ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Few people could sell the strengths of Rockford better than Janyce Fadden, but now Fadden is leaving Rockford after handing in her resignation as president of the Rockford Area Economic Development Council.
Fadden will be moving to Northern Alabama to be closer to family. She tells us that's the reason she's made the tough choice to leave the RAEDC. Fadden hasn't set an end date and says that will depend on how fast a replacement is found. She says there's no great time to leave because there's always so much happening. However, the timing just felt right to leave now.
"Do you feel like you've left it in a good spot, a good situation. We're in a very good situation as a non profit but also I think our contribution to the community,” said Fadden. “It leaves our community in a better place and with some new initiatives that our going to advance this community."
There have been a lot of economic success stories in Fadden’s 8-year reign as RAEDC President. Yet, you don’t have to look too far back to find what Fadden highlights as her greatest accomplishment: Last summer’s expansion announcement that will bring 1,500 high paying jobs to the Stateline over the next 10 years.
"Woodward is certainly when you think about client projects especially when you consider the scope and scale of that project,” said Fadden. “And certainly on the Woodward project we pulled out all the political stops to make sure everyone was put on the table to make sure that they would be satisfied with staying here in our region."
Fadden is leaving behind quite the legacy. She joined the RAEDC in 2004 and is responsible for keeping and expanding businesses in the area and recruiting new companies. Over the past 8-years Fadden has contributed to the creation of nearly 19,000 jobs and $1.3 billion dollars’ worth of capital investment.
It's staggering numbers like those that help demonstrate why Fadden will be so sorely missed. We caught up with local leaders who say her replacement will have big shoes to fill.
"As much as we'll miss her certainly. I think we'll get to the right mix. We’ve gone too far with this organization the collaboration just within in this county has been terrific,” said Winnebago County Board Chairman Scott Christiansen.
“One thing we can be comfortable with, she has put together a really strong team to run the EDC. So, she will be greatly missed, there’s no question about it, but she’s really positioned it to continue to do good things,” said President of Rockford Area Realtors, Steve Bois.
So what comes next for RAEDC? We spoke with RAEDC Board Chairman Joel Sjostrom about how they plan on replacing Fadden. He said they will do a complete evaluation of how RAEDC is run, before conducting a nationwide search. Sjostrom says he would love to have someone in place by May 1st, but realizes that may be an overly optimistic goal. He also said that Fadden is willing to help in the transition.
"Janyce has been very gracious, in that she has said that she will stay for a while until we get our direction resolved and hopefully have somebody in place,” said Sjostrom.
ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- After nearly eight years as President of the Rockford Area Economic Development Council (RAEDC), Janyce Fadden is stepping down from the position. RAEDC Chairman Joel Sjostrom announced today that Fadden has officially resigned.
"I have considered it a privilege to lead the RAEDC, and I am proud of the many successes our team was able to accomplish during these eight years," Fadden said. "But I have come to the personal decision that I want to be closer to my family at this stage in my life, so I will be leaving Rockford. I depart knowing that the RAEDC and its related organization, Rockford Area Strategic Initiatives, are well positioned to continue making major contributions to building the region's prosperity."
"The board was extremely reluctant to accept Janyce's resignation," Sjostrom said. "We have always been extremely pleased with her leadership and results. Janyce's skill in building collaborations and in developing outcome-oriented and customer-focused strategies are the hallmarks of her leadership. I know that many in the region will share the board's mixed emotions. We are pleased that Janyce will be near her family but are extremely disappointed to lose such a remarkable leader and colleague. It is difficult to thank Janyce enough for all the skill and hard work she has contributed to the tremendous achievements we have accomplished together."
Under Fadden's leadership, the RAEDC created and implemented innovative approaches to strategic planning for economic development and sustaining funding to support the organization. Fadden facilitated a collaborative approach to regional economic development work. In eight years, the results of this collaborative work resulted in teh retention or creation of 18,700 jobs, $1,300m of capital investment and occupation of 13m square feet of development. Other innovations Fadden created or helped to create in the region include:
Fadden was a leadership force on numerous boards and committees in the region as well, including:
The Board of Directors at Rockford Area Economic Development Council is currently interviewing candidates to fill Fadden's position. She will remain on board while the board selects her replacement.
"The RAEDC board is very engaged in the work of economic development through our various committees, and we are fortunate that Janyce has built a very capable staff. We look forward to continuing to aggressively pursue our goals to build prosperity in the region," Sjostrom concluded.
We will have more on this story tonight on 23 News at 5 and 6.