The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

January 17, 2014

Brian Anderson steps down as Growth Partnership head

Star Beacon

JEFFERSON — Growth Partnership Executive Director Brian Anderson will step down from the position at the end of the month, the organization announced Wednesday.

Scott Strayer, Growth Partnership president, said the organization has been looking at its strategic direction over the last six to nine months and trying to determine what it can do to take the next step in economic development for the county.

“During Brian’s tenure as executive director, the Growth Partnership has made significant progress increasing business and employment opportunities in the county,” he said. “After several weeks of discussions, Brian and the board agreed that this change is a necessary first step in transforming the Growth Partnership into an organization that can compete to attract new business not just from the region, but from across the country and around the globe.”

Strayer said when Anderson came on board three years ago, he did a good job. During the last several months, the organization has been looking back at the last three years and asking what it can do better, he said.

“We felt it was a good time to transition,” he said.

Anderson said, from both a personal standpoint as well as the organization’s standpoint, it just felt like the right time.

“I’m pleased with what we’ve done over the past three years,” he said.

Anderson said continuing to improve the workforce development in the county will be a very important issue for the organization, moving forward.

Anderson will continue through the end of the month in his current role and provide transitional support during the search for a new executive director, Strayer said.

Anderson said there are a number of projects he will help see through to the finish line before moving on to the next phase in his career.

Anderson said he has been exploring a few options for himself, but has no definite plans at this point.

“I’m excited to see what’s next for me,” he said.

Anderson became executive director of the Growth Partnership in December 2010. The organization’s accomplishments during his tenure include: 550 jobs created, 1,250 jobs retained and $145 million in capital invested through the organization’s support or contribution to projects; recognition by Site Selection Magazine as a top area for business investment and expansion in both 2011 and 2013; recognition by Team NEO with a Plus Award for expansion and retention efforts; implementation of a business retention and expansion program; increased the emphasis of workforce development; development of a new, updated website; increased outreach via e-mail marketing and social media; and, served as the local economic development organization for Ashtabula County in the JobsOhio Network.