Naperville, IL (pop. 149,540) is widely recognized throughout the country as a premier location to live, work, and visit – a recognition made possible in part due to an exceptional partnership between the City of Naperville and the Naperville Development Partnership Convention and Visitors Bureau (NDP).
Established in 1995, this public/private economic development organization leads all major economic development initiatives within the City of Naperville. Naperville has an enviable local economy, with a downtown that is both charming and bustling with national retailers and locally owned businesses. It is the largest retail sales economy in the suburban Chicago metro area. In addition, Naperville is home to a thriving research and development corridor. Naperville leaders have taken a thoughtful, strategic approach to economic development, ensuring it aligns with the City’s goals.
As the post pandemic world evolves, the understanding of Naperville’s business climate requires vision, creativity, collaboration, and a highly skilled workforce. For example, office space is currently underutilized. These challenges and others will require an executive with demonstrated experience and well-developed communication and collaboration skills. It is critical that the next President fully grasp the development approach and philosophy that has brought Naperville to its current enviable status in both the Chicago metropolitan area and throughout the country.
The Partnership is seeking an experienced, talented, and inspirational leader who can use their demonstrated management and interpersonal skills to advance the business community. Please note the following about this exciting opportunity:
- The NDP, with an annual budget of $1.5 million, is primarily funded by the City of Naperville and a mix of private and public organizations along with limited program revenue.
- The NDP is governed by a 15-person Executive Board and a 35-person Board of Directors consisting of community leaders representing local government (City, education, library, and park district), and a cross section of retail, commercial, non-profit, small business, and real estate professionals.
- The President enjoys far-reaching authority over the day-to-day operation of the 501(c)(6) organization which has six (6) highly capable full-time employees and two (2) part-time employees.
- In addition to the economic development functions, the position oversees the operations of the Naperville Convention & Visitors Bureau (VisitNaperville.com), with 18 hotels and 2500 hotel rooms; and the city-wide restaurant marketing program (DineNaperville.com) of more than 300 establishments.
- The President is a high-profile position within the Naperville community, regularly engaging with community leaders and relied upon to forge and maintain positive relationships with regional, state, and federal officials. The President is actively engaged and relied upon to lead negotiations, advise, and respond to opportunities and resolve concerns.
As a first point of contact for many, the NDP is focused on creating a synergy between the commercial, retail, and industrial needs and City infrastructure which includes a municipal electric utility, water, and planning services.
Trusted relationships are critical in cementing the City’s efforts to support a vibrant community which regularly receives recognition as the best city to raise a family, one of the safest cities in America, and some of the best public schools in America. As Illinois’ fourth largest city, cultural amenities, recreation, education, and outdoor opportunities are plentiful. The City’s reputation as a business-friendly community attracts international and national corporations and small businesses to serve this 40-square-mile community 30 miles west of Chicago.
To continue and enhance Naperville’s commitment to its four (4) core values — People, Respect, Pride, and Trust, the following education, experience, management style, and personality traits have been identified as the ones the new President must possess:
- Exceptional public speaking and interpersonal skills; an individual who will be seen as a trusted and transformational leader with a keen focus on collaboration with all key stakeholders in the community, including business owners, property owners, civic groups, and local government staff to foster partnerships and joint activities which will encourage a cooperative climate and working relationship among businesses, developers, property owners, organizations, City and regional entities, and public officials.
- Strong leadership, managerial and marketing sales skills, along with a minimum of ten years of senior level experience in a mix of private and public sector experience and be well versed in all aspects of community economic development. A bachelor’s degree from an accredited university in Public Administration, Business Administration, non-profit management, or another related field is preferred. CEcD certification is a plus.
- A vision for the Partnership which advances the community, adapting to the changing post-pandemic work environment that can be articulated and executed by developing strategies and collaborative working relationships with members of the Board, the City’s leadership team and stakeholders.
To attract highly talented and accomplished candidates to this position, the NDP Board has set a starting annual salary range of $170,000 to $200,000 DOQ/E. Candidates should apply by November 3, 2023, online with résumé, cover letter, and contact information for five professional references to either Heidi Voorhees, President, or Kathleen Rush, Vice President. Any questions should be directed to either Ms. Voorhees at 847-380-3240 x101 or Ms. Rush at 847-380-3240 x122. The confidentiality of all applicants will be strictly maintained. Equal Opportunity Employer.
Application Deadline: November 3, 2023