Director – Office Economic Vitality - Tallahassee, FL

Career Center ,

Director – Office Economic Vitality

Application Deadline: Open Until Filled


This position will serve as the official economic development officer for Florida’s Capital City and County and as the Director of their recently consolidated Economic Development Office (of record) for both the City of Tallahassee and Leon County, FL

Recognizing the need to invest in the local economic development landscape, the Leon County and the City of Tallahassee Commissions, acting jointly, approved becoming the second community in the state of Florida to dedicate a portion (12% over 20 years) of the local option infrastructure (Blueprint) sales tax proceeds for the sole purposes of growing and cultivating local economic development efforts.  These investments, estimated to sum $90M during the life of the tax, were approved by 2/3 margin in a local referendum in November 2014 and the new revenues will begin receipt in 2020. 

In order to support, sustain, and propel the Tallahassee/Leon County community’s economic development efforts, the County and City Commissions recently established the new Office of Economic Vitality as the local economic development organization of record for the community.  This action replaced, as well, the prior EDO of record (a contracted, external 501c3 that recently forfeited this service provision), and moved both city and county economic development departments (3 into 1) into this newly established office.  The Office of Economic Vitality will ensure accountability, transparency, citizen engagement and highly professional management of economic development projects, programs and initiatives at the local level, while simultaneously leveraging ideas, assets, resources, innovations and intellectual capital through the continuous coordination of the community’s economic development many stakeholders and co-creators.

The ideal candidate sought by this open/competitive employment opportunity is a proven leader within the economic development profession, preferably with experience leveraging success in similar-sized (or larger), vibrant and growing communities with a comparable blend of talent, research, and economic capacity.  This candidate is a person with excellent communication skills, high integrity and demonstrated energy, capable of working with and managing a highly competent and motivated staff to support the Tallahassee/Leon County Office of Economic Vitality’s goals and priorities, and must be able to work independently, under minimal supervision.



This is administrative and managerial work implementing the strategic direction, programs and services to incorporate, leverage and stimulate economic successes for the Tallahassee and Leon County community: the business, civic, educational and research home of Florida’s Capital Region.  The Director is responsible for the overall administration and supervision of the Office of Economic Vitality (OEV) and its full program of work, and will work closely with their supervisor, the Director of the Tallahassee/Leon County Department of Planning, Land Management and Community Enhancement (PLACE), as well as with the Leon County Administrator, and Tallahassee City Manager to inform the community’s Intergovernmental Agency (the “IA,” comprised of all duly elected City of Tallahassee and Leon County Commissioners, sitting jointly) of community growth opportunities and of OEV program performance to stimulate success.

 The Director will help plan and oversee the development of a long-term strategic plan for the community’s economic vitality that will include the identification of a vision, mission, and clear goals as well as cultural and stakeholder analysis, and holistic mechanisms for objective, clear monitoring, measurement, and feedback.  Once this Strategic Plan is approved by the IA, the Director will be primarily responsible for the implementation and day to day management of the strategic plan and the ongoing economic development program of work of the community.  This work will include direct management of OEV staff, toward achieving Strategic Plan objectives, as well as the possible meaningful involvement and leveraging of regional economic stakeholders.  

 The Director of OEV will lead and manage staff in all program areas, including strategic planning and fiscal accountability, engagement and operations, and research and business analytics.  The Director is responsible for managing and coordinating activities of the Economic Development Coordinating Committee (EDCC), which is a technical advisory committee that is structurally incorporated into the IA (Blueprint Sales Tax) review process.  The Director will work with the EDCC, and other stakeholders, upon potential economic development projects and will make recommendations to the IA for their approval.  The Director will ensure that all core responsibilities of the local economic development organization are fulfilled and objectively evaluated: business development, marketing and communications (to internal and external stakeholders), stakeholder engagement, business expansion and retention, business attraction and recruitment, research commercialization and entrepreneurial growth, and periodic reporting on the status and implementation of the strategic plan.  Work is performed under the direction of Director-PLACE.


