Search Profile - President & CEO

May 08 2017

To download a copy of the President & CEO Search Profile and Questionnaire click here

About Solano County

Solano County is the perfect location for companies seeking space to expand and scale their operations while staying close-in to the Bay Area and Sacramento markets and minutes from Napa.

Solano County is located on I-80, the major transportation corridor. Solano County is known for its manufacturing strength, one of the largest in the north state in advanced manufacturing, food and beverage and bio-tech companies.

With seven incorporated cities, four with waterfront cities, Solano County offers exceptional value to these scaling businesses:

  1. 21 business and industrial parks with over 6,700 acres, overs 1,000 Tier 1 shovel ready sites;
  2. 2.0 million sq. ft. of available industrial, flex and warehouse space;
  3. One of the strongest manufacturing bases of advanced materials, biotech and food & beverage, $4 billion industry;
  4. 1.3 million workers within a 40-mile labor shed;
  5. 107,000 out-commuting per day with high occupational quotation in manufacturing and administration;
  6. Employees earn high rating of productivity from manufacturing firms – 4 out of scale of 1-5 with 5 being the highest;
  7. 15-20% less operating cost than San Jose or San Francisco- with industrial space up to 40% less operating cost;
  8. Sacramento and Bay Area markets and resources within a 50 mile radius – 1-80 plus 5 other corridors;
  9. Affordable diverse lifestyles – housing cost average 50% less than Bay Area;
  10. A team of professionals to assist a business with a speedy location and access to key resources for a smooth transition.

About Solano Economic Development Corporation

The Solano Economic Development Corporation (EDC) is a public-private, nonprofit, dedicated to the economic growth of Solano County – scaling local traded sector industries, attracting new jobs and investment and maintaining competitive advantages for both existing and new businesses.

Working alongside private and public sector partners, the EDC provides confidential location assistance to new businesses seeking to locate in Solano County. Pulling from the large and diverse portfolio of buildings and sites throughout the county, the EDC will prepare a comprehensive package of space opportunities, workforce and other resources that will assist the business in their decision process. The EDC will connect businesses with key contacts at cities to facilitate location and permitting, workforce development and education, financing, as well as local, state and federal incentive programs, such as energy savings.

The Solano EDC with leading businesses, County of Solano, Cities of Benicia, Dixon, Fairfield, Rio Vista, Suisun City, Vacaville, Vallejo, Travis Air Force Base, education, community organizations, and foundations, all are working together to foster, support and drive positive change and economic growth.

During 2016, the Solano EDC guided the development of a countywide economic development planning effort, Moving Solano Forward II, www.movingsolanoforwardii.com. That body of work has resulted in the development of many tools and a roadmap for implementation of four interlinking initiatives, which are described more fully below:

Marketing and Business Attraction; Business Retention;Maintaining

Maintaining Competitiveness, and Creating a Resource Hub.

Moving Solano Forward II and those involved, have set a clear path to transform the EDC, grow key sectors that drive the $19.65 billion local economy and address industry challenges, such as workforce. There are well-defined outcomes for short-and long-term impact and metrics that can measure and demonstrate real-time progress.

Strategic Areas of Focus

Marketing and Business Attraction: Increase lead generation by creating and launching a unified business attraction campaign focused on key industry targets.

Business Retention: Coordinate Business Retention efforts through the Economic Development Task Force, host program software and marketing Solano Business First! as a key message and program in Solano County, and support key Solano industry groups.

Competitiveness: Work on products, assets, policies and tools that will ensure Solano County maintains its’ Competitive Advantage.

Resource Hub: Maintain a resource hub that includes a virtual one-stop clearinghouse where businesses can access data, research, industry reports, economic indicators and link to local resources and assistance (website).

The Position

General

This is a highly visible position which calls for a strong and dynamic spokesperson with a high level of confidence, who can address various constituencies at all levels in a thoughtful and genuine manner. He/she will be a motivator, team leader and builder, who can provide a forum where the public and private sector can complement each other and create synergistic opportunities. The successful candidate will embrace a collaborative approach with the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors, the Board of Directors and staff to foster open and honest communication.

This is an extremely hands-on role, requiring an experienced executive who enjoys working alongside staff and leading from the front, building relationships with businesses and municipalities, and building a high-performance organization that is collaborative and partners with complementary organizations.

Communication

The CEO will be responsible for communicating to a wide range of constituents including the Board of Directors, public, business leaders and employees. The CEO must be a proficient writer and a capable speaker. He/she must be at ease presenting information to all levels and must be able to communicate ideas, principles, and strategies in a clear and concise manner.

Leadership

The requisite characteristics of an effective leader at the Solano EDC include the following:
  • Ability to develop long and short-range strategic plans to promote the vision and mission.
  • Demonstrated experience in designing and implementing local, regional, and national marketing campaigns.
  • Understanding of the defined industry sectors including trends, risks, and opportunities.
  • Capability to excite and unite the diverse membership and to promote Solano County and its industries. The CEO must be a listener and a thoughtful participant in discussions that concern the members and the County as a whole.
  • Passion to lead discussion about important local and regional issues.
  • Initiative to drive strong operating results and determination to manage the EDC to achieve a positive bottom line.

