive Director of the Barren County Economic Authority and look forward to working with other leaders in the community towards economic growth and prosperity.” She added, “I would like to thank the executive search committee and board of directors of the BCEA for their time and commitment to the selection process.”
Chapman named as Executive Director of the University of the Virgin Islands Research Technology Park
(St. Croix, United States Virgin Islands) – The Research Technology Park Board is excited to announce Peter H. Chapman as the new Executive Director of the Research and Technology Park of the University of the Virgin Islands. The announcement follows an intensive international executive search by The PACE Group.
“Mr. Chapman was a clear choice to take the Research and Technology Park (RTPark) to the next level in growth and development,” said Edward Thomas, Chairman of the RTPark Board. “His national and international experience, knowledge of economic and community development, and his ability to manage and lead were the reasons we selected him from several great candidates.”
Chapman comes to the RTP from the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC), where he served as Executive Vice President for Business Development. In this role, he led execution of a sector-based strategy to encourage larger domestic and foreign companies to locate and expand operations in Detroit. An accomplished economic and community (re)development strategist and practitioner, Chapman holds over 20 years of executive leadership experience in several other U.S. markets including Boston, Nashville, Denver, and Virginia, and he has conceptualized and implemented a diverse array of award-winning and nationally-recognized projects and initiatives during this time. Among other successes, he reenergized and expanded DEGC’s business development function by establishing a high-performing team that facilitated approximately 4,600 new jobs through the attraction of companies such as Tata Technologies, Google and Microsoft.
Immediately prior to joining DEGC in 2016, Chapman served for eight years in cabinet-level municipal government leadership positions in Virginia’s urban cities, primarily as Deputy Mayor for Planning & Economic Development in Richmond, where he built and directed a team whose business expansion and retention efforts targeting global health care and pharmaceutical firms helped substantially advance the revitalization of that city’s central business district. Additionally, Chapman crafted and led key elements of Richmond’s anti-poverty initiative such as the East End Transformation, and the Center for Workforce Innovation. He also spearheaded Richmond’s successful bid to secure the 2015 UCI World Road Cycling Championship, which attracted 450,000 visitors and achieved an $86M regional economic impact. Chapman’s time in Virginia was also distinguished by an intense two-year stint in Norfolk, where, as Executive Director of the Economic Development Authority and Deputy City Manager (a dual role), his effort to expand and diversify the local economy resulted in the attraction of nearly 3,000 new financial services jobs, and establishment of an award-winning loan program—the Global Initiatives Fund—to support manufacturers engaged in overseas export activities.
Chapman also previously led the portfolio of economic and community development agencies for the City of Denver, Colorado, where he was responsible for a cumulative annual budget of $150 million, and some 400 employees. During his tenure he advanced urban reinvestment initiatives such as the nationally-recognized Mariposa transit-oriented mixed-income housing redevelopment, and the $1.5 billion, 970-unit Uptown Project, which helped expand the footprint of Denver’s downtown. He also served as the architect of an ambitious plan to strengthen the city’s infrastructure of economic development finance programs, which resulted in the city’s first allocation of federal New Markets Tax Credits, and the establishment of Denver’s first comprehensively-focused Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI).
Earlier in his career Chapman served in the economic and community development practice group at Cambridge, Massachusetts, based global consulting firm Abt Associates, during which time he authored or co-authored several well-regarded studies on urban revitalization for the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development and several national foundations.
Chapman holds a Master of Public Policy from Tufts University, completed Graduate Studies in Real Estate Finance and Political Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Wesleyan University. A New York City native with family ties to the Caribbean, he is an avid cyclist and runner, and a perennial student of urban history and policy. Chapman and his wife Gail are the proud parents of two kids, Evan and Alana.
“I am truly honored to have been selected to serve as the Executive Director for the Research and Technology Park,” Chapman said. “The RTP is a unique and vitally important institutional mechanism for attracting investment to the Virgin Islands, and I am excited about working collaboratively with the Board, the leadership of UVI, and other key stakeholders to advance the economic growth of the territory”.
