Economic Development Plans Announced 


GreaterFindlayInc. to become the
Findlay•Hancock County Alliance
John H. Haywood named President & CEO
Anthony P. Iriti named Economic Development Director

The Findlay•Hancock County Chamber of Commerce, dba GreaterFindlayInc. (GFI), announced its leadership team moving into 2011, along with plans to implement recommendations of the Economic Development Task Force.

Gregory R. Allen, Chair-Elect of GFI, said, “We are fortunate to have John H. Haywood, vice president manufacturing, Whirlpool Corporation, accept this leadership role.  John is a seasoned executive with over 30 years of experience.  He will transition into this role during the early part of 2011 as he retires from a 24 year career with Whirlpool Corporation; one of our country’s most successful manufacturers and one of the largest employers in Hancock County.”

Expressing his thoughts on the economic development director, Allen went on to say, “Tony Iriti has extensive experience working inside city and county government as the former Hancock County auditor and mayor of the city of Findlay.” 

As former mayor of the city of Findlay, Tony championed a community-wide visioning process that continues to be a relevant road map with significant economic development opportunities.  Iriti served as the President of The Northwest Ohio Flood Mitigation Partnership, Inc. The flood mitigation work represents economic development opportunity, and it is critical to future investment along the Blanchard River and downtown Findlay.  Iriti’s vision is to pursue economic development projects that enhance our community and showcase the Blanchard River. In his role with the partnership,  Iriti successfully obtained a $3 million grant from the state of Ohio used to purchase flood prone properties and to fund the many required studies to advance the flood mitigation project.  Iriti worked closely with the City of Findlay and Hancock County engineers, as well as state and federal regulators and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, to position the counties in the Blanchard River Watershed to benefit from a flood reduction project.   At the end of this year, Tony will transition the responsibility to advance flood mitigation efforts to the Hancock County Commissioners. 

Dionne Neubauer will continue to serve as the director of the Findlay•Hancock County Chamber of Commerce. Her primary focus is on Chamber member related activities.  She is also responsible for day-to-day administration of shared resources supporting Economic Development, the Hancock County Convention & Visitors Bureau, and the Chamber.

Angela Crist, director of travel and tourism, will continue to oversee and implement the Convention & Visitors Bureau arm of the organization.  Angela works closely with conference meeting and large event sponsors.

This new leadership team will implement task force recommendations in the areas of accountability and governance.  The GreaterFindlayInc. name will be dissolved, and the organization will be renamed “The Findlay•Hancock County Alliance (The Alliance)” to reflect the positive public-private partnership for which our community has been recognized in the past.  It also reflects the coordination and collaboration of: Economic Development, Convention & Visitors Bureau, and the Findlay•Hancock County Chamber of Commerce.

The GFI board continues to believe the existing structure, with the new personnel and strategy now in place, is the most cost effective for this effort.  It is also the best structure to ensure the directors of the Chamber and Economic Development organizations are coordinating their efforts.  For the same reasons, at this time, GFI does not support opening a separate high profile Main Street presence recommended by the task force.

“The Community Development Foundation, the original economic development organization, was merged under the Findlay•Hancock County Chamber of Commerce (Chamber) to eliminate duplication of administrative costs, better coordinate efforts between the two organizations and consolidate private sector contributions.  For the past 12 years, and now most recently known as the Economic Development Council, the economic development efforts have operated under this structure,” said Allen.

Allen went on to say that the GFI board acknowledges over the past several years, economic development efforts have been lackluster, and frustrated by turnover of its leadership and economic development directors.  Successful economic development efforts require coordination and collaboration amongst private and public sectors with adequate funding.

Moving forward, The Alliance will utilize a four-pronged approach to Economic Development in the areas of attraction, retention and expansion that include:

  • Courting businesses and organizations identified as attractive additions to the Findlay/Hancock County area.
  • Working to retain existing businesses and assist in their growth.
  • Continuing efforts to make our community a destination site for events, entertainment, travel, sports and other events.
  • Responding to economic development inquiries.
Members of the private sector look forward to the coming year  with a fresh outlook and a plan to advance the economic interests of the area. With a lingering recession, economic development has become much more competitive.  It is critical that the private sector, the city of Findlay and the Hancock County commissioners work together to advance the economic interests of our community.   The GFI board encourages participation of the elected officials in The Alliance and all of its activities. 

For more information, contact GreaterFindlayInc. at 419.422.3313, or email info@greaterfindlayinc.com
 

Click here for additional information on Alliance strategies, structure and implementation of Task Force recommendations.