Primary Duties:

  • Implement and manage the economic development program and initiatives as outlined in the Moving Solano Forward II Roadmap.  Strategic Areas of Focus listed above.
  • Ensure there is a continual focus on maintaining the presence of the County’s single largest industry-Travis Air Force Base.
  • Responsible for the overall management of the EDC, including regulatory and legal compliance as well as financial and operational success of the organization.
  • Responsible for planning, managing, directing, overseeing, and coordinating the activities of the organization and its programs.
  • Responsible for managing and reporting on all contracts and/or memorandum of understandings with public and private organizations.
  • Manage, with the Board of Directors, an investor funding strategy.
  • Implement business attraction initiatives that will result in leads and locations, jobs and investments, particularly in the trade sectors of Food/Beverage, Advanced Materials and BioTech/BioMedical.
  • Manage the Solano County Economic Development brand.
  • Perform a variety of complex professional functions related to the coordination, implementation, and monitoring of Business Development and EDC programs and special projects.
  • Manage communications, including Website and social media.
  • Perform and/or direct economic and other studies, needs assessments, research, financial analysis, as well as negotiation and preparation of contracts.
  • Present and translate technical economic reports and analyses.
  • Develop and manage organizational budget.
  • Work effectively with various groups, including high-level individuals.
  • Coordinate constituent relations and community outreach functions.

Behavioral Competencies

Drive for Results

  • Accountability to do what is appropriate for the long-term best interests of all stakeholders.
  • Determination to set and pursue aggressive goals.
  • Focus to apply energy on achieving short and long-term results.
  • Desire to inspire stakeholders at all levels to achieve outstanding collaboration that produces measurable positive outcomes through others.
  • Social and communication skills to build consensus internally, relate constructively with public and private partners and other industry leaders. Ability to act decisively and unilaterally.  (Needs to possess the judgment to know when to employ which method.)
Championing Change
  • Initiative to identify new opportunities and champion new initiatives.
  • Ability to be innovative, adaptable and solutions-oriented.
  • Capacity to manage change. (Adapts personal strategies and methods to achieve change.)
  • Ability to motivate, inspire and unite diverse groups at all levels.

Personal Characteristics

He/she will demonstrate diplomacy and excellent judgment, with the ability to operate effectively across the organization. Additionally, the desirable candidate should possess the following personal characteristics:

  • Passionate about doing the right and ethical things in the right and ethical ways
  • Balanced ego
  • Respectful and fair
  • Polished and comfortable in all environments
  • Strong interpersonal skills; can easily connect with a variety of audiences
  • Smart, articulate and comfortable responding on his/her feet
  • Listens well, synthesizes information and effectively engages in dialogues
  • Flexible in a changing environment
  • Membership-focused
  • Pragmatic approach to conducting business
  • Comfortable traveling extensively
  • Ability to empower employees by delegating authority and accountability
  • Effectively manage multiple projects

Knowledge of:

  • Ability to use computerized databases for project management; proficiency with Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and LinkedIn
  • Skilled in marketing, site selection analysis, incentives and deal structuring
  • Understanding of California and local incentive programs
  • Knowledge, skills, and experience in supervising and managing personnel
  • Thorough understanding of economic principles

Experience:

  • The ideal candidate will possess at minimum, five years of increasingly responsible economic development related experience and a Bachelor’s degree in a relevant discipline. An advanced degree is desirable. International/Foreign Direct Investment experience is valuable. Proven track record of successful recruitment, and conversion of project locations, and expansion of existing firms.

For more information about this exciting opportunity and Solano Economic Development Corporation, qualified candidates should send a cover letter and resume to Louise Walker, Chair of Solano EDC, lwalker@thatsmybank.com

Supplemental Questionnaire for Solano EDC President and CEO position

Thank you for expressing an interest in the position of Solano EDC President and CEO. As outlined in the Search Profile, there are four Strategic Areas of Focus that require a specific set of skills and prior work experience. Please complete the questionnaire and submit along with your resume. You may also provide examples related to your work experience.

Describe your experience in the following areas:

1. Marketing and Business Attraction

a. Attracting business from industry target groups like Biotech/Biomedical/, Food/Beverage and Advanced Materials including how you stay abreast of their needs.

b. Designing and implementing local, regional and national marketing and branding campaigns including use of website and social media.

c. Working with public and/or private employers.

d. Implementing a formal marketing and business attraction program requires a commitment of funding, please provide examples of your prior fundraising activities.

2. Business Retention and Expansion (BRE)

How will your experience will help collaborate, prioritize, focus and support business retention efforts in the County and specifically those surrounding Travis Air Force Base, the largest employer in the County?

3. Competitiveness

Describe how your prior experience would help you tackle potential challenges such as transportation or workforce and provide an example from your prior experience where you championed a strategic project that improved the welfare of others.

4. Resource Hub

What is your experience as a resource in the following areas?

a. Tracking and promoting real estate product opportunities

b. Infrastructure needs

c. Grant and financing resources

d. Assisting cities to access resources

e. Assisting with workforce challenges brings value to cities, county and businesses.

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