Senior Business Relationship Manager – Greater Akron Chamber
The Senior Business Relationship Manager reports directly to the Vice President of Economic Development and is responsible for implementing key components related to the Elevate Greater Akron Strategic Plan. The individual’s primary responsibility will be identifying companies in targeted categories/clusters and developing and maintaining ongoing relationships with individual companies in order to grow capital investment, company revenue, exports and jobs in the Greater Akron Region via targeted business retention and expansion efforts (BRE) with local companies.
Elevate Greater Akron is the newly adopted economic development plan for the Greater Akron area. This plan is the product of a first-ever collaboration between four entities (City of Akron, County of Summit, Greater Akron Chamber and the GAR Foundation) who came together to create a transformative, high-functioning and collaborative economic development system for Akron. Each entity, in addition to other key partners and stakeholders, plays a unique and critical role in the execution of this plan. The Greater Akron Chamber’s role in this effort is to serve as the ‘collaborator general,’ working to ensure effective execution and coordination among all players in the plan and, generally, in the ecosystem. The Chamber is also on-point for key initiatives in the plan, including the Business Retention and Expansion program.
- Oversee portfolio of companies in advanced materials/polymer cluster; conduct research on both individual companies and industry sector; draft, maintain and update customized profiles for each portfolio company
- Primary liaison to portfolio companies; initiate outreach to – and maintain ongoing relationships with – advanced materials/polymer companies, both individually and as a collective group
- Schedule and conduct both proactive – and reactive – BRE meetings with local companies
- Utilize Summit County/SalesForce Database for entering, storing and updating all company communication, data and information related to both BRE efforts and ongoing/open projects
- Provide ecosystem navigation to help companies access assistance, resources and support via the Greater Akron Chamber and our public/private sector network of economic development partners at the local, regional and state levels
- Ability to direct and oversee project management assistance to companies looking to expand in/relocate to the Greater Akron Region
- Convene, facilitate and host industry sector events/roundtables/symposiums to identify needs, opportunities, trends and shape/share best practices
- Interact with economic development partner organizations at the local, regional and state levels in order to support entrepreneurs, scale up/start up, middle market and Fortune 500 level companies across the industry spectrum
- Assist the Senior Management Team in activities set forth in both the internal Greater Akron Chamber Strategy Blueprint and the Elevate Greater Akron Strategic Plan
- Perform other duties as assigned by the Vice President of Economic Development and the Greater Akron Chamber Senior Management Team
ELEVATE GREATER AKRON NEW APPROACH TO BRE:
Existing local scale up (up to $10 million in revenue and 10 to 30 employees) and middle market ($10 million to $100 million in revenue and 30 to 300 employees) firms represent the bulk of new job growth in a given region and the space where Economic Development Organizations have the greatest potential for impact. Taking a fresh approach to BRE implies this strategy does not just represent a traditional call program or a checklist of questions to see if a firm is generally satisfied. “New BRE” must be robust, targeted and characterized by a strong emphasis on relationship management and business intelligence. New BRE is about the needs and competitiveness of existing businesses, with outreach organized around targeted, high potential groups of firms.
PREFERRED EDUCATION, EXPERIENCE AND SKILLS:
- Bachelor’s degree; preferred in business, communications, economics, public policy or a related field
- Five to seven years relevant work experience preferred; private sector experience in advance materials/polymers desired, but not required
- Experience working with companies to define scope of proposed projects, triage issues and identify resources/support available via both public and private sectors preferred
- Exceptional communication, interpersonal and writing skills
- Self-starter, highly motivated with the ability to work both creatively and independently
- Strong organizational, planning and project management skills with a sustained focus on attention to detail
- Strong understanding of customer service; ability to adjust oneself to the mindset of the “audience,” “client,” or “guest”
- Excellent diplomacy, judgement and interpersonal skills
- Experience with workings of public economic development and workforce development programs desired, but not required
- Ability to prioritize and manage multiple programs and projects in an accurate, professional and timely manner
- Strong aptitude with computer programs essential to business communication, including Word, PowerPoint, Excel and other Microsoft Office programs
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