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Alvey leaving EDAWN

BRIAN DUGGAN
bduggan@nevadaappeal.com

Chuck Alvey, the CEO and president of the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada, said Tuesday he is planning on stepping down from the position later this year.

Alvey said he wants to pursue other professional interests, but will stay in the position until a new CEO is hired.

Meanwhile, Nevada’s Legislature is considering a major overhaul of the state’s economic development system and Alvey said a new CEO should be able to implement those changes from the get-go.

EDAWN Chairman Russ Romine said in a statement the organization’s board of trustees asked Alvey to stay on with the organization in his current role until a new CEO is hired while maintaining business development projects.

Terms of the search were not disclosed. The board’s goal is to hire a search firm within two weeks and have a new CEO in place by the end of summer.

“The EDAWN board takes its responsibility seriously in finding the ideal person to lead economic development in Northern Nevada going forward,” Romine said. “It’s a new day for economic development in Nevada and the new leader needs to have demonstrated economic development experience and results, be skilled in collaboration and ‘regionalization,’ and have an eye toward innovation.”

Rob Hooper, the executive director of the Carson City-based Northern Nevada Development Authority, said he was surprised by the news on Tuesday.

“Chuck has spent 12 years dedicating his life to the region,” Hooper said, adding the proposed changes to the state’s economic development agencies in the legislature should benefit the region.

“I have faith in the governor that we’re going to wind up in a much better place regardless,” he said.

Alvey, 61, became the CEO of EDAWN in 1998. By 2009, however, many members of his original team had left the organization and Alvey said he wanted to stay two years longer than he originally planned to help the organization continue its work.

“Our team had really left and I couldn’t leave,” he said. “It would have been pandemonium.”

Now, Alvey said EDAWN has a new set of players who are working on a number of potential prospects that may set up shop in the region.

As for the restructuring of the state’s economic development system, which is currently a disjointed collection of organizations throughout the state, Alvey said he supports the effort.

Under the proposed changes to the system, economic development agencies would apply and compete for state funding, among the reforms.

But those changes also played a role in his decision to step down.

“It kind of felt like somebody who was trying to build and design a house and they’re never going to live in it,” he said. “It ought to be somebody who’s going to be living in it.”

During the past decade, EDAWN assisted 312 companies in relocating or expanding in the area, creating 12,035 jobs, 16.2 million square feet of new or leased industrial or office space and $2 billion in economic impact throughout the region.

EDAWN is a private, non-profit corporation founded in 1982.