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Director of Economic Development, Wells County

Monday, June 24, 2024 4:12 PM | Jill Ewing (Administrator)


The City of Bluffton, Town of Ossian, and Wells County have forged a new partnership to redefine economic development throughout Wells County, Indiana. This initiative offers a rare opportunity for a visionary leader to spearhead and shape this transformative effort. As we embark on this journey, we are seeking an experienced professional who is passionate about fostering growth, sustainability, and prosperity across diverse communities.


As a direct report to the Mayor of Bluffton and under the general guidance of the Wells County Economic Development Steering Committee, the Director of Economic Development will establish the vision and direction through innovative strategies and collaborative efforts.


  • Strategic Planning: Develop and execute comprehensive economic development strategies aligned with the County's goals and objectives.
    • Develop and execute comprehensive economic development plans in alignment with the goals and priorities of the city/town council/county government. 
    • Analyze the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of Wells County.
    • Benchmark the county, cities and towns to competing areas to support the SWOT analysis.
  • Business Attraction and Retention: Identify and engage with potential businesses, industries, and investors to attract new enterprises while supporting the growth of existing ones.
    • Engage in efforts to recruit primary sector employers through creative marketing efforts and by building close working relationships with key business attraction allies, including the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership, site selector organizations, utilities, local government, and higher education.
    • Engage with and be a resource for local business to retain their presence and maintain their workforce within Wells County.
    • Oversee the development and management of innovative talent attraction, recruitment, and retention initiatives.
    • Work with area real estate professionals, property owners, developers, and planning organizations to enhance product development efforts through shovel ready and other programs and practices to promote available land and buildings that are suitable and ready for primary sector employers.
    • Develop mutually respectful and beneficial relationships with existing businesses throughout Wells County so as to lessen challenges to growth and to create a business climate that encourages employment creation and expansion of primary sector employers.
    • Coordinate marketing and promotional efforts to showcase the county's assets, amenities, and business opportunities to potential investors, developers, and entrepreneurs.
  • Partnership Building: Foster relationships with local, regional, and national stakeholders, including businesses, government agencies, educational institutions, and community organizations.
    • Partner with government, industry, higher education, and the private sector to support a robust entrepreneurship ecosystem.
    • Forge partnerships with other business development organizations to establish and market a competitive distinction for Wells County and to support regional economic development efforts.
    • Seek collaborative economic development opportunities with Ivy Tech Community College Fort Wayne.
    • Engage with the community, seeking input, and fostering support for economic development initiatives through public meetings, outreach programs, and educational events.
  • Administrative Management: Implement best practice policies and procedures.
    • Provide project management and administrative support to the Bluffton Redevelopment Commission.
    • Provide guidance on the effective use of local incentive programs to encourage new investment and job growth and retention throughout the county.
    • Remain well-informed on local, state, and national economic development matters, legislation, and trends in order to be effective in fulfilling job responsibilities.
    • Monitor and evaluate economic development initiatives, programs, and projects to assess effectiveness and make recommendations for improvement.
  • Infrastructure Development: Collaborate with relevant departments to identify and address infrastructure needs that support economic growth, such as transportation, utilities, and industrial zones.
    • Collaborate with city/town officials, planning departments, and zoning boards to facilitate the development process and streamline regulations for businesses.
    • Use project data and benchmarking analysis to identify infrastructure gaps that discourage a positive economic development environment.
  • Data Analysis and Reporting: Conduct research, analyze economic trends, and generate reports to inform decision-making and measure the impact of economic development efforts.
    • Conduct research and analysis to identify market trends, business opportunities, and areas for growth within key industries.
    • Prepare reports, presentations, and recommendations for city council/county commissioners regarding economic development activities, achievements, and challenges.
  • Budget Management: Oversee the economic development budget, ensuring efficient allocation of resources and compliance with financial guidelines.
    • Build and maintain the public and private sector financial support required to fulfill the countywide economic development mission.
    • Develop and manage an annual work plan and budget.
  • Other responsibilities as directed by the Mayor of Bluffton and Wells County Commissioners.


  • Bachelor’s Degree and a minimum of five years related experience.
  • Demonstrated experience in economic development real estate financing, incentive negotiations, and structuring and closing complex economic development agreements.
  • Strong understanding of economic development principles, strategies, and best practices.
  • Strong project management and organizational skills.
  • Experience working with local, state, and federal officials.
  • Knowledge of local, state, and federal rules related to economic development, zoning, and land use.
  • A recognized leader who inspires respect, trust, and collaboration.
  • Must be adaptable with an ability to think strategically while identifying and implementing programs and procedures that are consistent with approved strategies.
  • Experience with public speaking and media relations.
  • Proficiency in data analysis, research methods, and economic modeling.
  • Experience with grant writing, funding opportunities, and economic incentive programs.
  • Possesses excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Must be willing to reside in Indiana and no more than 60 minutes from the City of Bluffton.
  • Must have a valid Indiana Driver’s License or secure one within 30 days of hire date.


The compensation package will include a competitive salary based upon the candidate’s level of experience. The City of Bluffton also offers a generous benefits package including, but not limited to: health benefits, Indiana Public Employees Retirement Fund (PERF), 31 paid days off per year, annual car and cell phone allowance, and exemption from City’s per diem rate for meals and travel. The City of Bluffton is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Friday, July 12, 2024

Interested candidates should submit a letter of interest, resume/CV, and minimum salary requirements. Any materials received incomplete will not be considered.

Email materials to:
Cheryl Morphew
CRMorphew Consulting, LLC

125 West Market Street, Suite 300, Indianapolis, IN 46204 | CONTACT

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