GBP Hires Harrington as New Economic Development Director
The Greater Burlington Partnership has hired Robert Harrington as the organization's new director of economic development.
Harrington will take over the position held by Jason Hutcheson, who will assume the duties of CEO and president on Oct. 1. Dennis Hinkle, longtime CEO and president of the Greater Burlington Partnership, will retire Sept. 30.
"We wanted somebody with significant experience," said Hutcheson. "What really caught our eye was he's taking on leadership roles in the economic development community."
Harrington comes to Burlington from southwest Missouri where he was the executive director for the Barton County Community Development Corp. While he was in Missouri, he also served on the Missouri Economic Development Council and the Northeast Missouri Development Partnership.
Harrington's duties as director of GBP's economic development division will be to develop Flint Ridge Business Park and lead the efforts to draw business to the area as well as help existing companies with their needs. He will try to find companies for other available properties and be heavily involved with incentive programs. The Greater Burlington Partnership has made great use of the Enterprise Zone program and the Targeted Jobs Withholding Tax Credit Program.
"Strong momentum has been building in greater Burlington," said Randy Pflum, board chairman of the Greater Burlington Partnership's economic development division, and CEO of TriOak Foods Inc. "Rob has built a series of relationships with site selectors and location consultants, and I believe he will represent our community well."
Hutcheson said the position was advertised nationally and drew a lot of interest. The decision came down to two finalists, who were invited to town to tour the community and meet various team members.
Harrington will take over his new position July 2, which will allow three months of transition time before Hutcheson takes over for Hinkle. Hutcheson said that was the game plan in order for both he and Harrington to smoothly move into their positions.
"I'm looking forward to a great opportunity in greater Burlington," Harrington said. "This community has so much to offer, and the partnership already has a solid team in place."
Hutcheson said the Greater Burlington Partnership will want Harrington on the road as much as possible, selling the community to companies looking to expand or move to new locations.
"It's going to be very important for him to meet the business leaders in the community," Hutcheson said.