OhioSE adds new team members


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Ohio Southeast Economic Development (OhioSE) has announced two new team members. The OhioSE lean team of nine grows to 11, allowing the organization to proactively work with the counties they serve to help them plan for future growth and support economic development opportunities.

OhioSE is the “boots on the ground” network partner of JobsOhio covering 25 counties in southern and eastern Ohio, working with regional companies, local economic development organizations, local development districts, local, county and state elected officials and other regional stakeholders to accomplish their mission of economic development throughout the region. OhioSE’s work follows the JobsOhio model by providing relevant incentives to companies that are creating jobs and making capital investments within targeted industry sectors.

To align with JobsOhio’s engagement strategy, OhioSE is adding two new managers of engagement and partnerships who will work with communities in the areas of planning and project development, as well as with regional leaders and stakeholders to strengthen collaborations.

The two new managers of engagement and partnerships will split the region, one working in the region’s eastern counties and the other in the south. They will work closely with OhioSE President Mike Jacoby and vice president Katy Farber, as well as with JobsOhio’s Senior Director of External Engagemen Glenda Bumgarner to set regional priorities and work closely with more stakeholders throughout the region.

“The addition of two managers of engagement and partnerships will further the OhioSE efforts to engage with stakeholders at all levels throughout the region,” said MarJean Kennedy, OhioSE Board Chair. “Together, we can work to develop and support economic opportunities that will have a positive impact throughout the Ohio Southeast region.”

Ed Looman, current eastern regional project manager, is moving into one of the two engagement positions, continuing to serve the easternmost counties of the region. Looman has been with OhioSE since its inception in 2012, and has established a large network of advocates across the region, making him a perfect fit for this new role. A second manager of engagement and partnerships will be added soon to cover the southernmost counties of the region.

Bill Arnett joined the OhioSE team on May 1 as eastern regional project manager, assuming Looman’s vacated position. Arnett has extensive economic development experience, working for the Zanesville-Muskingum County Port Authority, the Ohio Department of Development, Fairfield County Economic Development and thecity of Zanesville.

In addition to those two positions, Kara Willis joined the OhioSE team on May 16 as the regional talent manager, a position that has been vacant since March. Willis also comes to the organization with extensive economic development and work force development experience, previously working for the Ohio Valley Regional Development Commission, Rio Grande Community College and OSU South Centers. She was also a small business owner for 10 years.

“I am extremely pleased to have Bill and Kara joining our team,” said OhioSE President Mike Jacoby. “They are both experienced, hardworking and knowledgeable professionals who will help the region and its companies and communities advance.”

Submitted by Heather Church, OhioSE director of marketing and communication.

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