Economic Development Director

Scottsdale, Arizona, United States Full-time

The Position

The City of Scottsdale, Arizona, is seeking an experienced and innovative Economic Development Director to lead the organization’s economic development program. Named the best place to live, work, and launch a startup, the city’s progressive leadership has kept taxes low for both families and corporations and has been recognized as one of the nation’s best-run cities. Scottsdale has a diverse business environment, and in 2019, it was ranked the top city in the U.S. for jobs. With 20 percent of Arizona’s corporate headquarters in Scottsdale, the city is home to growing industries in advanced business services, bio-life sciences, hospitality, and technology.

The Economic Development Director leads a team responsible for creating and implementing Scottsdale’s economic development strategies, including business recruitment, retention, expansion, and small business support. The director leads the city’s efforts to attract domestic and international businesses, which can include site selection and development agreements. The director works closely with community partners and external stakeholders, including state, regional, and local organizations as well as elected leaders.

This year, the Economic Development Department attracted, retained, and assisted 12 businesses representing an estimated 1,852 jobs and launched the online job board tool “Work Scottsdale,” which has more than 300 active participants. Staff also completed a development agreement to retain Nationwide Insurance, which is anticipated to have a $9.8 billion economic impact in the community over the next 20 years.

The Economic Development Department

The Economic Development Department is accredited through the International Economic Development Council and focused on growing and attracting targeted businesses to Scottsdale to enhance the community’s tax base and improve the quality of life for residents. The Economic Development Director develops and manages the department’s budget and strategic plan, ensuring both reflect the City Council’s organizational strategic plan, goals, and priorities.

Staff is responsible for developing and coordinating business retention, expansion, attraction, entrepreneurial, and small business programming. In addition, staff analyzes research and data, markets the community to potential businesses, conducts business outreach, and provides support.

The director supervises a staff of five including three economic development managers, an economic development specialist, and an administrative assistant and has an operating budget of approximately $1.3 million (Fiscal Year 2019/20). The Economic Development Department is organized within the Planning and Economic Development Division, which reports to the City Manager’s Office.

The Organization

The City of Scottsdale’s Mission Statement is “Simply better service for a world-class community.” Employees throughout the organization strive to provide quality customer service and exceed the expectations of customers. In addition, the organization believes in the integrity of its employees and in creating an environment of mutual respect.

Incorporated in 1951, the city operates under the council-manager form of government. The City Council consists of a mayor and six council members who are elected to represent the city at large and serve overlapping, four-year terms. Six charter officers are appointed by the City Council: the city attorney, city auditor, city clerk, city manager, city treasurer, and presiding judge. The city’s Fiscal Year 2019/20 total operating budget is $1.4 billion ($326.1 million General Fund), and the organization has about 2,500 employees.

The city’s reputation as a world-class community is demonstrated through the many awards and accolades the organization has received for running a well-managed government, embracing transparency, and embedding data in its decision-making. Among recent highlights, Scottsdale has been nominated for a 2019 Voice of the People Award for Excellence in Economy, which is awarded by the National Research Center and the International City/County Management Association to the communities with the highest or most improved ratings as voiced by their own residents. The city was one of only seven earning Silver Certification through the Bloomberg Philanthropies’ What Works Cities program in 2019.

The Ideal Candidate

The City of Scottsdale is seeking an experienced economic development professional with a collaborative management style and strong communication skills. The ideal candidate is personable, energetic, and naturally adept at establishing and building relationships. He or she is a recognized leader in the profession, well respected, and capable of building consensus with various audiences including staff, elected officials, and community partners.

The Economic Development Director recognizes and appreciates the synergy that exists between planning, tourism, and economic development functions. The successful candidate values open communication and transparency and is a team player. He or she is a strategic thinker who understands the big picture, is politically astute, and serves as an advocate for the organization.

The successful candidate is an experienced manager and leads a team of accomplished professionals. He or she is fully invested in staff’s continued success and professional development and provides support, direction, and feedback, and encourages creative thinking.

