GOSHEN — The president and CEO of the Economic Development Corp. of Elkhart County has resigned.
Mark Dobson said he submitted his resignation last week because, “There were significant philosophical differences with staffing ideas.”
Those differences were with the agency’s board of directors. Dobson had led the EDC since September 2015. He was formerly the president of the Kosciusko County Chamber of Commerce.
“We accepted his resignation last week,” said board chairman John Place, “and we are moving forward with Chris Stager as the interim president as we search for a new director.”
Stager is the vice president of retention and expansion for the EDC.
Place added, “We are going to spend a little time here making sure Chris is working on the initiatives of the EDC and we will start our search later on.”
Those initiatives, Place explained, have evolved from the emphasis on business retention that occurred following the Great Recession in 2008 and 2009, to helping local businesses and industries fill job openings with trained workers.
And, he said, there is a growing emphasis on working with other economic development agencies and job-training providers in Michiana.
Dobson credited the team at the EDC with helping to attract and retain businesses during the past few years that resulted in frenetic industrial expansion.
“We have had three straight years of development growth well over $100 million a year,” he said of Elkhart County.
Dobson said this past year in particular was very strong, with about $160 million in industrial investment.
“Those are the hard, measurable numbers,” he said.
But it was the relationships built by the EDC staff with site selectors and corporate executives who decided where to put a new factory, that Dobson said is one of the lasting impressions he has of working at the EDC.
“I am proud of how we positioned our community to a place where you want your company to be,” he said.
Going forward, Dobson said he and his wife Tina are studying several opportunities that they have for their future.