RAEDC thanks Zethmayr for 7 years of service; Director of National Business Development hired


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ROCKFORD, Aug. 14 — After seven years of dedicated service, Carrie Zethmayr is leaving the Rockford Area Economic Development Council. Her last day as Executive Director of Trade and Investment will be Aug. 21.

Dennis McCarthy has been hired as RAEDC Director of National Business Development to manage business attraction and area marketing projects. He started Aug. 10.

McCarthy has extensive international business experience at several manufacturers in sales, marketing, project management and production/operations, taking him to Europe, South America, Australia and Canada. He most recently worked for Kurt Manufacturing in Minneapolis and has held leadership positions at other firms, including Dana Corp. of Toledo, Ohio.

“Dennis has a strong background in the automotive and hydraulics industries, so he understands what businesses are looking for to improve, whether it’s growing their supply chain or making their operations more efficient,” RAEDC President Mike Nicholas said. “His experience with start-ups required working closely with site selectors and government agencies, which is critical in our business attraction and retention work.”

Zethmayr is taking an economic development position that will further advance her career, to be announced at a later date.

Nicholas thanked Zethmayr for her work regionally, nationally and internationally since 2008 to promote the Rockford Region, attract businesses here and connect businesses to resources that support growth.
Highlights of her achievements:
• Managed the Small Business Development Center’s International Trade Center, consulting with Illinois companies on export compliance, market research, trade finance & logistics and resulting in more than $17 million in exports.
• Administered a federal Foreign Trade Zone program that allows quicker, more cost-effective imports. Increased activated sites by 50 percent, saving companies up to $2 million annually.
• Organized and led eight international trade missions to Canada, China & England to promote foreign business investments here as well as local export activity, resulting in more than $5 million of capital investment in the Rockford Region.
• Served as the RAEDC liaison for the Rockford Area Aerospace Network, a consortium of companies implementing a strategic plan to increase the competitiveness of the Rockford Region for aerospace expansion and attraction.

“The RAEDC is an exceptional team of economic development professionals, and I am immeasurably grateful for the mentorship I received,” Zethmayr said.


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