RAEDC thanks Podemski for 10 years of service


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ROCKFORD, April 24 — After 10 years of service at the Rockford Area Economic Development Council, Mark Podemski is stepping down as vice president for development. His last day will be May 1.

Podemski will be assuming the role of CEO for Ikon Electric in Loves Park, which provides lighting, products, services and cost-savings assessments.

“The opportunity to work with numerous community, company and organizational leaders over these past 10 years has been very rewarding,” he said.

RAEDC President Mike Nicholas said Podemski has been a proud supporter of the Rockford Region and its businesses — and a strong force within the organization to help it achieve its mission of improving our area’s economic strength.

“I cannot thank Mark enough for his commitment to business expansion and retention, which drives the majority of our community’s primary job growth,” Nicholas said. “We wish him the very best in this new venture and are happy that he will remain in the Rockford Area.”

Achievements during his tenure include:
• Establishing a vibrant business visitation and retention program and personally participating in over 500 Voice of the Customer business retention visits.
• Serving as part of a regional team over the past 10 years that has delivered more than 16,000 new and retained jobs, over $1.3 billion in investment and more than 13 million square feet of new or renovated space.
• Leading the implementation of new software tools at the RAEDC leading to improved effectiveness and productivity
• Leading numerous innovative programs such as the Continuous Improvement Series, International Trade Missions to Sweden, Mayor and Chairman Coffee Talks and several supplier symposiums, to name a few.

“I am particularly proud of the recognition the RAEDC has received as a best-practice model of an effective business retention program,” Podemski said. “Frequent conversations with our employers help us to understand how to effectively respond to their needs and increase their competitiveness.”

Podemski has served on numerous boards and committees in the region, including: Northern Illinois Workforce Alliance Board, Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center, Freedom Field Renewable Energy Board, Swedish American Chambers of Commerce – Chicago & USA, Bridgeway Board of Directors and Growth Dimensions.

The Board of Directors at Rockford Area Economic Development Council has begun the process to fill Podemski’s position.

Podemski joined the RAEDC in February 2005. Before then, he held various leadership positions for 19 years at Honeywell International in product and engineering management, factory operations, sales and business development.

“The statistics during Mark’s tenure speak for themselves,” RAEDC Board Chairman Sagar Patel said. “Mark has demonstrated tremendous passion, dedication and pride in helping businesses thrive in the Rockford Region. What greater testament to his belief in this community’s momentum than becoming the CEO of a growing young company.”

Below, RAEDC President Mike Nicholas gives Mark Podemski a plaque recognizing his years of service.

Media coverage:
Rockford Register Star

mark podemski leaving thanks from mike nicholas web


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