GREDF Welcomes New President


The public is invited to a press conference to meet Marcel Wagner on Wednesday, March 13, 2013, at 9:00 am in the Lobby of the Oakley-Lindsay Center.

Marcel W. Wagner, Jr, CEcD

The Board of Directors of the Great River Economic Development Foundation, announced the hiring of Marcel W. Wagner, Jr. as the new President of the organization. An eleven-member committee consisting of community leaders and GREDF board members recommended Wagner after a 6-month-long nationwide search. Wagner was unanimously approved by GREDF Board of Directors members attending a special meeting on March 5, 2013.

“Marcel’s years of experience as an economic development professional and proven track record in a region with similar characteristics to our tri-state region made him stand out among the pool of strong local and national candidates we interviewed,” said Tim Finlay, Chairman of the GREDF Board of Directors and a member of the Search Committee. “The level of interest in the position indicated to us that GREDF and our region have a reputation for being pro-economic growth,” Finlay added.

“I’m ready to hit the ground running. The presence of such a qualified staff and committed GREDF Board were very important to me as I went through the selection process” said Marcel Wagner. “My wife and I are eager to make the tri-state region our home and have already experienced what a special and welcoming community Quincy is,” Wagner added.

Mr. Wagner’s first official day with GREDF was Monday. “Thanks to the diligent work of the members of the Search Committee, we were able to meet the timeline we originally established for a spring hiring,” said Finlay.

Jim Mentesti announced his retirement after 27 years of service to GREDF and the Tri-State area in August. Phil Conover had been serving as interim President while Jim Mentesti served as a consultant during the transitional period. Conover will continue serving the organization through the end of March. Mentesti concluded his service as a consultant at the end of February.

Who is Marcel Wagner?

Marcel Wagner has spent the past 21 years with the Allen Economic Development Group in Lima, Ohio, the last 19 of those years as its President and CEO before retiring from that position in January. Wagner is a Certified Economic Developer and former Chair of the International Economic Development Council Certification and Education Committee. He was an Executive Committee Member of Team Ohio through the Ohio Economic Development Council as well as former chair of the Allen County Workforce Investment Act Board and Allen County Revolving Loan Fund.

During his tenure with the AEDG, Wagner developed and implemented a regional marketing plan and targeted industries marketing program, established a Foreign Trade Zone, oversaw the development and sale of 5 spec buildings, participated in the start up of two entrepreneurship centers and administrated a private loan fund, among other activities. He was also involved as a pilot user in the development of business retention software now widely used in the economic development world. During his time at AEDG, the organization assisted in over 105 industrial and commercial projects creating 6,300 jobs, retaining 3,500 at-risk jobs and representing $3.2 billion in new capital investment. One example of Wagner’s contributions is his involvement in the development and construction of the 1.2 million square foot Proctor and Gamble Distribution Center, one of the largest fully automated logistics center in the world.