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Chamber creates eco-devo coordinator post

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A new hire to the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce is intended to bring greater focus to the development of more local real estate assets, officials say.

Alex Woodson started Oct. 8 in the chamber’s newly created economic development project coordinator position. Woodson most recently worked in Little Rock, Arkansas, as consumer development manager for Penske Truck Leasing Co. LP.

The hiring was part of a restructuring for the chamber’s economic development department, which had a hole to fill after Justin Coyan, manager of business development, left his position over the summer to work for Evolent Health (NYSE: EVH).

Woodson said he was born and raised in Springfield. After leaving town in February for a job promotion with Penske, he said he’s glad to return to the Queen City.

“Alex will be working with partners to develop more real estate assets that meet the needs of our attraction and expansion projects and leads,” said Ryan Mooney, the chamber’s senior vice president of economic development, in a news release. “A large industrial building is an incredible draw right now – and our experience has been if we can get a company here to see a building or site, it’s much more likely this region will win the project.”

Mooney said Woodson also will be focused on ensuring that city and county development processes are effective and customer-focused. 

“If our region can advance more fully development-ready sites and buildings developed on a speculative basis, then they will be occupied and spur growth,” Mooney said in the release. “That’s certainly what we’ve been seeing and there’s demand for more.”

Woodson is a graduate of the University of Missouri and received an MBA from Missouri State University.

“It’s something that I felt I could really hit the ground running and could make a contribution in the industry,” Woodson said of the new job.

In addition to Woodson’s hiring, the chamber promoted several other staff members in the economic development department: Jen Johnson to manager of investor relations for the Springfield Business Development Corp., Rachel Mhire to marketing manager of economic development, Alex Greiwe to project manager in workforce development and Danny Perches to project manager in economic development.

Mooney said the changes are intended to build on internal talents and strengthen the team’s approach to strategic objectives.

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