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If you or someone you know may be interested in pursuing this position, please submit a cover letter and resume to: Becky Williams at becky@iastate.edu. Deadline for submission is Friday, January 5, 2018 5:00 p.m. Central Time.

Job Description – Executive Director, Iowa’s Cultivation Corridor

Iowa’s Cultivation Corridor is a cluster-based economic development organization focused on attracting investment, talent and research in the value-added agriculture industry to Central Iowa and the state at large. As one of only a handful of full-time cluster economic development organizations in the country, the Corridor is a pioneering public-private partnership of private industry, regional economic development, government and academic stakeholders working to make Iowa the world’s premier center of gravity for the agricultural bioscience, technology and manufacturing sectors.

Since 2014, the Cultivation Corridor has helped facilitate more than $737 million in new capital investment, helped create and retain more than 3,500 jobs and gathered more than 50 million media impressions around the world. The Corridor was a critical partner in launching the Iowa AgriTech Accelerator, the Iowa Ag/Bioscience Asset Portal, and advocating for the Iowa Biorenewable Chemical Tax Credit. View the 2016-17 Annual Report for more.

With offices in Des Moines and Ames, the Corridor executes across three work platforms: branding/marketing, economic development, and strategic innovation. The organization manages a national marketing campaign, maintains aggressive job creation/capital investment targets, and executes an aggressive plan to advance agricultural research and innovation by leveraging private and public assets, including Iowa State University.

Executive Director

The Executive Director is responsible for providing executive leadership, management and strategy and fiscal oversight of the organization. The director reports to one of the state’s highest-level economic development board of directors; CEO-level team comprised of top executives and leaders from across the state’s private, governmental, higher education and non-profit sectors.

By fostering engagement with wide-ranging network of stakeholders, director is responsible for directing ultramodern economic development effort reflective of a changing industry, including reliance on virtual teams, data analytics, platform-based methods and strategic alliances with key higher education institutions.

As a top statewide economic development executive, the director develops and manages relationships with dozens of constituent and stakeholder organizations and individuals, including more than 35 local economic development groups; local, state and federal government officials and administrators; statewide, national and trade media; higher education institutions; commercial/industrial real estate community; industry groups; and citizen organizations.

Specific Duties, Responsibilities and Essential Job Functions:

  1. Develops, plans, organizes and implements strategies to promote Central Iowa as an ideal location for ag-based investment, talent and research with site consultants, investors, business owners, organizations (public and private) and other targeted profiles.
  2. Coordinates a unified economic development and innovation acceleration effort with and among the Greater Des Moines Partnership, Ames Chamber of Commerce, Iowa State University, local economic development organizations.
  3. Coordinates a metrically-scrutinized national marketing and branding campaign designed to raise awareness of Iowa as a premier destination for ag-based investment, jobs and innovation.
  4. Leveraging relationships, technology and market intelligence, acts as a business recruitment and retention facilitator for agriculture and bioscience industries on behalf of the region’s economic development organizations.
  5. Represents the region at trade shows, conferences and speaking engagements domestically and internationally.
  6. Maintains an aggressive earned media plan designed to engender trade and general media coverage of Iowa’s value-added agricultural industry.
  7. Represents the organization at local, regional and statewide events, including frequent speaking engagements.
  8. Coordinates additional strategy related to public policy/government relations, and ag-based entrepreneurial development and support.
  9. Up to 25% domestic and international travel required.

Minimum Qualifications:

  1. A bachelor’s degree with coursework in economic development, planning, business or public administration or a related field, and ten years of increasingly responsible experience in economic development, planning and/or policy development or an equivalent combination of education and relevant experience. An advanced degree and/or current Certified Economic Developer status from the International Economic Development Council is preferred.
  2. Ten years of professional-level experience supervising or managing a complex organization is preferred.
  3. Must possess excellent interpersonal and communication skills to deal with public.
  4. Must be able to comprehend, speak, and write the English language.
  5. Must possess a valid U.S. passport and driver’s license.