City of Bellevue, WA

Chief Economic Development Officer

Location: City of Bellevue, WA
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 Chief Economic Development Officer 
City of Bellevue, WA
(Population: 134,400)

The City of Bellevue is the fifth largest city in Washington State having grown from a quiet suburban bedroom community to a dynamic metropolitan city over the past couple of decades. Today Bellevue is looking for a new Chief Economic Development Officer to help lead a focused strategy for economic development and help the City achieve its vision of being a prosperous and vibrant international city with innovative and entrepreneurial businesses and a high quality of life for residents.

Bellevue's Economic Development Vision
Bellevue's economic development efforts are ultimately about improving the quality of life for residents through the creation of diverse and dynamic places and a variety of nearby shopping, recreation, entertainment, cultural, and employment opportunities.  Bellevue's economic development initiatives are designed to advance the following Desired Outcomes:

  • A strengthened and diversified economic base that supports the City's ability to provide quality services to residents and business owners and enhances economic resiliency. Investment by businesses and individuals from many sectors and many countries will contribute to the health and vitality of the Bellevue economy.
  • A strong regional economy that benefits residents and business in Bellevue and neighboring communities. As the economic engine of the Eastside, the City of Bellevue will take a regional, collaborative approach to advancing areas of common interest among communities in the greater Seattle area.
  • Employment opportunities and paths to prosperity for a wide range of residents. Bellevue is a diverse community, with prosperous residents employed by companies at the forefront of the Internet economy, and others who struggle to find service jobs that pay a living wage. The City's economic development strategy includes programs that benefit workers along the entire spectrum, and assists those seeking to develop the skills necessary to find a job or upgrade their employment.
  • An easy and attractive place to do business having a full range of attractive commercial building types, highly reliable and up-to-date power and technology infrastructure, and a positive business climate.
  • A sustainable city, with a prosperous economy, a healthy environment, and an innovative, caring community. Bellevue's growth will occur in a responsible manner, well-planned and in synch with the natural and built environments.

Bellevue's Assets
Bellevue's assets described in detail below help the City attract some of the best talent from around the world to live, work, and invest in Bellevue. The City's ability to maintain these assets depends on the continued health of Bellevue's businesses.

