Chillicothe Gazette – Chris Balusik, December 28, 2017
Following a national search to find someone to spearhead economic development efforts for the city and county, the committee charged with searching found their answer close to home.
Tammy Eallonardo, who has served in several local leadership positions, has accepted the position of director of the Greater Chillicothe & Ross County Development organization. She will take over for Brad Morton, who served in the role from June until his resignation Oct. 31.
In making the offer, members of the Community Improvement Corporation said Eallonardo’s work handling some of the duties of the development role after Morton’s departure in addition to her work as chair of the CIC was among the reasons she rose to the top of the group of 25 candidates evaluated for the job. Before accepting the position, Eallonardo resigned her chairmanship of the CIC and will leave her job as a manager with The Reserves Network.
“She’s had a lot of experience in management and working with the public, businesses, and corporations,” said Delbert Bochard, CIC board member and member of the search committee. “Her background with (the CIC) really showed great initiative setting up various goals and plans, and we felt she was most qualified for going in the direction that we want.”
“She’s also been, as chair, she’s stepped in to fill Brad’s role since his resignation,” said fellow board and search committee member Bill McKell. “So she has been meeting a lot of the people with whom she will be working, and she has been in the position of chair for two or three years and through this entire process of restructuring economic development in the community, she understands what our vision is for economic development compared to where it was before and how it fits in with the greater Chillicothe and Ross County visioning process, so it makes a lot of sense.”
Eallonardo has served as chairman of the board of the Economic Development Alliance of Southern Ohio, vice chair of the Chillicothe-Ross Chamber of Commerce, president of the South Central Ohio Human Resource Council, president of Chillicothe City Council and as a board member of the Chillicothe Downtown Development Commission among other positions.
The search committee consisted of members of the CIC and a trio of people involved with employers in the community. Following national advertising for the position that produced the 25 applicants, the committee whittled the field to six for phone interviews that then trimmed the finalists to three. Those three, which included Eallonardo and two other southwest Ohio residents with economic development backgrounds, were then called in for in-person interviews last week that led to the selection.
Eallonardo entered the interview with a presentation outlining plans for the first three years of her tenure.
“Economic development is grounded in relationship building, and so I created a three-year plan of how I plan to get started — going out and meeting with our current investors and the larger industries in the area all the way down to the mom-and-pop shops just trying to decide where we are, get a pulse for where we are, where our employers and manufacturers want to be in 2018 and how in my role as economic development director I can help them achieve that.
“The other side of it is trying to attract new business to the area, and not just new business, but new members to our community. We have real workforce issues that we need to address, so we need to start working toward enticing new talent to the area to fill the jobs that we already have and the jobs we hope to have in the future. That’s going to be my goal for the first three years.”
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