President & CEO – HCDC, Inc.

Dec 8, 2017 | Jobs, Newsletter |

TITLE:                                  President & CEO – HCDC, Inc. 

LOCATION:                        Cincinnati, OH 

COMPENSATION:            Based on experience including relocation assistance (if applicable)


  • Are you looking to combine a passion for economic development and community growth with strong leadership and business acumen?
  • Do you embrace the challenge of following a long-time leader where you’ll need to instill confidence in the staff and numerous community stakeholders and partners?
  • Will you welcome the opportunity to be the face of an organization and a community-wide champion for business growth and economic development?
  • Do you thrive on being a hands-on leader who is collaborative, results-oriented, and politically astute?
  • Can you work closely with an active Board and provide the strategic leadership and discipline that will keep everyone focused on the mission?

Gilman Partners has been retained by HCDC to conduct a national search for a leader to succeed its President who will retire in 2018 and has led HCDC since its founding in 1983.


Established in 1983, HCDC, Inc. (, formerly Hamilton County Development Co. Inc.), is a non-profit organization that helps build businesses and promote job creation in three ways: businesses incubation, business lending, and economic development services. Born out of a need to create jobs to counter a shrinking manufacturing sector, HCDC has nurtured over 300 entrepreneurial ventures, financed over $1 billion in projects and helped attract and create tens of thousands of local jobs.  Here’s how they do it:

  1. HCDC Business Lending– HCDC finances the expansions of growing businesses through the SBA 504 loan program and other long-term, fixed-rate financing tools used to purchase real estate and equipment while retaining critical working capital (
  2. HCDC Business Incubation– HCDC’s top-rated business incubator at the Business Center helps entrepreneurs launch innovative and scalable businesses through intensive business coaching, programming, connections, and flexible work environments in one of the largest and longest-running incubators in the Midwest (
  3. HCDC Economic Development– HCDC strengthens communities by retaining, expanding, and attracting businesses to Hamilton County, Ohio with financing, incentives, and expert technical assistance (

These three program areas foster business growth by financing business expansions, supporting further community investment, and providing assistance to entrepreneurs. As a not-for-profit economic development company, HCDC’s mission is to be a driving force behind business development.

Reporting directly to a Board of Directors comprised of community business leaders, the President and CEO will:

Provide Strategic Leadership

  • Lead the planning, development, implementation, and evaluation of the organization’s strategies, programs, and policies
  • Evaluate the impact of new programs, strategies, and regulatory actions; report findings and recommendations to the Board of Directors
  • Maintain in-depth understanding of the legal and political climate associated with economic development in general and within the community to ensure that programs remain relevant and competitive

Ensure Financial Strength

  • Oversee the financial health of the organization including developing long and short range financial plans, monitoring the budget, and ensuring sound financial controls are in place
  • Set financial priorities accurately to ensure the organization operates in a manner that supports the needs of the programs and staff

Cultivate Board Engagement

  • Build a diverse and inclusive Board of Directors that is committed and willing to leverage its influence to achieve HCDC’s mission
  • Create a strong and transparent working relationship with the Board to ensure open communication relative to all aspects of the organization
  • Direct preparation of annual reports, minutes of Membership meetings, Board of Directors meetings, Executive Committee meetings and agency reports

Provide Team Management and Development

  • Provide strong leadership and direction to all managers to ensure continued development of a professional and effective organization
  • Provide oversight of staffing, personnel policies, and performance management, including annual reviews; lead and guide staff in performance of duties to promote cooperation and teamwork
  • Develop and enhance, implement and enforce policies and procedures to improve the overall operation and effectiveness of the organization
  • Establish and promote a high level of professional and ethical standards within the organization

Be the Face of the Organization

  • Represent HCDC at various business and community events; participate on panels; deliver speeches/presentations, and promote HCDC as thought leaders in the field
  • Develop and maintain strong working relationships with local, state and federal agencies, elected officials, and strategic partners to promote economic growth in the region in accordance with HCDC’s program initiatives and goals
  • Actively participate in trade association conferences, seminars, training and other events to build a diverse network and stay abreast of new programs and opportunities for growth

Build the HCDC Brand

  • In conjunction with the Marketing Director and senior managers, create and execute comprehensive marketing, branding and development strategies that will enhance HCDC’s identity
  • Ensure that HCDC’s social media and digital marketing strategies are effective and position the organization as a leading voice in the region


Key Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree in a related field
  • Ten years’ experience in economic development, lending, banking or another relevant field
  • Five years’ experience managing a cross-functional team of finance, marketing, program operations, and human resource professionals
  • Prior budget and P&L responsibility, with strong financial acumen and a track record of generating positive financial results
  • Engaged management style that focuses on development, mentorship, and ongoing communication
  • Experience as President, CEO or member of a senior leadership team
  • Strong written communication skills and comfortable as a public speaker
  • Available regularly on evenings and weekends for meetings and events
  • Finalist candidates must be able to complete the SBA background check which includes fingerprinting and FBI check.


  • Advanced degree
  • Experience being the face of an organization with employees, key stakeholders, and in the community
  • Active involvement with a mission-driven organization as a board member or management team member
  • Current with the latest trends and challenges in business incubation and economic development
  • Well-networked in Greater Cincinnati’s business, political, and economic development communities, or demonstrated success establishing a similar network in another market
  • Working knowledge of small business lending and small business administration.


  • See your efforts have a direct impact on the economic health and growth of the community
  • Provide economic resources and support for entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds
  • Work collaboratively with a passionate group of staff members, Board members and partner agencies
  • Help reinforce and advance the organization’s reputation as a leader and innovator in its field
  • Pave the way for the next phase of community growth and impact

Please contact Michele Plessinger, if you have questions.

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