Website Independence Council for Economic Development

The Community:
Independence, Missouri, located on the east side of the Kansas City metropolitan area, is the fifth-largest city in Missouri with a population of over 121,000 and encompassing 78 square miles. Located on the south bank of the Missouri River, Independence is connected to Kansas City, Columbia and St. Louis by Interstates 70 and 435, and Lee’s Summit to the south by Interstate 470. Kansas City International Airport is 30 miles from the city center. Independence boasts a proud heritage since the first pioneers settled the town in 1827. As the starting point for the California, Santa Fe and Oregon trails and home to the country’s 33rd President, Harry S. Truman, the City honors its historic roots while planning and growing for the future. Strong initiatives for restoring older commercial areas and residential neighborhoods along with new upscale retail development are providing exciting opportunities for the community. Recognized as a “Preserve America Community” and three times named an “All-America City” by the National Civic League, residents enjoy this unique home town heritage blended with contemporary amenities. Independence provides a wealth of recreational activities for residents and tourists alike. One of ten cities with a Presidential Library, other attractions include the Centerpoint Community Ice public ice-skating facility, Silverstein Eye Centers Arena with anchor tenants the Missouri Mavericks and the Missouri Comets, and a multitude of museums and annual festivals. Opportunities for hiking, biking, fishing, athletics, interpretive programs and other outdoor recreational activities abound with 40 parks encompassing more than 800 acres. The City is served by state-of-the-art regional hospital Centerpoint Medical Center, four school districts and two institutions of higher learning, Blue River Community College and Graceland University. With a rich religious history, Independence is also home to 120 different places of worship.

The Organization:
The Independence Council for Economic Development (hereinafter referred to as the “INEDC”) serves as the lead economic development agency for the City of Independence. The organization is also branded externally as “Independence EDC.” The organization recruits and assists businesses with their relocation and expansion plans and has an established program to support existing local business. The INEDC also manages, operates and staffs the Ennovation Center Business Incubator. The INEDC is a public-private partnership and not a government entity. The INEDC is a member of the Kansas City Area Development Council and participates actively in the activities of the Missouri Partnership and Missouri Department of Economic Development.
The INEDC currently is supported financially by the City of Independence and 3 local school districts (Independence, Blue Springs and Fort Osage) and over one hundred private sector partners. The INEDC Board of Directors is largely comprised of representatives from these organizations.

The Position:
The President/CEO of the INEDC performs highly professional management and administrative work in planning, organizing, coordinating, and directing the economic development programs under the control of the INEDC in accordance with short and long term work plans of the organization’s Board of Directors, including active efforts to attract, expand, enhance and retain business and commerce in the City of Independence. Under the direction of the Board of Directors, the President/CEO is expected to exercise a high degree of independence, initiative, ethics, and professional expertise in the operation of the INEDC’s economic development programs. The President/CEO is responsible for coordinating the INEDC’s economic development activities with state and local government entities and the INEDC Board of Directors. Responsibilities include retaining, expanding and attracting business and investment to the area.

Economic Development Services
1. Leads, manages, directs and coordinates all operations of the Independence Economic Development Council.
2. Promotes economic growth and stability by partnering, networking and supporting business organizations and industry in the city and in the region.
3. Studies governmental legislation, taxation, and other fiscal matters to determine effect on city economic development and makes action recommendations to the Board of Directors.
4. Participates in community organizations, locally and regionally, and their activities to develop opportunities, ascertain needs, serve investors and promote Council goals through the Council’s action teams and special initiatives.
5. Prepares and makes presentations to community, government and business organizations to create greater understanding among these groups.
6. Represents the Council at other economic development and governmental units, such as Missouri Economic Development Council, International Economic Development Council, Kansas City Area Development Council, Eastern Jackson County Betterment Council, Independence City Council, Jackson County Commission, area Boards of Education or any other Kansas City area economic development organization.
7. Handles all media relations, manages, and approves press releases as appropriate.
8. Manages and coordinates site location projects.

