On June 7, Kyle Moore will become the President of the Great River Economic Development Foundation (GREDF). Moore will be only the third person to lead the organization since its inception in 1978. GREDF focuses on attracting talent and retention of our workforce, retaining and growing existing businesses and attracting new businesses and industry to Quincy and the surrounding area.
The Search Process
The GREDF board used a rigorous national search process to identify the most qualified candidates. At the request of the 22 member GREDF Board of Directors, the GREDF executive board acted as the search committee for the new president. They consulted with local and national recruitment firms to determine the most effective and cost-efficient process to find the next president. The job was posted to a variety of local, regional and national job sites and economic development forums.
The GREDF search committee reviewed resumes and conducted initial interviews with qualified candidates. The committee then brought in the full GREDF board and over 17 community leaders to interview the final candidate. Additionally, board president Mike Elbe and board president-elect Payne Schoen reached out to an additional 8 community leaders to get their perspective and feedback on Moore as a candidate.
Throughout the entire interview process, Moore consistently showed interviewers that he was not only qualified, but uniquely positioned to quickly and effectively take GREDF to the next level.
Search committee member and First Bankers Trust President & CEO Allen Shafer explained, ‘The search committee knew that we needed to find the right person to take GREDF to the next level. In Kyle Moore, we were pleasantly surprised to find someone local who not only knows the local landscape but has economic development experience and strategies that rival what a national candidate would bring.’
Why Kyle Moore
Over the past decade, GREDF’s focus has evolved to meet the needs of our region. Historically, the organization primarily focused on expanding existing and bringing in new businesses. In the past several years, workforce development and talent attraction have become driving forces of the organization due to the needs of our local economy.
Moore’s unique background as both the Mayor of Quincy and an owner in Moore’s Floors, a small business, brings experience that will build on the work that GREDF has already done. Highlights of Moore’s economic development experience as Mayor include:
- Developing and leading the Quincy Next Strategic Plan to formulate and execute a new economic development plan for Quincy and Adams County.
- Developing the “45×30” Program which contains a number of economic development proposals aimed at growing Quincy’s population by 2030.
- Creating “The Quincy Promise,” a privately funded college scholarship program available to high school students in the Quincy area.
- Creating and leading a bi-partisan response to the public response to the Legionella outbreak at the Quincy Veterans Home. This included lobbying federal and state lawmakers to build a new $220 million facility instead of closing the home which is responsible for 500 employees and over $90 million of economic impact a year to the region.
In addition to Moore’s economic development work for the city, his small business experience gave him a front-row seat to many of the challenges that affect many businesses in Quincy.
According to GREDF Board President and President of John Wood Community College, Mike Elbe, ‘Kyle Moore is personally vested in Quincy and the entire region. He brings new ideas and creative viewpoints to address challenges and is very passionate about growing our economy and region. He is well connected with both local businesses and legislators at all levels. I am confident that he will be able to hit the ground running.’
While Moore’s economic development experience was undeniably strong, hiring someone with recent political experience to a non-partisan position was a question in many of the board member’s minds. And, Moore made it known that his time as a politician may not be over. Ultimately, the interviewers unanimously felt comfortable that Moore is committed to doing what is right for Quincy and the region regardless of political affiliation. There might come a time when GREDF will have to determine if a political role will cause a conflict at GREDF but Moore’s strengths and experience outweighed any concerns.
Former GREDF Board Member, Phil Conover said of Moore, ‘There is little question as to how much Kyle has grown in his 8 years as Mayor of Quincy. The man that won the election in 2013 has matured into a well-polished and professional presenter that is able to articulate a vision for Quincy when talking to the public or potential business investors. We all know how important economic development is to our region. Kyle has developed the skill sets that are necessary to effectively move our region forward to economic sustainability.’
The First 90 Days
Moore will start as president of GREDF on June 7. Outgoing president, Marcel Wagner will remain on board to provide insight and guidance as needed by the organization. Moore will spend his first 90 days both learning and moving projects forward. He will work with Marcel, GREDF staff members, Angela Caldwell and Nikki Albright, the GREDF board and members to set direction and determine strategy. The primary focus will remain workforce recruitment. Several years ago, GREDF identified workforce recruitment as the top need for the employers and businesses. Moore brings new ideas to combat this growing problem, as well as knowledge and experience of the current programs. This includes the Quincy Concierge program that connects prospective and new residents to people and resources, partnering with major employers to attract more employees to Quincy.
GREDF Board President Elect, Payne Schoen states, ‘We are excited that Moore will be able to step in and have immediate impact. Over the last eight years, he has been intimately involved with all the programs and initiatives going on in our community. This experience will dramatically shorten his learning curve and enable him to continue to build on GREDF and the city’s momentum.’
February 18, 2021 – Marcel Wagner retirement announced
March 1, 2021 – Job posted to local, regional and national job sites and economic development forums
March 1 – April 15, 2021 – Applications received and reviewed
April 19 – 23 – First round of live interviews conducted by search committee
May 12 – Final candidate interview with community leaders and full GREDF board
May 13 – 21 – Feedback gathered, decision made and offer determined
May 24 – 28 – Offer made and job accepted
June 3 – Announcement of new president made public
June 7 – Kyle Moore starts as the 3rd GREDF president