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The executive committee of the Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois today announced that the Council’s Executive Director for the past three years will be retiring this fall. Ellen Krohne, who took the reins of the economic development organization in July of 2012 and has led the Council through a time of tremendous growth and progress, is stepping down to spend more time with her family.

The Leadership Council will immediately convene a search committee to begin the process of filling the open position, a process that will likely take a few months. In the meantime, Krohne will continue in a full-time capacity to help transition the Leadership Council through this change and assist in finding the next Executive Director, with the goal of having her successor on board between now and the end of the year to ensure the positive momentum continues.

“Ellen has done a remarkable job over the past three years as she has strengthened our organization and brought renewed focus to our work, engaging many new members in working collaboratively with us and our various partners on key initiatives that are moving our region forward,” noted Mike Riley, president of the Leadership Council. “We greatly appreciate her contributions to our organization and the region, and we are thankful that she is committed to assisting with the search for and onboarding of a new executive director.”

Krohne notes, “It has been my honor to serve as the Executive Director of the Leadership Council, which brings together an extraordinary group of leaders that dedicate themselves to growing Southwestern Illinois. Together, we’ve made great progress in the last three years, accomplishing most of the items on the 2012 strategic plan through much hard work on the part of the Council’s executive committee, board members and task force members. It has been a pleasure to work alongside them and our highly effective staff of two to support the organization’s many initiatives.”

Highlights of the accomplishments during Krohne’s time at the Leadership Council include:

  • Growth in membership (from 145 to 210) and initiating new membership meetings and relationship management through an enhanced membership database;
  • Launching the Scott Air Force Base Task Force with St. Clair and Madison counties and working effectively to continue growth at SAFB and prepare for another potential round of Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC);
  • Leading a successful Investment Campaign aimed at providing funding for the Council’s five-year program of work, including the ongoing work of the SAFB Task Force;
  • Launching the new Public Policy Committee and effectively prioritizing key issues and advancing them with our state and federal legislators;
  • Working through the Leadership Council’s Southwestern Illinois Transportation Enhancement (SITE) committee to grow logistics and manufacturing potential in SWIL, including participating in the Regional Freight Study, commissioning the Southwestern Illinois Freight Transportation Study and supporting the new St. Louis Regional Freight District;
  • Launching a new Manufacturing Steering Committee that is already busy implementing recommendations developed to address workforce needs in manufacturing and trades; and
  • Creating a new Marketing and Communications Committee that has overseen development of a new website for the organization, enhanced the Council’s various communications tools and helped to spearhead the ongoing Why Southwestern Illinois media relations campaign focusing on positive assets of the region.

In addition, Krohne has worked collaboratively with the Economic Development Leadership Team and Network focused on economic growth in the region, the Labor Management Committee which continues as the longest continuously running committee of its kind in the state, as well as the Levee Issues Alliance that has been focused on working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Flood Prevention District Council to ensure work remains on track to get the Metro East Levees reaccredited by FEMA.

“It’s been a busy few years at the Leadership Council, during which Ellen has not only laid a solid foundation on which we can continue to build in the years to come, but also strengthened relationships with regional partners who share our commitment to leveraging Southwestern Illinois’ strengths to continue to move our entire region forward,” noted Riley.

Information about the Executive Director position and how to apply is now posted on the Leadership Council’s website at www.leadershipcouncilswil.com for those who may be interested in the opportunity.