Investor Recruitment/Investor Services and Fund Development
1. Leads, manages all investor recruitment and investor services activities in coordination with the Management Committee. Strives to increase total number of investors in the INEDC.
2. Works with Board of Directors to establish short- and long-range goals to achieve Council investor and funding objectives.
3. Researches public and private grant agencies to identify potential sources of funding for research, community service, or other projects and in concert with the board, acts upon these opportunities.

1. Carries out the strategic goals of the Board of Directors as outlined in the program of work.
2. Prepares annual budget in consultation with other staff and the Treasurer to allocate funds, control costs and maintain operations at a consistent level. Submits to the Board of Directors for approval.
3. Oversees and approves all accounting activities including payroll.
4. Prepares agenda for Board meetings.
5. Works with all Board committees, as needed from time-to-time, in carrying out their various goals and objectives.
6. Hires, trains and evaluates the performance of all staff.
7. Recommends new policies and procedures to Board of Directors as necessary.

1. Performs other related duties as assigned by the Board of Directors.

Leadership and Management Opportunities:
Assess organizational needs. The President will serve as an internal consultant to the INEDC. The President will meet with INEDC Board Members, investors, and current staff to understand and address organizational needs.

Marketing and promotion. The President will develop and execute a comprehensive marketing program to promote economic activity in the City of Independence.

Business retention and expansion. The President will retain and expand existing employers in the City of Independence by providing research services, access to economic development tools, site location assistance, and other relevant expertise.

Economic growth and job creation. The President will identify opportunities for employer attraction and pursue commercial and industrial development to increase number of quality jobs, median income, and utilities customers in the City of Independence.

Redevelopment. The President will coordinate the interests and efforts of multiple community stakeholders to plan, organize, implement and monitor activities that achieve results related to economic redevelopment of blighted and stagnate commercial districts.
Workforce development. The Independence employment market is rich with jobs that offer wages at or above our per-capita median income yet local employers are continually challenged to attract and retain employees to fill high-quality career paths within their companies. The President will facilitate the efforts of the Independence Works 2025 Workforce Development Committee to address workforce development challenges in the City of Independence, including identifying and implementing effective solutions that address all segments of the workforce including the unemployed, underemployed, low-skilled, and highly-skilled workers.

Experience, Training and Personal Attributes:
The President/CEO:
 Is self-motivated and a results-oriented individual able to work with the Board of Directors and a diverse group of key stakeholders.
 Possesses excellent verbal and written communication skills to be used with the INEDC staff, Board of Directors, citizens and media, as well as good listening skills;
 Is able to anticipate potential issues, identify alternative courses of action, and prepare proactive recommendations.
 Maintains professional affiliations to enhance professional growth and remain current with the latest trends, techniques and technologies for economic development.
 Has at least seven (7) years responsible experience in Economic Development, with a minimum of three (3) years of administrative and management experience.
 Has an equivalent to a Bachelor’s degree in Economic Development, Business, Public Relations, or a related field from an accredited college or university, Master’s degree in related field preferred as well as completion of the Basic Economic Development Course of the Economic Development Institute. Certification as a Certified Economic Developer (CED/CEcD) preferred but not required.
 Has significant experience with computers and high level mastery of or capacity to quickly learn software utilized by the INEDC, including Microsoft Office Suite, the internet, and network applications.
 Possesses an appropriate, valid Missouri driver’s license within 60 days of employment.
 Is willing and able to work beyond what is considered a standard work day/week as this is an exempt position. The position will require after hours work to successfully implement programs, meet prospects and conduct INEDC business. These responsibilities will sometime require travel, both in and out of the boundaries of the INEDC.

Compensation and Benefits
The 2020 pay range is $90,000 to $135,000, depending on qualifications, with additional financial incentives available based on certain deliverables being met. The INEDC also offers a robust benefit program. Relocation negotiable.
Application and Selection Process
Qualified candidates please submit your cover letter and resume by email to This position is open until filled; however, interested applicants are strongly encouraged to apply no later than March 20, 2020. For more information, please contact Tom Waters, Independence INEDC Board Chair, at

The Independence, Missouri Economic Development Council is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

For more information about the Independence Economic Development Council, please see its website at:

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