  • Prime Location
    Bisected by Interstate 405 north to south, and crossed east to west by Interstate 90 and State Route 520, Bellevue lies in the heart of the Puget Sound region. To the west lie scenic Lake Washington and the City of Seattle; to the east lie Lake Sammamish, and the cities of Redmond, Sammamish and Issaquah. Bellevue is three hours by car to Vancouver, British Columbia in the north and three hours to Portland, Oregon in the south. Nearby SeaTac International Airport is a virtual gateway to the world providing non-stop flights to several Asian and European capitals.  The Port of Seattle's seaport is one of the most diverse in the United States being a hub for trade between the Pacific Northwest and Asia, and with lines serving the west coast, Central America and Europe.
  • Vigorous Economy
    Bellevue has a strong local economy. Some of the country's best known companies like   Microsoft, T-Mobile, PACCAR, and Expedia, have a large presence or are headquartered here. Coupled with many small businesses, they are the source of about 140,000 jobs found within the city. Over the next 20 years, the number of jobs in the city is projected to increase by over 60,000. Information Technology, Business Services, Retail, and Tourism are the primary clusters driving Bellevue's economy. The conceptual map below represents these clusters' connections to each other and the larger economy, and their reliance on a strong foundation of community supports.
  • Diverse and Talented Population
    Bellevue's diverse and talented population is one of its greatest assets. Though Bellevue businesses draw from a broad base of talent all over the Puget Sound region, the high concentration of diverse talent located in Bellevue makes it a hub for high-tech business. With over a third of its population born in a foreign country and forty percent comprised of ethnic minorities, Bellevue's vibrant mix of people creates a dynamic energy which fuels innovation within the City. Over 60 percent of its population, 25 and older, have a bachelor's degree or higher with nearly half having degrees in science or engineering. With a median household income in 2012 of $84,503, and a mean of $112,290, Bellevue's households are relatively prosperous, yet the community includes a wide variety of incomes. While a little over 12 percent of households earn $200,000 or more, six and half percent of Bellevue's population are below the poverty line. Building employment opportunities and paths to prosperity for a wide range of residents is a key economic development goal.
  • Renowned Schools
    Bellevue School District is highly prized and often cited as a key reason for people choosing to live in Bellevue. Bellevue's schools are known for being technologically progressive and for having parents who strongly support their children's education. Two of its high schools ranked in the nation's top 100 in Newsweek's America's Best High Schools for 2013, and four of the five ranked in the top 250. The schools' athletic programs are excellent as well. Bellevue High School, for example, won the Washington State 3A Football Championship ten times between 2001 and 2012. 
  • Vibrant Culture and the Arts
    Cultural activities are abundant in Bellevue. Bellevue's own Meydenbauer Center is home to artistic attractions such as the Bellevue Chamber Chorus, Bellevue Youth Symphony Orchestra, the International Ballet Theatre, and the Huayin Performing Arts Group.  Bellevue also has a nationally respected, 20,000 square foot Bellevue Arts Museum with a wide variety of exhibits.  A major community music school, Music Works Northwest, offers instruction to all ages by the area's top musicians.  The City has made a major capital investment, in partnership with the Bellevue Youth Theater Foundation, to construct a new theater to serve the youth theater program.
  • World Class Park System
    Nestled among the gently rolling hills that are a prelude to the Cascade Mountains, few cities in the country can offer more opportunities for enjoying nature than Bellevue. Known as a "City in a Park," Bellevue is home to almost 100 parks and natural areas totaling 2,689 acres. Nearby Lakes Washington and Sammamish offer a full range of aquatic adventures for boaters, kayakers, and canoe paddlers, while more than 50 miles of maintained trails are available to hikers and bicyclists. The Bellevue Botanical Garden, a 53-acre garden owned by the City showcases cultivated display gardens and many of the beautiful families of foliage that thrive throughout the Pacific Northwest. The City also offers traditional sports (football, baseball, soccer, track and field, and basketball) as well as other activities like martial arts, lacrosse, and cricket.  
  • Clean and Safe Neighborhoods
    Quality of life matters to Bellevue's residents. Clean and safe are words used frequently to describe Bellevue's neighborhoods. It is a place where the people and community pride themselves on a pristine appearance and environmental stewardship.  Including a vibrant, urban downtown are the many outstanding neighborhoods that define Bellevue. 
  • Responsive City Government
    Residents value city services. Annual customer surveys conducted by the City reflect that 97 percent of those surveyed rank Bellevue as a good or excellent place to live, and 83 percent feel they are getting their money's worth for their tax dollars.  That is no surprise given the commitment of the workforce and the fact that every City department that is eligible to be accredited by a national body has earned accreditation.  

Future Opportunities
As one of the most dynamic cities in the Pacific Northwest, Bellevue's future is alive with opportunities. While affected by the economic downturn, the City weathered the recession better than most and is now in an enviable position regarding growth and economic development. The City has been proactive in planning for growth, which has helped the City maintain its high quality of life. A significant issue for the future will be continuing to manage growth in a manner that expands Bellevue's economy and role as a regional and global player, enhancing amenities and opportunities while minimizing negative impacts on existing residents and businesses. 

One of the biggest indicators of the city's potential for growth is the expansion of the regional light rail system to Bellevue. Construction of the East Link line will commence in 2015, with service starting in 2023. Work is progressing to minimize disruptions caused by construction while realizing the transformational potential of this project for economic and community development. The rail system will have stops in three of Bellevue's major employment/mixed use centers spurring new opportunities for economic development as they transition into dynamic mixed-use activity centers.

  • Downtown Bellevue, designated as a Regional Growth Center, is the City's foremost center of commerce with major employers such as Microsoft and Expedia and over 45,000 jobs. The Meydenbauer Convention Center, Bellevue Arts Museum, hotels, restaurants, and a concentration of world class high end retail also make Downtown Bellevue a destination for tourists and visitors. Finally over 10,500 people live in Downtown, making it a truly dynamic mixed use center. Downtown Bellevue continues to grow and develop. It is projected that the number of jobs in downtown will climb by over 30,000 and the number of residents will nearly double over the next 20 years. Helping Downtown realize its full potential by filling in the gaps to diversify and enhance neighborhood identities and strengthen a sense of place will be the challenge over the next decade.
  • The Bel-Red area is primed for redevelopment with the adoption of the award winning Bel-Red Subarea Plan and construction of two East Link Light Rail stations by 2023. The Spring District, a catalyst project located around the 120th station, has already broken ground. Connecting Downtown Bellevue to the Microsoft campus at Overlake, the Bel-Red area is expected to attract about a third of the City's new job and housing growth over the next 20 years.
  • Eastgate/Factoria located along the I-90 corridor supports more than 28,000 jobs, over half of them in information services and professional, scientific and technical services. A series of improvements identified in a recent subarea planning process would concentrate a mix of uses around key focal points, improve walkability and transportation efficiency, introduce residential uses near Bellevue College, and more strongly identify the area as part of the Mountains to Sound Greenway.
  • In the 116th/Bellefield area, potential for development exits along 116thAvenue located on the opposite side of I-405 from downtown, and commercial development at the Crossroads Bellevue shopping mall continues to enrich Crossroads' rich diversity of goods and services.

