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Daly named new CEO of Central Illinois Economic Development Council

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

By Pekin Daily Times

Jennifer Daly will start her new job as CEO of the Economic Development Council of Central Illinois on Nov. 3.

It may take two people to replace her in Morton.

Daly, 42, has spent the past six years as CEO of the Morton Economic Development Council and executive director of the Morton Chamber of Commerce. Her last day in those positions is Oct. 31.

The organizations have launched separate searches for replacements. The two hiring committees are meeting regularly to compare notes.

“All options are on the table,” said chamber board President Bill Aupperle. “There’s no timeline for hiring someone for the chamber. Having (chamber Program Director) Tammy Stephens around buys us some time. It’s more important that we find the right person.”

John Feser, vice president of the Morton EDC’s board of directors, said the organization is moving aggressively but also deliberately so due diligence is done on candidates.

“We need to find someone with the skills to keep us moving forward,” he said.

Daly is the Morton EDC’s first CEO.

The Morton EDC and chamber share office space and staff. And they have much in common, Daly said.

“They’re both pieces of a puzzle working for the same result,” she said. “The goal of the EDC is job creation. That includes helping existing businesses stay and grow.

“The chamber helps its membership through promotion, advocacy and training.”

The Morton Pumpkin Festival is the chamber’s most public face. With the help of hundreds of volunteers, site improvements, new events and new partnerships, Daly said, festival attendance has doubled since 2009.

Aupperle said what Daly has accomplished as the chamber’s director has gone above and beyond expectations.

“She’s close to irreplaceable, but we’ll do our best,” he said. “We need to find someone with the same drive so we continue making progress."

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