A woman who has helped bring thousands of jobs and hundreds of thousands of dollars in investment to our region calls it quits. The Rockford Area Economic Development Council's leader is stepping down. Janyce Fadden decided after almost eight years as the RAEDC president she needs to move on and she Fadden leaves behind a strong legacy for the Rockford community.
"We want to create, we want to retain, we want to attract, we want to expand qualities jobs to our region," says Fadden during last year's RAEDC annual dinner.
It's been Fadden's mission during her tenure at the council. Last year, she helped bring almost 3,000 new jobs more than 18,000 over her tenure.
"When Janyce started, I would say more than 50 percent of RAEDC didn't exist," says Joel Sjostrom, RAEDC chairman.
"She did her homework. She understood the product which is the Rockford region. She knew how to communicate that effectively. She also build an incredibly effective team," says David Schertz, OSF St. Anthony Medical Center President and CEO and RAEDC board member.
For Fadden RAEDC was an opportunity to create partnerships and collaborations. She formed almost a dozen and some that gained international attention including... the Go Global International Trade Conference, the Tri State Alliance and the newest, the Joint Institute of Engineering and Technology (Jiet-A). The post-high school education program came together after Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University decided to postpone a decision on expanding its university.
"I'm especially pleased we exceeded our goals for this first semester. So I think we used what we learned from Embry Riddle to build something that we are growing and seeding ourselves," says Fadden.
"There is few people in this community in the last 5 or 7 years that have had as significant an impact for good in the community as Janyce has," says Bill Roop, Alpine Bank president, RAEDC board member.
Fadden's leaving to move closer to her family in Alabama. There's no final day for her yet. She plans to give the board time to find a successor.
After almost eight years at the helm of the Rockford Area Economic Development Council, Janyce Fadden has officially resigned as president.
"I have considered it a privilege to lead the RAEDC, and I am proud of the many successes our team was able to accomplish during these eight years," Fadden said. "But I have come to the personal decision that I want to be closer to my family at this stage in my life, so I will be leaving Rockford. I depart knowing that the RAEDC and its related organization, Rockford Area Strategic Initiatives, are well positioned to continue making major contributions to building the region's prosperity."
During her tenure, Fadden either created or helped to create the following programs in the region:
Fadden also served on many boards and committees in the region, including Alignment Rockford, City of Rockford EDEEN Partnership, NIU Research Foundation, RACVB, Rockford Chamber of Commerce, Rockford Sexual Assault Counseling, and more.
The results of Fadden's collaborative work with RAEDC has led to the retention or creation of 18,700 jobs, $1.3 million of capital investment, and the occupation of 13 million square feet of development.
RAEDC Chairman Joel Sjostrom remarked the board was reluctant to accept Fadden's resignation. "We have always been extremely pleased with her leadership and results. Janyce's skill in building collaborations and in developing outcome-oriented and customer-focused strategies are the hallmarks of her leadership," he continued. "I know that many in the region will share the board's mixed emotions. We are pleased that Janyce will be near her family but are extremely disappointed to lose such a remarkable leader and colleague. It is difficult to thank Janyce enough for all the skill and hard work she has contributed to the tremendous achievements we have accomplished together."
RAEDC's Board of Directors is currently interviewing candidates to replace Fadden, who will remain on the board until someone has been selected.
Tune in to 13 News at 5 & 6 for remarks from Fadden and other community leaders on her resignation.
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