Although she is still officially on maternity leave with her first child until mid-March, EDCUtah’s new President and CEO Theresa Foxley is already establishing short-term and long-term visions for the organization, networking with investors and communicating with her new team daily.
In the short term, she says EDCUtah will place emphasis on three organizational objectives:
First, EDCUtah will refine and more clearly communicate its value position to its private sector and public sector members. “This will involve listening to them, understanding how they perceive our organization and our mission, and learning what motivates their investment in EDCUtah and economic development,” she explains.
Second, with a clearer value proposition, EDCUtah will be better positioned to engage and energize its investors for enhanced outcomes. “Our Board, Advisory Committee and membership are the envy of many other economic development organizations in other states. Effectively mobilizing our membership will enhance our ability to accomplish significant tasks,” she continues.
Third, EDCUtah will place more emphasis on high value activities. “Through our world-class Research, Global Strategy & Outreach, Business Development and Marketing teams, we will identify and engage in activities that produce the most value and best outcomes for our members,” she says.
In the long term, Foxley envisions an evolving organization that will have a major role in shaping the outcomes of employment centers such as Point of the Mountain, the Mountain View Corridor, the Northwest Quadrant of Salt Lake City and the inland port, while also supporting economic development in the rural areas off the Wasatch Front through efforts like EDCUtah’s Mega Sites program.
“Given our marketing acumen, our relationship with prominent site selectors, and our global business network, EDCUtah is uniquely qualified to engage in and support significant product development activities so we can effectively understand our target customers and ultimately market the assets into which the state and local communities want to invest,” she says.
With its statewide mission, Foxley says EDCUtah is compelled to seek out opportunities that reach far past the Wasatch Front. Therefore, the organization will work with local communities to understand their economic development assets, goals and visions. Additionally, as the state increases its investment in innovation, education and workforce development through its institutions of higher education, Colleges of Applied Technology, pathways programs and GOED’s strategic industry initiatives, she says EDCUtah will work to thoroughly understand those assets and play an advisory role in their enhancement.
“EDCUtah is the tip of the spear in understanding business trends and employer demands. That positions us to provide value in maximizing the state’s investment for the benefit of the business community and Utah students, employees and entrepreneurs,” she adds.
Foxley says she is humbled by the invitation from EDCUtah’s Executive Committee and Board of Trustees to lead an organization whose impact and effectiveness she has witnessed firsthand. “Despite recent challenges, EDCUtah’s FY 2015-16 was a watershed year as measured by announced job creation and retention, real estate acquisition and proactive business outreach. Those successes are a testament to the talented EDCUtah employees who act on the organization’s mission to serve as a catalyst for quality job growth and increased capital investment in the state,” she continues.
EDCUtah’s Executive Committee recommended Foxley after an exhaustive search. She replaces Jeff Edwards, who retired from the organization in November of 2016. Before joining EDCUtah, Foxley served as the deputy director of corporate recruitment and business services at the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED). While there she oversaw the business development functions of incentives, government contracting, bonding and business resources, and worked with dozens of companies on expansion and relocation projects, including Goldman Sachs, Vista Outdoors, Procter & Gamble, Solar City and Stadler Rail.
EDCUtah Chief Operating Officer Michael Flynn says Foxley is uniquely suited to take the helm of the organization because of her extensive experience at GOED, her understanding of the public-private business model in which EDCUtah operates, her business acumen and expansive network of business and government contacts, and her already strong relationship with the EDCUtah team – a relationship she developed while participating in numerous EDCUtah recruiting trips and site selector events.
Prior to GOED, Foxley served as a business and finance attorney with the Salt Lake office of Ballard Spahr, a law firm with 14 offices nationwide. At Ballard Spahr, she represented a diverse set of clients on corporate and financial matters, including mergers and acquisitions. She also served as corporate counsel to a venture-funded company during its acquisition by, and integration with, a larger publicly traded company.