Regional development agency seeks CEO

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By Bill Seymour, Republican-American

WATERBURY — The Naugatuck Valley Regional Development Corp. is seeking a permanent chief executive officer to lead the agency and promote the region.

The Naugatuck Valley Regional Development Corp. is responsible for drafting and pushing large-scale economic development efforts with multitown benefits and involvement. Waterbury and Naugatuck launched the new agency earlier this year. It’s built on the skeleton of the Naugatuck Valley Development Corp., a nonprofit that had, until 2005, served as Waterbury’s development agency.

Volunteer CEO Michael O’Connor, who is helping direct the agency during the transition, said the agency is seeking someone with a broad-based background.

“We don’t want to be married to simply traditional economic development, we’re not against that,” O’Connor said. “We think there will be people with significant business acumen who will be interested in this.”

In its job posting, the agency said that the CEO will be responsible for business attraction, retention and expansion for the region to help provide employment opportunities and taxable capital investment for the community.

“This represents an extraordinary opportunity for a leader in business or economic development to partner with a committed and resourceful board of directors in guiding the NVRDC to success,” the agency said, noting it was casting a wide net for candidates with an interest in the region and committed to success of the projects the agency undertakes.

O’Connor was more direct about the ideal person for the job that will pay $125,000 to $175,000 annually. The application deadline is Aug. 15 and the agency hopes to hire a candidate by Labor Day.

“The kind of person that would be good is a hard charger, knows public policy, has ability to plan and has ability on the executive level to oversee multi-phased programs and projects,” he said. “They have to be robust and strong skilled in development as well as interpersonal skills and communications, whether talking to civic groups or developers.”

O’Connor said that the job will require the leader to understand the necessity of relationship-building within the community as well as throughout the state with any partners to make the agency a driver for economic value to the region.

In addition, the person will be the chief cheerleader talking about reasons the region is a good investment opportunity for any kind of company and tout the region as a prime location for business development compared to other places in the state, he said.

According to the job posting, the CEO’s major responsibilities will also include: developing a strategic plan advancing both the success of the NVRDC as an organization and the region; creating a robust and ongoing set of marketing prospects; managing large scale development projects with regional impact; leading the development and implementation of tools to advance regional community, business and economic development goals; spearheading the marketing and recruitment effort for the regional business community; crafting key metrics and actionable priorities for the organization.