The Charleston Area Alliance is a regional economic development, chamber of commerce and community development organization serving the State of West Virginia’s capital city of Charleston and Kanawha County along with the broader regional marketplace. The organization has almost 500 private, public and nonprofit investors who support the Alliance’s efforts to create a more vibrant community and prosperous economy. The Alliance is focused on local business growth, job creation, innovation and attracting industry to the region along with fostering an enhanced quality of life. The Charleston Area Alliance provides a variety of programs and services for investors, members and for the region, including economic and business development, professional women and young professionals’ networks, small business innovation, workforce development, leadership, downtown Charleston community events, membership development and services activities. The Alliance’s affiliate, the Charleston Regional Chamber of Commerce, focuses on public policy and advocacy which includes formal endorsement of key issues and candidates for elected office. The Alliance operates on the first floor of a 70,000 sq.ft building and leases space to over 20 commercial tenants and new business ventures participating in their incubator program. With an 8-member staff, a budget of $1.7MM and a 36-member Board of Directors, the Alliance has a solid reputation on a regional basis. In addition to its important work in economic and business development, the Alliance also plays a pro-active role in the redevelopment of Charleston’s downtown core. Website: www.charlestoneareaalliance.org
The President & Chief Executive Officer of the Charleston Area Alliance reports to the Chair of the 36-member Alliance Board of Directors. The Alliance Executive Committee meets monthly and the full Board meets bi-monthly. The Alliance Board includes 5 ex officio members representing public sector partners. The members of the Alliance Board also serve as the Board of Directors of the Charleston Regional Chamber of Commerce. This executive will directly supervise an 8-member staff and interact with public and private sector leaders and organization partners throughout the region and state. The CEO is responsible for inspiring and leading a diverse team of economic and civic development professionals, while building sustainable, direct relationships with business executives, local and state economic development offices, federal, state and local government officials and community leaders. The CEO must inspire trust, build consensus and meet deadlines. This executive oversees the planning, coordination and implementation of strategic economic development projects, Chamber of Commerce activities and downtown redevelopment efforts. In addition, the CEO is charged with identifying existing area business and/or industry that can be expanded with appropriate assistance, resources and planning. This individual strategically targets and courts new business sectors to diversify the Charleston region’s economy and assists government officials and other partners in creating a better economic environment for existing and new businesses.
Challenging but exciting opportunity for an economic development, chamber of commerce, association, or perhaps private sector executive to lead and expand an organization committed to the success and growth of the Charleston region. The CEO will inherit an enthusiastic, experienced, and dedicated Chamber staff and a committed and influential Board of Directors. The level of collaboration between the private sector and public sector is also strong. Widely recognized as the “go to” business organization in the region, the Alliance is well regarded and, as such, the new CEO can have tremendous influence within the regional community. This CEO position represents a leadership opportunity to bring the organization to “the next level” along with an exciting role in defining the region for years to come.
Charleston is the capital city of West Virginia and the most populous city in the state with over 46,000 residents. It is also the county seat of Kanawha County, with over 208,000 residents and a 3-county MSA of over 250,000. The community is the economic engine of the region and key industries include government, business services, chemicals, natural resources and energy, hospitality and recreation. Some of the region’s largest employers include Charleston Area Medical Center, State of West Virginia government, Toyota, Dow Chemical, Frontier Communications. Charleston is the regional hub for business, education, healthcare, retail, financial and professional services and entertainment. Charleston and the Kanawha Valley are in the beautiful Appalachian Mountains, close to scenic mountains, state and national parks, and pristine rivers. It offers world class recreation, a favorable business climate, a workforce of over 440,000. Three interstate highways run through Charleston, which is along the Kanawha River. Arts and culture include art and history museums, galleries, a variety of community festivals, restaurants, ballet, opera, and thriving theatre. The educational environment includes outstanding public, private and parochial schools along with University of Charleston and West Virginia State University, along with BridgeValley Community and Technical College and Marshall University Graduate School that enroll over 20,000 students.
Candidates may come from a variety of professional backgrounds. Persons with 5 to 10 years of experience serving as a senior executive of a comparably sized, complex multi-constituency economic development organization, chamber of commerce, or related significant business association, or economic/community development-focused organization may be advantaged. Persons currently serving at the COO level or as a “#2” at a similar organization and professionally prepared to step up to the CEO-level position may find this role of considerable interest. Executives from complex private or public sector entities with proven general management experience in significant. corporate development/marketing/sales role where advocacy and constituent leadership is clearly evidenced may also be considered. A Bachelor’s degree is expected; an advanced degree is valued. Persons with a demonstrated commitment to continued professional development through the U.S. Chamber Institute for Organization Management, Economic Development Institute of the University of Oklahoma, Certified Economic Developer or Certified Chamber Executive designation may be advantaged.
About Charleston (WV) Area Alliance c/o Waverly Partners
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