With 12 years under his belt as a staff member at Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, Ryan Mooney has had ample opportunities to put his leadership skills to work.
Mooney got his start at the chamber as economic development program coordinator, followed by stints as manager of business development and vice president of business development. In July, he was promoted to his current role as senior vice president of economic development.
“Each year of experience helped me to grow and learn new skills along the way – learning to communicate with a variety of people (and to) market and sell a place, and learning from some of the best in the business about how to create collaborations,” Mooney says. “But I also learned … how to lead a group so that all members contribute and benefit in the end.”
After his latest promotion, Mooney grew the chamber’s economic development program to a seven-member team from five.
“These additions, along with my leadership in a new action plan for accomplishing our missions, has helped our economic development program grow its investor base by more than 17 percent despite the economic downturn,” says Mooney, who leads the chamber’s economic development subsidiary, the Springfield Business and Development Corp.
He is most proud of his efforts that culminated in the local expansion of Bellevue, Wash.-based online travel company Expedia Inc. In 2009 and 2010, he led the economic development team that helped the company see the benefits of expanding its Springfield presence.
“We were able to do several things – assist the company in tripling its Springfield labor force, provide a fantastic tenant for the former airport terminal, and most importantly, provide 500 new quality jobs with attractive salaries and benefits,” Mooney says. Mooney provided similar leadership to bring T-Mobile USA to Springfield in 2006. The company, also based in Bellevue, built a customer service call center, investing $20 million in capital and providing more than 800 jobs.
In 2006, Mooney was named Professional Economic Developer of the Year by the Missouri Economic Development Council, which he’ll lead as president in 2012.
“Projects such as Expedia and T-Mobile create opportunities for those living in our region to better their lives, all while adding companies that become a positive force in our community,” he says.
Mooney is committed to center city redevelopment, and he served for four years on the board of the Downtown Springfield Association, including a stint as its president. He also has served as the chamber’s representative on the Urban Districts Alliance Board of Directors, helping to set policy for downtown development.
“I love my job, and I love Springfield,” he says. “I pour myself into both, constantly striving to do my job better and smarter, and as a result, make my community a better place to live for everyone.”Click here for full coverage of the 2011 40 Under 40.