April 9, 2018 (FLINT, Mich) — Mayor Karen Weaver held a press conference Monday morning to announce exciting developments regarding her administration’s efforts to improve economic development in the City of Flint by launching a comprehensive strategy to grow jobs and investment.
“It’s been years since Flint had its own team focused on economic development, but all that is changing,” said Mayor Weaver.
Weaver recognized the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, which had a major role in making this change a reality.
“We appreciate the W.K. Kellogg Foundation for seeing the promise and importance of investing in Flint,” said Weaver. “The nearly $3 million grant they awarded the City of Flint this year allowed us to shift our plans to boost economic development in Flint into high gear starting with re-building capacity at City Hall.”
The Mayor also thanked Tim Herman, CEO of the Flint and Genesee Chamber of Commerce, for the great strides the Chamber has made in economic development throughout the Flint community for more than a decade.
“We appreciate Tim and his team for all the work they have done,” stated Weaver. “We also feel the City itself should be more involved in this area. We look forward to collaborating with the Chamber to build the thriving economy we all want here in the City of Flint!”
It was announced that Janice Karcher, who has worked at the Chamber for 30 years, will work closely with the City’s Economic Development Team, focusing on business development. Linnette Phillips, a Flint native with decades of economic development experience, will serve as Deputy Director on the team, focusing on small business. Aonie Gilcreast has been appointed to serve as Outreach Development Liaison.
Mayor Weaver also revealed Rodrick Miller, president and CEO of Ascendant Global, has been hired to lead the team in the position of Economic Development Director.
“Rodrick has over 15 years of experience in economic development. He has worked to attract new businesses and transactions totaling over $5 million in private investments, representing over 40,000 new jobs,” said Weaver.
“I am thrilled to be working with the City of Flint,” said Miller. “My company, Ascendant Global specializes in helping distressed communities develop economic strategies that strengthen business and create opportunities for all its residents.”
Some of the priorities the City’s new Economic Development Team will be working on include:
- Generating quality, good-paying jobs
- Growing small business
- Helping to promote Flint’s recovery and tell its comeback story
“This is great news for Flint,” said Weaver. “We want people to know that we are working to make Flint a better place to live and to work, and progress is being made. Despite any setbacks that occur, we will continue moving forward working to revitalize and rebuild this City that we love.”