Selling the city

By BRIAN BOHNERT
staff writer
The presence of a new year often brings a sense of renewal or rebirth to those looking for a fresh start.
With a focus now set on putting the city on the map, the Fostoria Economic Development Corporation (FEDC) has decided to head in a different direction for 2014.
As a result, the organization is currently seeking a new executive director to replace the woman who held the position for nearly five years.
Christopher Iannantuono, FEDC board chairperson, said the departure of Joan Droll was a mutual decision based on the board’s choice to steer FEDC in a direction focused on marketing Fostoria to prospective businesses, as well as working to grow businesses already in the community. Droll was formerly named FEDC director on April 1, 2010 after being appointed interim director in March 2009.
“There’s an area that Joan has been fantastic at — and that has been coordinating, getting answers for our members, putting projects together and helping facilitate the good work of FEDC,” Iannantuono said. “There’s another aspect to the job that requires selling the community. It’s a completely different set of skills.
“If we were a larger community and a larger organization, what Joan does is absolutely required and what this other person does is really required if we’re going to retain jobs, gain jobs and get new companies to come to town; but, we can’t afford to do both.”
To meet the organization’s changing needs, Iannantuono said FEDC is actively seeking a candidate with extensive marketing experience to attract jobs and undo negative images businesses in and around the region may have of Fostoria, including being too far away from a four-lane highway and not having a local institution for higher education.
“The image of Fostoria is not the reality of Fostoria,” he said. “We identified at least five aspects of the community that either, in the region or outside region, Fostoria can have the wrong image portrayed.”
Iannantuono said FEDC is looking to hire its next director as soon as possible so the board can begin putting together a specific action for the years ahead. FEDC has already received offers from economic development corporations in Hancock and Seneca counties to help develop the successful candidate once the position is filled.
As 2014 marches on, Iannantuono said FEDC has numerous goals going forward, including: marketing the city to site selectors for businesses; continuing local projects like the Fostoria Learning Center; conducting retention visits to member companies; and, providing continued assistance to FEDC members.
Anyone interested in applying for the position of FEDC director can send a cover letter and a resume to Fostoria Economic Development Corporation, 121 N. Main St., Fostoria, Ohio 44830-2215.

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