MIDWEST PARTNERSHIP EDC DIRECTOR LEAVING
(STUART) The executive director of Midwest Partnership EDC, the economic development organization for the counties of Adair, Audubon, Greene and Guthrie counties, plans to leave next month to lead the Warren County Economic Development Corporation, headquartered in Indianola, Iowa. Executive director Jason White will start his new position on April 1.
“Jason provided incredible leadership to our west central Iowa counties,” said Mike Underwood, Midwest Partnership President. “The organization was at a low point when Jason started in May 2006 and he revived Midwest Partnership with a great deal of credibility regionally and statewide.”
Underwood pointed to the regional business retention and expansion program, the growth in agribusiness and manufacturing, and the partnerships built throughout the region as legacies of White’s work. Among the new companies that came during White’s tenure were the Flint Hills Resources and Louis Dreyfus ethanol plants, and the St. Gregory’s Retreat Centers. A few of the expanding companies were Bauer Built, Puck Custom Enterprises, St. Gregory’s, and Owner Revolution. Many businesses were supported by White on issues that ranged from regulatory concerns, financial restructuring, and workforce development. White also helped communities conduct site planning for industrial sites, which will help communities compete for projects in the future.
White also led a re-branding initiative to identify commonalities and linkages between the counties. The organization utilized strategic planning and cutting-edge technology in an effort to stay ahead of the industry trends.
“Midwest Partnership is an organization that means a lot to me. This decision was not easy.” said White. “It feels good to know, however, that the organization has a solid foundation for the next person who fills this position. Revenues have grown by 60 percent since I began, the organization is debt-free, and the board has great leadership with a plan of action.”
Underwood cited the recent “Silver Shovel” honor bestowed upon Midwest Partnership by the Iowa Area Development Group as evidence that the organization is heading in the right direction.
Underwood indicated that board-level transition discussions will begin at once and a search for a new executive director would begin immediately.