Essential Duties

The Director is responsible for the planning, implementation, and coordination of economic development programs and oversight of the daily operations, including but not limited to:  Serve as the chief “economic development officer” or representative for Tallahassee/Leon County, FL and is responsible for the development, implementation, and day to day management of the programs supporting the long-term strategic plan and the ongoing economic development efforts of the community.  Direct, coordinate, monitor and evaluate the planning and execution of all economic development marketing activities to increase the visibility of, and effectively market, the community and serve as the media’s point of contact on all economic development topics.  Leads, inclusively, the coordination, collaboration and leveraging of all economic development resources, stakeholders, and partners toward the direct achievement of strategic economic development goals and toward the strengthening of our community’s economic vitality and vibrancy.  Manage, coordinate, and provide staff to support the EDCC in the development of programmatic recommendations to the IA (County/City Commissions) for formal approval.  Maintain an active working knowledge of the economic trends of Tallahassee/Leon County and the State of Florida and well as opportunities, concerns and trends in key targeted industry sectors including those that drive economic vitality in Florida’s Capital Region.  Develop and sustain quality, trusting relationships with the leadership of prospective companies, regional economic development partners and stakeholders (including leadership of our higher education, research and commercialization communities), regional and national site selectors, commercial and industrial realtors, and other local/regional organizations and elected officials.  Implement initiatives related to growth of entrepreneurial and research commercialization efforts with community partners and stakeholders, including higher education institutions.  Engage key stakeholders in the coordination of the talent acquisition, retention, and workforce development issues, aligning these efforts with targeted industry needs.  Supervise the collection, analysis, and compilation of economic, market, and demographic data for dissemination while driving forth the Office’s Business Analytics and Research Division as a core asset leveraging improved economic vitality outcomes.  Propose and promote legislation designed to stimulate economic, workforce, industrial, and community development; research and interpret federal, state, and local legislation and regulations; monitor staff, external consultants and project sponsors for performance compliance and adherence to applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations.  Participate in various sales and marketing missions to market Tallahassee/Leon County to corporate real estate professionals, site consultants, targeted industry leaders, including companies that may commercialize the research performed at Florida State University, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, and Tallahassee Community College and by the broad higher education resources of our community, and specific targeted businesses.  Attend and represent the Office of Economic Vitality at conferences, public speaking engagements and appropriate public and private meetings.  Maintain memberships and proactive leadership in professional organizations such as the International Economic Development Council, Florida Economic Development Council, National Association for Industrial and Office Parks, Industrial Asset Management Council, National Business Incubation Association, and CoreNet.  Empower key staff members to establish and maintain cooperative working relationships, as well as proactively coach direct reports toward top individual and team performance; conducts performance evaluations and recommends approval of merit pay increases.  Recommend the hire, transfer, promotion, grievance resolution and discipline of employees to the Director of PLACE. 

Other Important Duties

Performs special assignments, projects and related work as required.


Knowledge, Abilities and Skills

Knowledge of economic development principles, practices and programs, grant processes and marketing principles.  Knowledge of long range strategic planning.  Knowledge of local funding mechanisms for economic development and community enhancement projects.  Knowledge of applicable federal, state and local laws, ordinances, and regulations.  Knowledge and experience with Florida's capital region and system of governance at state, regional and local levels.  Knowledge of management practices as applied to the analysis and evaluation on programs and policies.  Ability to plan, direct, supervise, coordinate, and organize economic development programs.  Ability to follow through on issues and projects, make informed decisions that comply with policies and procedures, complete tasks, and solve problems.  Ability to work effectively with all levels of internal and external associates, clients, and colleagues.  Ability to build bridges and achieve consensus among stakeholders.  Ability to develop and maintain collaborative relationships internally and externally with private enterprises and public and government officials.  Capable of speaking genuinely and effectively with diverse audiences.  Proven ability to forge authentic relationships with a wide range of civic, business, including developers, investors, bankers and community residents.  Demonstrated experience in successfully navigating complex political situations.  Demonstrated leadership, communication and management skills with capacity for financial analysis and fiscal management. Excellent oral and written communication skills.  Excellent and confident human relations skills.  

Minimum Training and Experience

Possession of a bachelor's degree in public or business administration or a related field and 6 years of professional experience which includes direct economic development, community development, research commercialization, and/or real estate development experience, with 4 years of relevant supervisory experience.  


Possession of a master's in public or business administration or related and 5 years of professional experience which includes direct economic development, community development, research commercialization, and/or real estate development experience, with 3 years of supervisory experience.  


Must be a Certified Economic Developer.


Must obtain certification as Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) within five years of employment as a condition of continued employment


The salary range for the position is $37.9844 to $87.2489/hourly. Hiring rate generally will not exceed $62.6005/hour


A completed employment application is required. Applicants must apply via the online system at

TDD #711

The City of Tallahassee is an equal opportunity employer