Transition nearly complete.
I have had the honor of serving as your Interim CEO since the first week of July and my tenure should be complete by mid-September. The new CEO should be on board by then to allow for this organization to continue the momentum started under Jennifer Daly.  
Although my time here was not intended to "rock the boat" we have made some small but meaningful changes.  For example, we have restructured a number of committees to give a stronger emphasis on round table discussions to identify challenges and share successes.  This has led to greater attendance at these critical meetings with clear takeaways, action items, and further collaboration among our partners.
We have also been involved in the effort to reorganize the regional port authority TransPORT to pursue some recently identified opportunities on the Illinois River.  This could add another great asset to our region's already impressive capabilities as an intermodal transportation hub.  
And in September, representatives of the 11 highest ranked economic development projects that came out of our latest round of Call For Projects will present to a group of federal and state funding organizations. The first time we went through this process was a big success and resulted in the funding of numerous infrastructure projects in our region.
Having gone through the process several years ago that resulted in the Focus Forward comprehensive economic development strategy , I believe Greater Peoria is working more cohesively. However, I believe there are opportunities to bring us even closer together.
As state and federal funding sources continue to dwindle, it is imperative that organizations such as the GPEDC work more closely with our partner organizations to ensure success of the regional economic development strategy.  We must strive to increase coordination in overlapping responsibilities among the organizations in our region.
Again I have to emphasize that having worked with the very talented staff here at the GPEDC for the past two months, this region not only has the strategies and tools available, but the technical expertise to implement them. PLEASE contact them should you have any questions or need assistance in your community or business efforts. That is what they are here for and you will be pleased with the expertise that they provide you.

Denny Kief
Interim CEO
Greater Peoria Economic Development Council

GP CareerSpark Registration Now Open!

All 8th graders - public, private, and home school students - are invited to attend the free multi-industry expo!  Make sure your schools know and get registered today.

Series Spotlights GP Startups

Randon Gettys, Startup GP coordinator, visits regularly with regional startups to help connect dots within our entrepreneurial ecosystem.  We started a spotlight series to share all the great stories he hears.  Our first one was with AutonomouStuff in Morton, IL. 

Hopedale's Focus on Development Brings Village Improvements

Hopedale has been busy with a handful of projects, some of which we have had the pleasure of assisting.  We stopped by to see the progress and learn about future plans.

High School Internships are Critical for Workforce Development 

GP Pathways Co-Director Brent Baker wrote a piece sharing his work creating an internship program with Peoria Public Schools.  This program is currently being scaled up for the region.  His piece was featured in the August issue of iBi.

Read the full story.
 Team GP Spotlight: Kathie Brown

Kathie Brown with our region's University of Illinois Extension office shares her experience working in community and economic development.

Read the full story.
Cybersecurity Training for Manufacturers

We assisted IMEC in bringing a crucial learning opportunity for manufacturers to Greater Peoria.  Get registered today!

More info and registration HERE.
Regional Events - Mark You Calendars!
Aug 31 - Business After Hours - 4:30-6pm - Vintage Optical, Morton, IL
Sept 5 - UofI Extension Teacher Tuesday - 5-6:30pm - Peoria Riverfront Museum
Sept 5 - Young Professionals Network - 8-9am - By The Bean, Lincoln, IL
Sept 6 - 1 Million Cups - 8-9am - Jump Simulation
Sept 6 -  Open Coworking  -  9 a.m. - 5 p.m. at The Nest Coworking
Sept 7 - YPGP Monthly Social - 5-7pm - Wildlife Prairie Park
Sept 7 - Cybersecurity for Manufacturers - 8am-12pm - Peoria NEXT Innovation Center
Sept 14 - Starting a Business in Illinois - 3-5pm - Peoria NEXT Innovation Center
Sept 14 - Business After Hours - 4:30-6:30pm - Lincoln Office, Washington, IL
Sept 19 - Starting a Business in Illinois - 3-5pm - Fondulac Bank, East Peoria
Sept 26 - Brave Launch Kickoff - Peoria NEXT Innovation Center
Oct 4-6 - Building Leaders Workshop - Peoria NEXT Innovation Center
Oct 23 & 24 - GP CareerSpark - Peoria Civic Center
Mondays - One-Stop Shop Business Assistance - 1:30 p.m. Peoria City Hall
Track Our Progress
The Greater Peoria EDC has established a five year strategy and measurable goals as part of the Focus Forward Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy