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Mike Kazmierski named EDAWN president and CEO



Mike Kazmierski, former president and CEO for the Colorado Springs Regional Economic Development Corporation, has been named president and CEO of the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada (EDAWN).  Kazmierski begins his new post November 16.

The announcement made today at a news conference at The Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center at the University of Nevada, Reno, comes five months after the EDAWN Board of Trustees embarked on a national search to replace Chuck Alvey who announced in May 2011 he was stepping down after more than 12 years as president/CEO of the organization.

Kazmierski brings extensive economic development leadership and financial management experience to the position having served as president and chief executive officer for the Colorado Springs Regional Economic Development Corporation since 2005.  There he assisted in the attraction and expansion of more than 70 companies that resulted in the creation of more than 10,000 new jobs in the region.  Prior to his appointment as CEO, he was the organization’s chief operating officer from 2001 to 2005 and managed the daily operations of the non-profit economic development corporation, its 14 employees, volunteers and contract workers and a $1.4 million budget.

“Mike brings a depth of economic development experience and ability to achieve results, a collaborative leadership style that achieves positive economic outcomes, and an understanding of the opportunities to leverage our region’s resources to create jobs for our citizens and economic vitality for our region,” said Russ Romine, chairman of the EDAWN board of trustees.

“I am thrilled to be moving to the area and joining the team at EDAWN,” said Kazmierski.  “I was impressed by the sense of community, the depth of national companies in the area, and the groundswell of regional support for economic development.  This is a time of great opportunity and I’m looking forward to working with local and state leaders, the EDAWN staff, our economic development partners and the Board of Trustees to improve the local economy by attracting, retaining and growing quality jobs for the region.”

During his tenure at the Colorado Springs Regional Economic Development Corporation, Kazmierski established a business attraction program that nearly doubled the number of company prospects, increased the number of jobs announced and exceeded a 70 percent closure rate for companies that visited the area and announced a relocation.  Additionally, he and his team developed a business retention and expansion program that was nationally recognized.  The program significantly reduced lost jobs, succeeded in the retention of the U.S. Space Foundation and initiated a “Think Local” initiative that was supported by city and county governments within the Colorado Springs area.

Kazmierski earned a bachelor of science degree in engineering from the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y., and a masters of business administration from Webster University in Kansas City, Kan. He and his wife Margaret have two children, Zack (17 yrs old) and Claire (16 yrs old).

The EDAWN CEO search committee worked with a national search firm, CTPartners.  Search committee members included:  Steve Anderson, RBC Wealth Management, chairman; Stephanie Kruse, KPS3 Marketing, vice chair; Stephanie Tyler, AT&T and member of EDAWN’s Economic Development Council (EDC); Mary Simmons, NV Energy and Chamber representative; Tom Fitzgerald, Nevadaworks and member of EDAWN’s Economic Development Coalition Partners; and Greg Mosier, dean of the College of Business, University of Nevada and Nevada System of Higher Education representative.

Two additional members from NNDA, Chuck Davies and Larry Rodriguez were involved in the initial stages of the search process during which the job description and the ideal candidate characteristics were developed.  The search committee also conducted community and business input sessions and an online survey to gather input on the ideal candidate’s attributes and EDAWN priorities.

Kazmierski joins EDAWN as the State of Nevada moves ahead with restructuring economic development in the state through Assembly Bill AB449, and as EDAWN works as the economic development partner with The Chamber to provide achieve greater efficiencies and less duplication of functions.

Last year, EDAWN and its partners reported assisting 17 companies move to or expand in the region from July 2010 to June 30, 2011 creating 670 new jobs compared to the 11 companies and 513 jobs reported the previous year – a 55 percent increase in the total companies and a 31 percent increase in the total jobs created year over year.

About EDAWN: EDAWN is a private, non-profit corporation founded by community leaders in 1982.  EDAWN works to recruit and expand quality companies that have a positive impact on the quality of life in Greater Reno-Tahoe.  Reno was named the No. 1 Place for Doing Business in America 2005 by Inc. magazine.  For more information, visit www.edawn.org.

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