Thursday, Jul 28, 2016
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Economy

RGP hires Tucson man as new chief executive

Just weeks after the Regional Growth Partnership shed its public funding in lieu of becoming a privately funded organization, the economic development agency yesterday hired a new leader.

Steven Weathers was named president and chief executive officer of the agency. Previously, he was president and CEO of the Greater Tucson Economic Development Council. Before that, he was vice president for the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp.

He will receive a similar financial package as his predecessor, Don Jakeway, who made about $165,000 a year with potential bonuses, said Bill Brennan, chairman of the RGP board of directors. It is a one-year contract, giving both Mr. Weathers and the board an out if necessary.

Mr. Weathers could not be reached at his Tucson home yesterday for comment.

"We're looking forward to getting him on board," Mr. Brennan said, adding that the one-year contract is a precaution unlikely to be used. "We're expecting him to hit the ground running, and the transition will likely be transparent to the community."

According to the RGP, Mr. Weathers has 15 years as a certified economic development practitioner and taught economic development at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

While in Arizona, Mr. Weathers' economic team attracted more than 4,900 jobs and $146 million in new wages to the region as well as created more than $435 million in new construction and investment, the RGP said.

Mr. Weathers is slated to start no later than Sept. 1.

He takes over at the RGP just as it becomes a privately funded group, made possible through a successful fund-raising campaign that has raised more than $7.6 million in pledges.

The group has four major objectives: keeping existing companies in the area, bringing new jobs to the region, fostering the development of technology-led companies, and eliminating barriers to businesses.

Contact Erica Blake at:

eblake@theblade.com

or 419-724-6076.

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