Employment Opportunity – VP for Development

Award-winning economic development organization offers a unique opportunity for an economic development trailblazer. Our public/private partnership organization seeks a Vice President to assume a leadership role in Northern Illinois to manage our Business Retention & Expansion programs and selected strategic projects. The Rockford, Illinois region is home to:

  • The sixth-largest Aerospace employment concentration in the U.S.
  • Growing Advanced Manufacturing and Healthcare
  • A well-positioned, uncongested Air/Rail/Truck Logistics
  • The third-largest city in Illinois, well within a 90-minute drive from Chicago, Milwaukee and Madison.

Candidates must possess great dedication, commitment, and strategic qualities as well as a broad range of business management skills. The organization’s staff is held to an extremely high level of professionalism and productivity. This person must be able to manage diverse and multi-level projects as a “self-starter,” capable of taking ideas and tasks at different levels and implementing them at a fast pace.

This position requires prior economic development experience as well as basic computer skills and database management experience. Minimum of a bachelor’s degree required. A professional work environment and competitive salary/benefits are available.

Job Description & Requirements


The VP for Development will be responsible for the overall leadership of business expansion and retention efforts within the region, as well as collaborating on selected strategic projects.


  • Excellent Communications Skills (Written and Verbal)
  • Conversational Interview Techniques
  • Competent Computer Skills Include Basic Office Software Applications
  • Data Analysis Skills to Identify Trends and Continuous Improvement Opportunities
  • Time Management and Multi-Tasking Skills
  • Ability to Coordinate Multi-Organization Resources


  • Work directly on Business Retention and Expansion (BRE) projects as needed
  • Cross-training with peers, as well as collaborating on the organization’s business attraction and external marketing efforts, to ensure internal efficiency and effectiveness within a cohesive team environment
  • Work closely with economic development partners to develop aligned strategies for new business creation, entrepreneurial expansion, effective marketing, and workforce development and training
  • Network with local business and community leadership, building relationships designed to generate better understanding of the organization’s mission, client leads and referrals; and provide for the appropriate stakeholder engagement in successful client projects
  • Benchmark best practices from other economic development organizations; staying abreast of national and international economic development trends
  • Build external relationships that benefit the organization’s strategic plan
  • Represent the RAEDC on various regional Boards and in various community settings and events
  • Serve as primary liaison to the manufacturing community
  • Manage the professional development of staff through coaching, mentoring and the planned use of formal training opportunities
  • Establish annual plan for achieving CORE conversation and retention visit targeted goals and ensure timely entry of visit intelligence
  • Serve as staff liaison for applicable committees
  • Work with staff to analyze current business data and prepare periodic reports, metrics, and proposed improvement initiatives
  • Maintain an effective website and social media presence in support of a high-performing business retention and expansion program
  • Manage distribution of appropriate newsletters and other communication vehicles
  • Other duties as assigned


  • Minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree preferably in Business, Public Administration, or related field(s); with an advanced degree preferred
  • Minimum of five years business experience; experience within the manufacturing industry is a plus
  • Exceptional oral communications skills, demonstrating confidence when communicating with private and public sector leaders
  • Exceptional written communications skills
  • Ability to work independently and exercise professionalism in a non-profit environment
  • Superior organizational skills and proven ability to manage a variety of projects simultaneously
  • High degree of self-motivation and the ability to self-manage time and priorities
  • Computer proficiency in the use of Microsoft Office applications and database software
  • A cooperative attitude in a supportive work environment
  • High standards of personal conduct and integrity

Send resume, cover letter, and salary requirements to information@rockfordil.com.