Dr. David Hall, President of the University of the Virgin Islands indicated that “Peter Chapman’s background and expertise provides compelling evidence that the RTPark will continue to make a significant and defining contribution to the growth and enhancement of the University.”
Chapman will assume his new role September 5, 2018.
Kamal I. Latham Named CEO/President of the U.S. Virgin Islands Economic Development Authority
(St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands) – The U.S. Virgin Islands Economic Development Authority (USVIEDA) announced Mr. Kamal I. Latham, MPP as the new CEO/President, following an international search by the PACE Group. Latham has helped facilitate over $5 billion in economic growth throughout his nearly 20 years of combined experience as a non-profit executive, entrepreneur, Fortune 500 adviser, U.S. diplomat, and Wall Street financial analyst.
“Latham was the clear choice to lead the U.S. Virgin Islands Economic Development Authority forward. His extensive experience, great accomplishments, unique skill set, hard work ethic and compelling vision for growing the Territory’s economy set him apart from a very talented field of applicants,” said Mr. José A. Penn, USVIEDA Board Chair. “His mainland and international background will make him an invaluable asset to USVIEDA, which is charged with promoting economic development throughout the Territory,” added Penn.
The USVIEDA Board, worked hand-in-hand with The Pace Group, a leading international executive search firm specializing in economic development. A top-notch pool of candidates was developed, and five finalists were interviewed by the Search Committee.
“We had a very diverse group of national candidates who possessed great skills and experience. The high caliber of the applicants we interviewed really speaks to USVIEDA’s excellent national reputation within the economic development arena,” said Penn.
Latham advanced numerous successful initiatives during his career including facilitating over 70 business growth recommendations being adopted by local governments in Florida, designing a strategy resulting in millions of dollars in new revenue for a Fortune 500 company, helping negotiate a multi-billion dollar trade deal between the United States and China, securing European support for a multi-million dollar Middle East/North Africa investment program, and helping raise approximately one billion dollars in debt and equity capital for corporations.
“I am humbled and honored to have been chosen by the governing board to lead the U.S. Virgin Islands Economic Development Authority and work with its talented staff. It is an impressive organization with a great mission and reputation,” said Latham. “I am excited about partnering with stakeholders from the government, business, non-profit, education, civic, arts, and other sectors to leverage existing assets and further realize the Territory’s potential,” added Latham.
Born and raised in New York City, Latham earned a Master in Public Policy degree from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and history from Temple University. He has lived and worked in North America, Europe, and Asia and speaks Mandarin Chinese. Latham is a two-time recipient of the U.S. Department of State’s Meritorious Honor Award for his role in brokering trade agreements. He and his wife Jonnel have a son and daughter.
“The U.S. Virgin Islands has a rich cultural heritage with an industrious and skilled workforce. I am passionate about public service and look forward to facilitating job creation and economic opportunity Territory-wide,” commented Latham.
The USVIEDA CEO/President will spearhead efforts promoting economic development in the U.S. Virgin Islands by developing and implementing a comprehensive economic development program focused on business expansion and recruitment, small business incubation, business financing, industrial park development, neighborhood revitalization, and marketing.
About USVIEDA – The U.S. Virgin Islands Economic Development Authority (USVIEDA) is a semiautonomous government organization responsible for developing, promoting and enhancing the economy of the U.S. Virgin Islands. The USVIEDA is the umbrella organization under one governing board which assumes, integrates, and unifies the functions of the following subsidiary entities: the Economic Development Commission, the Enterprise Zone Commission, the Economic Development Bank, and the Economic Development Park Corporation. For more information visit www.usvieda.org
Northeast Missouri Economic Development Council Names Corey Mehaffy Executive Director
(Hannibal, Missouri) – The Northeast Missouri Economic Development Council today announced Corey Mehaffy as its new Executive Director, following an intensive nationwide search. Mehaffy has 10 years of economic development experience in Missouri. He most recently worked as the President of the Moberly Area Economic Development Corporation. He will take over as the NEMO EDC Executive Director on January 2, 2019.
