Manager/Director of Business Retention & Expansion - Baton Rouge, LA

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MANAGER/DIRECTOR, BUSINESS RETENTION & EXPANSION

Apply for this position here.

Community Description

The Baton Rouge Area is located in the heart of the U.S. Gulf South on the Mississippi River.  Known as the Capital Region of Louisiana, our unique creole culture intersects with the center of our state government, the state’s flagship university at LSU, and our global industrial corridor.   With a population of 850,000 and a diverse economy of approximately 400,000 workers, the Baton Rouge Area offers something for everyone.  

Organizational Description 

The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) leads economic development in the nine-parish Baton Rouge metropolitan area. Serving as the voice of the business community, BRAC’s membership includes more than 1,500 organizations whose employees represent over a third of the Capital Region workforce.  

Position Description

BRAC is seeking a talented, highly motivated individual to serve as the Manager/Director of Business Retention & Expansion to help grow, diversify, and sustain the Capital Region economy.  This person is charged with continuously engaging existing large and mid-sized corporations that drive economic activity and growth within the Capital Region.  These BRE-targeted companies are ones that conduct a majority of their business activity outside of the region and have their business location within the Capital Region. This person must have excellent interpersonal skills and high emotional intelligence with the ability to build strong relationships, engage with company executives, lead structured meetings, creatively and positively approach business challenges, and work with government and public officials to achieve desired results for companies and BRAC. We are looking for someone that can understand a company’s operations and help it overcome obstacles to sustain operations or bring growth plans to fruition. This person understands broad workforce, business climate and regulatory issues while applying economic development tools such as incentives and other business resources to assist companies.  Successful candidates will understand how the sum of their daily work can educate policymakers and help companies understand their own business environment, helping make the Capital Region as competitive as possible for economic development.

The position title given of Manager or Director will be determined based on experience.

The manager/director must possess the ability to lead and provide technical assistance to companies, conduct analyses, and communicate findings clearly to both internal and external stakeholders, including senior management, BRAC’s Board of Directors, committees, elected officials, and other economic development allies.

This position is demanding and requires an individual that can exercise substantial independent judgment and decision making, with a high level of confidence and knowledge. The selected candidate must have keen attention to detail and strong verbal and written communication skills to ensure correspondence and reports are timely and accurate.

The manager/director will be expected to: 

  • Identify and conduct outreach to major and mid-sized corporations in the Capital Region, with a target metric of 120-150 visits annually from a master list consisting of approximately 600 companies
  • Use a variety of methods to engage companies:  individual visits, leveraging other partners, digital surveys, hosting group roundtables
  • Develop full understanding of all public and private resources available to offer companies as resources to benefit their growth or address their challenges, including resources available through Louisiana Economic Development (LED); federal business programs such as PTAC, SBDC, or MEPOL; state business support groups; local incubators; financial services organizations; and other relevant private service providers.
  • Maintain and update as necessary the master list of businesses and companies driving economic growth across the nine-parish Capital Region, using BRAC’s business intelligence research team, reviewing area media about business activity, monitoring the Inc 5000, LSU 100 and other business lists.
  • Align outreach efforts with BRAC’s five-year plan to address emerging sectors, such as life sciences, water resources, transitional energy, software, and technology 
  • Understand and communicate labor and workforce issues, based on data gathered from company visits, to local, educational, regional, and state officials who are involved in addressing training and workforce development needs
  • Identify trends in the information received from business visitations to assist BRAC’s efforts to address policy and competitiveness challenges for the region
  • Regular reporting to staff and stakeholders. Monthly business development meetings, quarterly partners meetings, internal meetings as required 
  • Engage in outreach through presentations, meetings, associations, industry organizations and collaboration with stakeholders in the promotion of the retention and expansion program 
  • Coordinate nominations for regional and state business awards, such as LED’s Lantern Award, Business Report awards, and other events as assigned
  • Maintain confidentiality of client and organizational information as required
  • Integrate other software/IT platforms to assist efforts, such as EMSI, Economic Impact Analysis, CRM (Salesforce), Sites databases (LACDB, Costar, LED sites database)
  • Travel to meet with prospects, clients, consultants
  • Assist in coordinating and maintaining a community resiliency plan, particularly around pre-disaster preparation and post-disaster outreach
  • Perform other duties as assigned

Key Skills

  • A self-starter, proactive thinker, and entrepreneurial professional, requiring minimal supervision, maintaining a professional image and spirit of cooperation, teamwork, and communication
  • Integration of technology/software platforms to supplement job duties 
  • A team player, working closely with BRAC leaders and investors, local officials, state economic development professionals, and private-sector clients

Communication

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Effective and timely communication of relevant project information to superiors
  • Able to communicate difficult/sensitive information tactfully
  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Delivers engaging, informative, well-organized presentations
  • Easily interfaces with senior level executives 

Analysis

  • Analytical capabilities (quantitative and qualitative)
  • Familiarity with company analysis, including company financial documents
  • Workforce, economic impact, site due diligence, incentives
  • Ability to think strategically and tactically
  • Strong attention to detail and accuracy

Leadership

  • Strong advocacy skills
  • Ability to meet internal and external colleague expectations effectively and professionally and positively represent the organization
  • A desire to work within a diverse, collaborative, and driven professional environment

Management

  • Manages day-to-day operational aspects of a project and scope and resolves issues in a timely fashion
  • Is timely, well-prepared, and able to facilitate meetings effectively
  • Assures projects continue to move forward despite potential obstacles
  • Ability to multi-task, succeed under pressure, and effectively manage time and workload
  • Skilled at pulling together diverse parties to contribute to development of final content deliverables 

Requirements:

  • 3 years (manager)/5 years (director) successful experience in a field related to economic development, retention/expansion, management consulting, corporate finance/governance, business development, manufacturing process management, etc
  • Strong track record of business, financial or economic development-related experience
  • Qualifications such as MS, MBA, CEcD or other relevant economic development related designations are helpful
  • A strong command of Microsoft office products, Salesforce and/or other databases

 
Salary: Competitive, based on qualifications and experience

No in-person inquiries will be accepted for this position. Only online submissions will be accepted.  Apply for this position here.