DIXON – The Lee County Industrial Development Association named its new executive director and is changing its leadership structure.
The LCIDA board announced Friday that Kevin Marx, a Dixon City councilman and chief practice officer at KSB Hospital, was appointed to helm the organization that’s rooted in recruiting large and mid-sized industries and expanding existing businesses.
“I plan to work with the board to see what 2018 looks like in terms of economic development priorities, identify the gaps in what Lee County has to offer, see where the market is at and determine how we can be competitive to close those gaps,” Marx said.
He replaces John Thompson, who retired in late April after 20 years as LCIDA’s president and 30 years as head of the former Dixon Area Chamber of Commerce.
After being dissatisfied with the search for a full-time director that started in September, the LCIDA board decided to restructure the position and tapped Marx to fill it.
His work at the hospital, which includes business development activities like marketing, community wellness and corporate health services, will be mixed with his economic development duties for the county.
“We are excited to be able to work with the LCIDA in providing Kevin’s talents in recruiting and business development to the organization, while offering him the opportunity to pursue his interests in economic development,” said David Schreiner, KSB President/CEO who’s also on the LCIDA board.
Technically, marx still will be full time at KSB, and LCIDA will reimburse the hospital for his other work. The contract details still are being worked out.
The arrangement “brings local talent to our organization at less cost than recruiting and employing a full-time director,” said Gary Gehlbach, an attorney and co-chairman of the LCIDA board.
Initial plans were to have LCIDA share space with the Dixon Chamber of Commerce and Main Street, but it instead will be located with KSB’s Marketing Department on the third floor of Town Square Centre, 102 S. Hennepin Ave., in Dixon.
“I think it will be a nice, all-around success story,” Marx said.
The 63-year-old was raised in the Chicago suburb of Itasca and moved to Dixon about 4 decades ago. He has worked at KSB since 1978.
He was chairman of the Dixon Plan Commission for a decade and was appointed to the City Council in 2015 to fill the spot vacated by Jesse Arjes.
Although the position is a new one for Marx, thinking in economic development terms isn’t. After being unanimously appointed to the City Council in 2015, he told Sauk Valley Media:
“We’re better off, based on our proximity to Chicago, our proximity to Interstate 88, than a lot of similarly sized towns. The question is, how do we leverage those things, marry them, to grow the town. Growth here is reasonable. And when you grow, that’s good for the world – property tax revenue, fresh blood, new businesses.”
Call 815-285-8510 for more information about the Lee County Industrial Association.
The LCIDA office will be co-located with KSB’s Marketing Department on the third floor of Town Square Centre, 102 S. Hennepin Ave., in Dixon.