VIDEO: GREDF touts experience in Wagner's selection
2 months ago
New GREDF president comes from Lima, Ohio
The Great River Economic Development Foundation introduced its new face to the Quincy community Wednesday morning.
Several business and community leaders gathered in the lobby of the Oakley-Lindsay Center for a meet and greet with Marcel Wagner, who becomes the first new GREDF president in 27 years following Jim Mentesti's retirement last year.
Phil Conover, a businessman and former GREDF board chairman, has served as the interim GREDF chief since the retirement of Mentesti, who finished a consulting role with the organization last month.
Wagner, 64, comes from Lima, Ohio where he spent the past 21 years with the Allen Economic Development Group, most of it as its president and CEO before leaving in January.
An 11-member search committee recommended Wagner's selection to the GREDF Board. Tim Finlay, chairman of the GREDF Board headed the search committee and the selection was made last week.
"He stood out among the strong pool of local and national candidates we had," Finlay said. "Marcel was a proven leader in economic development. He has experience with a lot of different projects that can compliment our region."
Wagner was also a finalist for an economic development position in Iowa City, Iowa last month.
According to GREDF, During Wagner's tenure with the AEDG, Wagner developed and implemented a regional marketing plan and targeted industries marketing program, established a Foreign Trade Zone, oversaw the development and sale of 5 spec buildings, participated in the start up of two entrepreneurship centers and administrated a private loan fund, among other activities. During his time at AEDG, the organization assisted in over 105 industrial and commercial projects creating 6,300 jobs, retaining 3,500 at-risk jobs and representing $3.2 billion in new capital investment.
GREDF touts one example of his work was his involvement in the development and construction of the 1.2 million square foot Proctor and GambleDistributionCenter, one of the largest fully automated logistics center in the world.
"Today we welcome Marcel, who we know with his vast amount of experience and the similarities between where he is coming from and what we have to offer here in the Gem City, he will do a terrific job for us," said Quincy Mayor John Spring, who was on the search committee.
"After six months...we did our due diligence," said GREDF Board member and search committee member Mike McLaughlin. "Marcel just stood out. His community involvement was a real fit for the Quincy and Adams County area."