“The Board of Directors of Northeast Missouri Economic Development Council is pleased to announce that Corey Mehaffy will be our new Executive Director. We interviewed four candidates located throughout the Midwest, but we found the best close to home. Corey’s experience and connections throughout the country have brought many projects to Central Missouri. The Board is impressed with Corey’s development of entrepreneurial programs and building relationships with existing companies. Corey is motivated by success and the Board is confident that his leadership will strengthen Northeast Missouri’s economy in the future. I am excited for everyone in Hannibal and the area to get to meet him.” said Hal Benedict, NEMO EDC President and Search Committee Chair.
The NEMO EDC Search Committee, comprised of Board Members and Community Leaders, worked hand-in-hand with The PACE Group, the leading executive search firm specializing in economic development. A top-notch pool of candidates was developed, and four finalists were interviewed by the Search Committee over the last several weeks. George Walley, the current NEMO EDC Executive Director is retiring after 17 years with the organization.
After he was informed of Mehaffy’s acceptance of the position, Mayor James Hark of the City of Hannibal announced “The City of Hannibal is very excited about the future of Economic Development with the newly selected Executive Director. Corey brings a very strong portfolio and a demonstrated performance record which meet the objectives and goals of the Northeast Missouri Economic Development Council. We look forward to what employment opportunities await in our future as well as building a strong workforce for those seeking to locate in our area.”
Prior to joining MAEDC Mehaffy served for five years as the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Central Christian College of the Bible (CCCB) and one year as the COO of L&J Development, Inc., both of Moberly. Mehaffy went to CCCB after serving as the VP of Operations for Pike Mechanical, Inc. and serving as the Director of Operations and Business Development for Arona Corporation, both of Des Moines Iowa. Mehaffy has held several senior management positions in a variety of industries from finance to retail while owning several businesses.
“I am honored to have been chosen by the Board of Directors of Northeast Missouri Economic Development Council for this opportunity to serve as the Executive Director. I look forward to working with the board as well as NEMO EDC’s partner organizations and economic development stakeholders in the area to showcase the many assets that the Hannibal region has to offer.” said Mehaffy. He also stated, “The bottom line is to promote investment within the region through the expansion of existing businesses, business attraction and entrepreneurial development. These investments lead to the creation of new jobs, increased tax base for taxing jurisdictions and municipalities, and diversification of the local economy.”
Mehaffy spent his formative years in Quincy, Illinois where he graduated from Quincy Senior High School. Following high school Mehaffy attended CCCB in Moberly before transferring to AIB College of Business and completing his bachelor’s degree from William Woods University. Mehaffy has completed several professional development programs including experience in Community Enterprise and Leadership Development, IEDC and University of Northern Iowa Heartland Economic Development Course, Association of Business Administrators of Christian Colleges Certification Program, McConkey-Johnson International Fundamentals of Development and Performance Measurements for Effective Management of Non-Profit Organizations from Harvard University. In the fall of 2010 Mehaffy graduated from the University of Oklahoma Economic Development Institute making him eligible to sit for the exam to gain designation as a Certified Economic Developer.
The new NEMO EDC Executive Director will head up efforts to encourage and support the economic growth of Northeast Missouri by developing and implementing NEMO EDC’s aggressive economic development marketing program focused on business expansion and recruitment, workforce support, image enhancement and economic development marketing.
About Northeast Missouri Economic Development Council – The Northeast Missouri Economic Development Council (NEMO EDC) is a 501c6 corporation established to provide economic development services for the Hannibal region, which includes Marion and northern Ralls Counties, and the cities therein. NEMO EDC is a Public/Private membership organization consisting of public partners including the City of Hannibal, Marion County Commission, Northeast Missouri Electric Power Cooperative, Hannibal Board of Public Works, and Hannibal Industrial Development Authority as well as small and large private companies in the region who are committed to growing the region’s prosperity. NEMO EDC is governed by a Board of Directors and employs an Executive Director. The organization is based in Hannibal.
