Former City of Tacoma Economic Development Director Ryan Petty has been selected to serve as senior vice president at the Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County.
Petty once served as president and CEO of the Rockford (Ill.) Regional Chamber of Commerce and was formerly leader of the local EDB. He returned from Illinois to the city position in 2004, and left in following a recent reshuffle initiated by new Tacoma City Manager T.C. Broadnax.
Petty “will be one of the people in the office working on our business retention and expansion program.,” said EDB President and CEO Bruce Kendall on Friday.
“It’s a business-to-business job.”
Following the announcement that EDB staff member Derek Kilmer would be leaving to pursue public office, Kendall issued a request for qualifications to fill the vacancy. Dozens of hopefuls applied.
“With Derek’s departure we had to look at things,” Kendall said. “It was a good response. Ryan was by far the most qualified candidate.”
Petty will begin work in the new position on Aug. 1.
“Ryan ran this organization before. He has run chambers of commerce in other states, he has run city economic development departments and has three decades of experience,” Kendall said.
He said he expects Petty will visit with at least 175 local businesses annually
“Every company has some issue we can assist them with,” Kendall said. “He’ll go into troubleshooting mode with these firms.”