He or she effectively develops and deploys the city’s business recruitment, retention, and expansion strategies and has a record of success attracting businesses in the health care, technology, finance and insurance industries. The successful candidate is knowledgeable of Arizona and Scottsdale’s unique incentives laws and has developed innovative and creative packages that appeal to the business community. He or she is experienced in developing contracts and development agreements, drafting requests for proposals, and negotiating and managing contracts.

The Economic Development Director is an effective decision-maker who solves problems creatively, demonstrates sound judgment, and provides thoughtful recommendations to city leadership.

Minimum & Preferred Qualifications

This position requires a bachelor’s degree in business, economics, finance, public administration, community planning, or a related field and a minimum of seven (7) years of progressively responsible leadership and managerial experience in an economic development organization.

Preferred qualifications include a master’s degree in a related field, prior public sector work experience, and a Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) certification. Experience with statistical tools and data analysis; knowledge of the municipal development review and land use process; development of business recruitment and retention programs; experience attracting businesses in the healthcare, technology, finance, and insurance markets; experience working in a hospitality/tourism-based community; and a proven track record of attracting primary employers to a community is highly desired.

The Community

Located in the beautiful Sonoran Desert, Scottsdale is nestled between Paradise Valley and the McDowell Mountains. Scottsdale is known for a high quality of life with attractive residential, working, and shopping areas. It is an internationally recognized visitor destination and a thriving location for business. Scottsdale consistently ranks among the nation’s best places to live, with top-rated schools, award winning parks, low crime, and a vibrant economy.

Old Town – Scottsdale’s downtown – is home to many restaurants, retail shops, art galleries, and hotels. Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve, in the city’s northern reaches, is the largest urban wilderness area in the United States. Scottsdale has recreational opportunities for everyone with many golf courses, tennis courts, parks, pools, bike paths, and trails.

Scottsdale is consistently rated as one of the top places to live in the nation and has been ranked among the best-run cities in the nation. Scottsdale’s strong tourism industry keeps taxes low and city service levels high. Scottsdale is one of only a handful of cities nationwide to enjoy a “AAA” bond rating from all major financial rating organizations.

One of the state’s leading job centers, Scottsdale enjoys a diverse economy built on medical research, high-tech innovation, tourism, and corporate headquarters. Scottsdale is home to nearly 18,000 businesses supplying over 150,000 jobs. The high-tech innovation center SkySong, located just a few miles from Old Town, is designed to help companies grow through a unique partnership with nearby Arizona State University.

Old Town is an emerging center for high-tech businesses. Farther north, the Scottsdale Cure Corridor is a partnership of premier health care providers and biomedical companies seeking to advance medicine and patient care through cutting-edge research.

Residents of Scottsdale are well-educated, with approximately 59 percent of the population having earned a bachelor’s degree or higher. Public education in Scottsdale is provided primarily by the Scottsdale Unified School District and Paradise Valley Unified School District. The region is also home to several higher education institutions, including Arizona State University, Grand Canyon University, Scottsdale Community College, and nine other institutions in the Maricopa County Community College District.

With great weather, fantastic scenery, and a calendar full of special events, Scottsdale is among the most popular tourist destinations in Arizona. More than nine million people visit Scottsdale annually. That activity adds up to big business: the annual economic impact of Scottsdale visitors is estimated at more than $4 billion.

Compensation

The City offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes a base salary of $109,096–$158,620 (DOQ), medical, dental, vision, life, short- and long-term disability insurance as well as vacation, holiday, and medical leave. Eligible employees are members of the Arizona State Retirement System.

How to Apply

Applications will be accepted electronically by The Novak Consulting Group at thenovakconsultinggroup.com. Applicants complete a brief online form and are prompted to provide a cover letter and resume. Open until filled with the first review of applications on September 30, 2019.

Questions

Please direct questions to Jenn Reichelt at jreichelt@thenovakconsultinggroup.com or 513-221-0500.

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