The Alliance Names Clayton Stanley President
(Corinth, Mississippi) – The Alliance, Corinth and Alcorn County’s Economic Development Organization, today announced Clayton Stanley as its new President effective January 1, 2018, following an intensive nationwide search. Stanley, age 37, has spent the past 9 years as a lobbyist for Capitol Resources specializing in economic development, healthcare, manufacturing and education. In this position Clayton represented a number of Fortune 100 companies including several of Mississippi’s largest employers. Prior to joining Capitol Resources he served as president of Gateway Corporation overseeing the company’s importing, manufacturing, sales and distribution network across the US and internationally.
“Clayton was the clear choice to lead the Alliance forward. His experience, accomplishments, vast network of business contacts, skill set, work ethic and vision for Corinth and Alcorn County set him apart from a very talented field of applicants,” said Brian McCullen, Alliance volunteer CEO.
The Alliance Search Committee comprised of board officers, local elected officials and business leaders worked hand-in-hand with The Pace Group, a leading executive search firm specializing in economic development. A top-notch pool of candidates was developed, and the Search Committee interviewed the finalists the final week of October.
“We are excited to welcome Clayton to the position of Alliance President. He has history with and a love for Corinth and Alcorn County and will work extremely hard to bring new opportunities to our citizens. Clayton has the full support of the Mayor and Board of Aldermen and we are confident he will do a great job as Corinth and Alcorn County’s economic developer. We look forward to working with him” said Tommy Irwin, Corinth Mayor.
Alcorn County Board of Supervisors President, Jimmy Tate Waldon said, “Clayton has a great working relationship with our county, city and business leaders. His prior experience working with some of the state’s largest companies and the contacts he’s developed will be a huge asset as we move economic development forward. We welcome Clayton’s energy, enthusiasm and knowledge of Corinth and Alcorn County’s resources.”
Clayton earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from University of the South, Sewanee, TN. He volunteers for community and civic organizations including C.A.R.E., United Way, Commission on the Future of Northeast Mississippi, Magnolia Hospital Foundation and is an elder at First Presbyterian Church.
“I am honored to have been selected to serve in this capacity,” stated Stanley. “I have a genuine passion for Corinth and Alcorn County and I believe that working together with the city and county elected officials will be not only exciting but also extremely productive for the community.”
As Alliance President, Stanley, will head up efforts to encourage and support the economic growth in Corinth and Alcorn County by developing and implementing an aggressive economic development program focused on business recruitment and expansion, workforce development, and image enhancement.
New President and CEO Announced at Midlothian Economic Development in Midlothian, TX
(Dallas, Texas) – The PACE Group is proud to announce Kyle Kinateder as the new President and CEO of Midlothian Economic Development in Midlothian, Texas, effective Oct. 7, 2019. The announcement follows a national search conducted by the firm.
Kinateder previously served as the executive director of economic development for the community of Schertz, Texas, where he was directly involved in attracting and facilitating a variety of projects.
He is a graduate of Brigham Young University and received his Master of City and Metropolitan Planning from the University of Utah.
“Midlothian is a fast-growing community that has attracted several significant projects,” said Kinateder. “It has great neighborhoods, schools, parks, and easy access to the metroplex. Midlothian is the type of city in which I want to raise my own family.”
In his new role, Kinateder will lead business recruitment and retention efforts, as well as expand workforce development initiatives and additional strategies for long-term economic prosperity.
“I’m honored to be selected by the Midlothian Economic Development Board to serve in this position,” said Kinateder. “The Board has been instrumental in positioning Midlothian for future growth opportunities. I look forward to working with them as we attract new companies that will further define our community.”
The MED Board of Directors formally announced Kinateder’s selection to the Midlothian City Council on Sept. 10, 2019.
“Our experience with The PACE Group was outstanding,” said Wayne Shuffield, MED chairman of the Board, “Anthony Michelic brought us an excellent group of finalists to interview and they exceeded the expectations of our stakeholders. This firm communicated clearly with us throughout the process and they sold candidates on the benefits of living and working in our community. We are excited that Kyle Kinateder will be our next President and CEO and I see a great future for our organization with him at the helm!”
Partnership Board Announces New President/CEO Matthew L. Prochaska Appointed After Nation-wide Search
(Research Valley, Texas) – The Research Valley Partnership, the regional economic development corporation, today announced the appointment of Matthew L. Prochaska as President and CEO effective September 1, 2017. Prochaska was selected after a fivemonth nationwide search.