Challenges
As a key regional player, Bellevue has great potential to further enhance collaboration with its neighbors. The area prides itself on a very extensive and inclusive approach to regional governance, service delivery and decision making.  A challenge for the new Chief Economic Development Officer will be to increase Bellevue's leadership position and help bring focus and energy to a host of economic development issues that are important to the region.  

The growing diversity of Bellevue presents an additional opportunity. The rapid change in the demographic make-up of the City where a third of the population is foreign born and where there is growing interest from international firms presents opportunities for capturing international investment and diversifying Bellevue's economy.

Finally the City has done extremely well economically increasing its employment base at an average annual rate of 1.6 percent over the past 17 years. The key now is to maintain the momentum and continuously look for ways to improve. The next Chief Economic Development Officer  will need to recognize what has made Bellevue great and work with City staff and the private sector to protect Bellevue's assets while fostering a continued sense of opportunity.  

The Candidate
The City of Bellevue is looking for an Economic Development Chief Economic Development Officer who will provide strategic leadership of the City's economic development activities, offer innovative ideas to meet the changing needs of the business community, and advance the City's vision of Bellevue as a prosperous and vibrant international city with innovative and entrepreneurial businesses and a high quality of life for residents. The Chief Economic Development Officer  must be an outstanding communicator, responsive to the needs of the businesses community, City Council, and other stakeholders. 

The Chief Economic Development Officer  will oversee the City's core economic development program focused on retaining and helping existing businesses within Bellevue's targeted clusters grow and expand. They will also oversee the implementation of the City's new Economic Development Strategic Plan focused on cultivating technology entrepreneurs and enhancing Bellevue's position as a Pacific Rim gateway for foreign investment.  

The ideal candidate should be able to build successful partnerships both internally and with outside agencies and business leaders. Experience and competency in interacting with people from diverse cultures will also be critical. Approachability is valued by all in the community; therefore a drive for excellent customer service is critical to the success of the next Chief Economic Development Officer . Getting "into the field" and out from behind a desk is also valued as a way to interact with the business community - communicating and listening to their needs. 

The Chief Economic Development Officer  must establish his/her position as an objective facilitator, able to listen and incorporate a wide range of views. He/she must also be a skilled negotiator who represents the City and its interests. Since economic development is done in partnership with all of the City's departments. It is expected that the Chief Economic Development Officer  will engage staff throughout the organization to better align our services with achieving the City's economic development goals.

Performance management is at the heart of the city's operations, and the next Chief Economic Development Officer will work to evaluate and monitor the effectiveness of projects and initiatives. Continuous improvement, creativity and innovation are valued, with sensible risk taking encouraged. Embracing the city's vision to be a collaborative and innovative organization that is future focused and committed to excellence is essential for any successful candidate.   

The ideal candidate will have at least five years of economic development experience in a senior management capacity with a proven track record in business relations and commitment to excellent service. The individual is expected to have at least a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration, Public Administration, Economics, Urban Planning or a related field.  An advanced degree or specific training relevant to this position is highly desirable. 

All in all, Bellevue is seeking a Chief Economic Development Officer , an elite municipal management professional, who will help propel the city's economy to a new level thereby improving the quality of life for all Bellevue's residents. 

Other Important Information
The City of Bellevue thrives on diversity and encourages women and minorities to apply. Applications will be kept confidential until finalists are approved by the City Council. At that point, it is anticipated that finalists' names will be released to the public.

Compensation
The City of Bellevue is offering a competitive salary commensurate with experience and a comprehensive benefits package.

How to Apply
Applicants should forward a cover letter and resume to:

resumes@affionpublic.com
Reference: BELED

Affion Public
2120 Market Street, Suite 100
Camp Hill, PA 17011
888.321.4922
Fax: 717-214-8004
www.affionpublic.com

 *Deadline to receive resumes: September 04, 2014