The Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corp. has hired an award-winning economic development director from Arizona to become the first executive director of the newly established SCVEDC.
The SCVEDC Board of Directors completed its five-month, nationwide executive search when it chose Jonas Peterson, economic director of Arizona’s Mohave County, from a field of highly experienced and talented candidates, said SCVEDC Chairman Bill Kennedy.
“Our deliberations were thorough and comprehensive,” Kennedy said. “We are absolutely delighted that Jonas will be taking over stewardship of our EDC program to retain and nurture existing businesses in our valley while attracting businesses in targeted industries that will promote economic vitality for our future. Jonas has an impressive list of credentials in that regard.”
Peterson has served as economic development director of Mohave County in Kingman, Ariz., since March 2009, serving concurrently as chairman of Arizona’s North River Economic Region. Among other accomplishments, he is credited with organizing an award-winning regional business retention and expansion program, leading an effort to locate Chrysler Corp.’s premier vehicle proving ground in Mohave County, and organizing a nationally recognized quantitative marketing campaign to attract corporate, medical, retail and educational development.
For his efforts, the Arizona Association for Economic Development named Peterson Arizona Economic Developer of the Year for 2010, which came on the heels of his receipt of the 2008 Horizon Award from the Institute for Sustainable Development.
Peterson has spent the past decade working on business and economic development issues and holds the designation of Certified Economic Developer awarded by the International Economic Development Council. He has a bachelor of science degree and an MBA from North Dakota State University and a master of professional studies degree from Penn State University.
Peterson said he is eager to start work with the SCVEDC and to relocate to his new community.
“I could not be more excited to join the Santa Clarita Valley EDC. The opportunity to work on economic development issues with some of the Valley’s best and brightest leaders is truly an honor. We have a tremendous opportunity ahead of us and I believe we are up to the challenge,” he said.
Peterson will assume his new duties June 28, after he and his wife Leah relocate to Santa Clarita with their two young sons, Ethan and Lincoln. He will operate out of the newly established SCVEDC offices in the California United Bank building, 25350 Magic Mountain Parkway, Suite 240, in Valencia.
The SCVEDC grew out of an initiative by a group of community leaders in late 2008. The proposal gained impetus in early 2009 through a partnership with the County of Los Angeles and the City of Santa Clarita, and support by an economic development committee established by the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce. More than 70 local business leaders joined the committee and initiated a number of activities designed to call attention to the favorable business climate in the Santa Clarita Valley.