Ashtabula County (To be completed by end of 2016)

 

In August 2014, I assumed the role of CEO of the Growth Partnership for Ashtabula County, the lead economic development organization for Ashtabula County. Growth Partnership is a private nonprofit corporation, formed in 1990 to increase economic vitality and prosperity in Ashtabula County communities. I stepped away from a successful consulting practice to take on this assignment as a career capstone experience, allowing me use my skills and knowledge to help a county with great development potential, which has been struggling over the past two decades to jumpstart new growth. Ashtabula County is a predominantly rural county in Northeast Ohio, which ranks as one of Ohio's most impoverished counties. It represents the perfect laboratory to test new approaches to developing rural businesses and communities.

 

Key accomplishments thus far include:

 

  • Over the past 2.5 years, catalyzed $200 million in new business investment which created 675 new local jobs.

  • Equipped the organization with a new strategic plan (Forward Ashtabula County).

  • Reorganized operations in line with the new plan.

  • Strengthened board leadership (younger and more diverse board now).

  • Built new partnerships with local organizations (cities, county, port, leadership, arts, etc.)

  • Strengthened working ties with Team NEO, JobsOhio, and other regional development groups.

  • Organized workforce solutions to strengthen manufacturing growth in the county.

  • Created a blog to raise community awareness about economic development.

  • Created a local economic development training program, which has trained over 100 people in the county.

  • Built an economic and community dashboard to monitor the economic base and local communities.

  • Organized 7 roundtables (500 people participated) to engage the community about building collective impact for economic development.

  • Adopted performance metrics to measure progress and success by the organization.

  • Created an economic and community dashboard for Ashtabula County, which is used widely.

  • Adopted a new tiered investor model and strengthened the organization's funding base.

  • Built a new information-driven website for the organization, which includes an economic development marketing portal.

  • Created the Entrepreneurial Business Action Team (EBAT) to strengthen existing and new entrepreneurial businesses in the county.

 

Growth Partnership Website: http://www.ashtabulagrowth.com/

Growth Partnership Blog: https://growthpartnership.wordpress.com/

Ashtabula County Dashboardhttp://www.ashtabulacountydb.com/

 

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Donald and Mary Iannone

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