Tacoma City Manager T.C. Broadnax has named four finalists seeking to become the city’s next top economic development chief.
The finalists — among 69 candidates nationwide who applied to fill the city’s vacant Community and Economic Development Department director’s job — include:
Ellen Miller-Wolfe, economic development manager for the City of Kirkland;
Ricardo Noguera, former housing and economic development director for the City of Visalia, CA;
Eric Anthony Johnson, executive director for University Park Alliance in Akron, OH;
and Steven J. Anderson, former president and chief executive officer of Lake County Partners in Lake County,IL.
The winning candidate will replace former economic development director Ryan Petty, who was let go in May. Petty has since been hired as senior vice president of the Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County.
The four finalists are expected to be in town for interviews next week, with Broadnax expected to choose the city’s next economic development head in early August.
Here’s the city’s press announcement regarding the finalists:
Four candidates vie for position to lead City’s economic development efforts
- Community panel interviews set for July 30 -
The four candidate finalists vying for the City’s Community and Economic Development Department director position will take part in a day-long interview process on Monday, July 30 with four community panels comprised of individuals from the business district and associations, representatives from local boards, special interest groups, and members of the City’s Executive Leadership Team. The community panelists will serve an integral role in the interviewing process and will be asked to provide City Manager T.C. Broadnax with a list of strengths and weaknesses of each finalist.
The Community and Economic Development Director is charged with leading economic development strategies and programs city-wide. The final candidates include:
Ellen Miller-Wolfe, economic development manager for the City of Kirkland in Washington. Over the past six years, Miller-Wolfe has managed the City of Kirkland’s economic development, tourism and cultural affairs programs. She has cultivated relationships with companies such as Google, Nintendo, INRIX and Fiat, encouraging them to locate and/or expand operations in Kirkland. Miller-Wolfe holds a master’s degree in city and regional planning from Cornell University.
Ricardo Noguera, former housing and economic development director for the City of Visalia in California. For the past five years, Noguera led the city’s affordable housing, economic development, redevelopment and code enforcement activities. Under his leadership, he oversaw the recruitment of major national retailers such as Macy’s and Hobby Lobby, and filled more than 450,000 square feet of vacant space during the recession, while generating close to $2 million in annual sales tax revenues. He also led the recruitment and expansion of more than a dozen industrial companies resulting in millions of dollars in revenues and job creation for the city. Noguera has a master’s degree in city and regional planning from the University of California, Berkeley.
Eric Anthony Johnson, Ph.D., executive director for University Park Alliance in Akron, Ohio. Johnson has more than 15 years experience in economic development strategies and urban planning. In his current position, he has led development efforts to revitalize Akron’s core center. Over the course of his career, Johnson oversaw a landmark waterfront redevelopment project for the Cleveland Port Authority and managed a $2.5 billion real estate portfolio for the City of Charlotte in North Carolina. Johnson earned his Ph.D. in urban affairs and public policy from the University of Delaware.
Steven J. Anderson, former president and chief executive officer of Lake County Partners in Lake County, Ill. During his tenure at Lake County Partners, Anderson oversaw community development efforts with targeted projects to increase opportunities for distressed areas, led the recruitment of Sysmex Pharma and a large, new multi-state FedEx facility, the retention of Motorola, and the expansion and improvements at Midwest Generation. He also spearheaded a comprehensive economic development strategy for Lake County. Anderson earned a Juris Doctor from Whittier College School of Law in Los Angeles.
Following the panel interviews, a community meet-and-greet will be held on the fifth floor of the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center located at 1500 Broadway from 5:30 pm until 6:30 pm to introduce the candidates to the public.
The four candidates were among the 69 applicants who applied for the position as part of a nationwide search. The City Manager will hold final interviews on Tuesday, July 31, and hopes to make a selection by early August.