August 1, 2014

Growth Partnership for Ashtabula County names new leader

JEFFERSON — After an extensive search, Growth Partnership for Ashtabula County has named a new executive director and chief executive officer.

Donald T. Iannone takes over leadership of the firm today.

“I’m very much looking forward to this opportunity,” he said. “It will be an exciting job.”

With the assistance of Jorgenson Consulting, the Growth Partnership’s Executive Search Committee unanimously selected Iannone as its top choice for the job. The committee has been looking for a new leader for more than six months.

Iannone is a native Ohioan, having been born and raised in eastern Ohio. He currently resides in Bratenahl with his wife.

With a background in economic development, Iannone brings more than 30 years of experience with him. Much of his experience was gained working as a practitioner as well as from running his own economic development consulting firm for the past 14 years, he said.

He has served economic development clients across the U.S., including many rural and urban clients in Ohio. Since late 2011, Iannone has also served as Sourcing Office Inc.’s CEO and executive director. Sourcing Office is a statewide council of governments working to increase collaboration among local governments and speed the adoption of cost-saving innovations within a public sector.

Iannone has prepared a number of economic development studies and plans for the administrations of four former Ohio governors: Strickland, Taft, Voinovich, and Celeste.

During his career, Iannone has consulted with several federal government agencies, including the Department of Labor, Department of Commerce and Department of Interior, as well as the Environmental Protection Agency.

Iannone said he will be working closely with the Growth Partnership Board of Trustees as well as the executive committee to develop a 90-day plan for the organization.

He said there are two primary components to Growth Partnership: Working with companies, including new companies looking to move into the area, as well as those that area already established; and, strengthening the competitiveness of Ashtabula County by working on things such as workforce and infrastructure.

Iannone said his goals include to work on marketing the county in a more systematic and integrated way and to work on securing investment in the county.

“I think that’s really the core and agenda of what I’ve been asked to do,” he said. “It’s going to be about innovative and workable ideas to bring everyone together and increasing the prosperity of the residents and workers in the county.”

Scott Strayer, president of the Growth Partnership’s Board of Trustees, said he is confident that the organization has found the right leader.

“This hire represents a positive step in achieving Growth Partnership’s strategic plan and leading and supporting Ashtabula County’s efforts in economic development, he said. “Mr. Iannone’s background with enhance our ability to build local and regional collaboration and teamwork for economic development and gain improved business investment and job creation results for Ashtabula County.”

Strayer said the organization has a great deal of work ahead as it works as a team to enhance Ashtabula County’s brand for economic development and increase investment in the county.

Iannone said he is very excited about joining Growth Partnership and helping the organization’s members and community partners achieve their vision and goals.

“The Growth Partnership and Ashtabula County will move forward through coordinated and focused strategic investment by its public and private sectors in the county’s development resources,” he said. “Initially in developing the ‘right’ workforce and infrastructure that existing and new businesses need to grow, marketing the county to the right mix of businesses and industries, and making an ongoing commitment to continuous improvement based upon experience and experimentation with new ideas.”

Iannone will replace Brian Anderson, who has been Growth Partnership’s leader for the past three years. Anderson stepped down in January, but has remained in his current role throughout the search for a new director.

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