Local leader to join Tiffin University in new position
TIFFIN, OHIO – August 24, 2015 – The Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC) announced today that its President & CEO David Zak is resigning from the public-private partnership effective September 11, 2015 to join Tiffin University as its new Vice President for University Advancement and Economic Development (UAED).
Zak will start in his new role on September 14, and the search for a new leader for SIEDC will begin within the next week or two.
Heidelberg University President and SIEDC Chair Rob Huntington praised David for his accomplishments and wished him well: “It is remarkable what David has accomplished at SIEDC in only 20 months. I admire his economic development expertise, strong communication skills, and community leadership savvy. We will surely miss him at the helm. At the same time, I’m confident that we won’t lose any steam. In addition, David will intensify Tiffin University’s involvement in local economic, community, and downtown development, and Heidelberg will also have another strong ally at Tiffin University, which can’t but strengthen the universities’ relationship.”
Zak was quick to praise his team, the board, and members of his organization for the community’s recent economic resurgence. “I feel my biggest contribution was to help develop one of the strongest economic, downtown, and community development teams in the country. Karen, Amy, Katie, and Bryce are amazing individuals, and I will truly miss working with them on a daily basis. Add to that an incredibly committed board of trustees, committees, and volunteers, and it’s no wonder so much has gotten done.
I am also incredibly proud of the increased commitment and ongoing support for this organization public officials and private business members have made. They are responsible for the success we’ve been seeing. People here care deeply about the future and are willing to invest and sacrifice to make it better. It’s one of the things that make Tiffin and Seneca County great.”
Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz was surprised by the news but enthusiastic about the future. “During my time as Mayor, David and SIEDC have been an ideal partner, helping to supercharge downtown, retail, and industrial development. Tiffin is on the move, and more than 1,000 new jobs and $100 million over the last three years is the result. We’re the strongest we’ve ever been financially and the future is as bright as ever. I don’t believe we’re losing David; I believe we’re gaining an incredible partner who is going to help take Tiffin University to a whole new level – and our community will benefit immensely from that. Full speed ahead.”
Zak intends to represent Tiffin University and be active on SIEDC’s and other local boards engaged in economic development, ensure the transition is smooth, and promises to work as part of SIEDC’s board to recruit the best economic development talent out there to take his place. “Tiffin University and I will also strengthen our support for SIEDC, and I will do everything in my power to ensure the momentum continues,” Zak added.
Seneca County Commissioner and SIEDC Executive Committee member Fred Zoeller also praised Zak’s broad-based approach. “Zak built bridges and strengthened relationships not only in Tiffin, but also with Fostoria and businesses throughout the entire county. His efforts and the efforts of SIEDC have made Seneca County a stronger and better place. I’m glad he’s staying here, and I also look forward to recruiting a new leader.”
Zak will be heading up Tiffin University’s Office of University Advancement and Economic Development (UAED), which expands the development office to include not only the traditional functions of institutional advancement, public relations, alumni relations, government relations, and marketing with leadership in local, regional and national economic development. One new area for the university will be the creation of national centers of excellence in technology and entrepreneurship that will help spur research, company formation, capital attraction, and job creation.
SIEDC Vice Chair Andy Felter, President & CEO of Webster Industries and a Tiffin University alumnus commented, “I believe strongly in SIEDC, in Tiffin University and in David Zak. This move is a no-lose scenario for the community, and I’m truly pleased we get to keep his talents here in Tiffin and Seneca County working to make it a better place. I wish him and TU nothing but the best. It’s an inspired choice.”
Started in 1983, the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC) is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on at the company’s blog at www.senecasuccess.com.