“The Partnership’s search for a new Chief Executive was comprehensive and thorough,” said Casey Oldham, Chairman of the Partnership’s Board of Directors. “I applaud the work of the members of the search committee for their deliberate work to find a new President/CEO with Matt’s background and qualifications. Matt has a proven record of leadership, character and public service. He will prove to be a transformative leader for the RVP and I am confident he is the right choice during this especially important time in the Partnership’s history.”
“The committee worked with The Pace Group, a leading executive search firm specializing in economic development,” said Michael Beckendorf, Immediate Past Chairman of the Partnership’s Board of Directors and Search Committee Chair. “As potential candidates were screened and interviewed, Matt continued to stand out. He truly is an all-around excellent fit for the organization.
Prochaska comes to the Partnership with over 25 years experience in various positions in industry and economic development. Most recently, Matt served as the Sales Director for a California, growth based commercial furniture company 9to5 Seating. In industry, Matt served as the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Neutral Posture and National Sales Manager for Flexsteel Corporation, with prior executive experience in other commercial furniture companies including; Chromcraft Contract and ErgoGenesis. Matt has led successful teams in acquisitions, joint ventures and launched hundreds of new products in the commercial furniture industry over the span of his career.
In economic development, Matt served as a Board Member and Chair for the Tate County Economic Development Foundation in North Mississippi from 2008 to 2014 during which time he and the Board successfully recruited, launched, relocated and helped expand various companies to the area including, Carlisle SynTec, a commercial roofing material company, PKUSA, a Tier 1 Auto supplier, Calbe North America and BMW. Matt also worked with the Mississippi Community College system at Northwest Community College to enhance and support workforce development programs such as the John Deere Technology Program.
“I am delighted to join the Research Valley Partnership and serve the community in this new role,” said Prochaska. “The Partnership has a track record of growth, a strong team and a very supportive and proactive Board. I look forward to working with Brazos County, both cities, Texas A&M, Blinn and all of our partners to aggressively accelerate job growth in our area through collaboration with the Partnership.”
Prochaska received both his Master of Arts and Bachelor of Arts degrees in Speech Communication from Texas A&M University with emphasis in international business development. He is married to Merrilee Derrick Prochaska and has two children, AnneMarie and Joshua.
About The Research Valley Partnership – The Research Valley Partnership is a public-private economic development corporation serving the citizens of Brazos County, Texas. The Partnership pursues economic growth in the county without regard to jurisdiction through its programs, services and initiatives to help launch, grow and locate companies in Brazos County.
Secretary of Commerce & AEDC Executive Director
(Little Rock, Arkansas) Gov. Asa Hutchinson appointed Michael “Mike” Preston executive director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC) in March 2015 and Secretary of Commerce July 2019. Preston is highly regarded as a leading advocate in economic development.
Over the years, Preston has made successful business recruitment trips to Japan, China, France, Germany, Israel, Cuba, Mexico, Italy, United Kingdom, New York City and Silicon Valley. The trips continue to play an important role in the state’s economic development efforts and have led to more than 451 projects with companies signing agreements with AEDC to locate or expand in Arkansas. These companies are investing $9.24 billion and creating more than 19,794 new jobs.
Before joining AEDC, he served six and a half years as the Vice President of Government Relations for Enterprise Florida, the state’s primary economic development organization. During his tenure at Enterprise Florida, he was part of the team that helped create more than 147,000 jobs, paying an average wage of $56,437, and generating $10.07 billion in capital investment.
In 2018, Preston was selected to join The Wall Street Journal’s prestigious CEO Council. It is an invitation-only group that connects some of the world’s most ambitious and influential leaders to discuss the issues shaping the future. The members lead companies that collectively employ more than eight million people, generate $2.9 trillion in annual revenue, and represent 20 countries in a wide cross section of industries.
A 2005 graduate of the University of Florida, Mike and his wife Anne – along with their young son Pierce – are proud to call Arkansas home. They both volunteer in the community in a variety of ways, including the Children’s Advocacy Centers of Arkansas and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.