FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership has named a new leader. Economic development professional Stephane Frijia will assume the role of president and CEO in October. Frijia has served in a business development leadership role within the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) for over 10 years as senior vice president of strategy. He will relocate to Northeast Indiana from his current home in Phoenix in the coming weeks.
Frijia, originally from Italy, has resided in the Phoenix area since 2003. In his most recent role with GPEC, he led the formulation of strategic initiatives and programs focused on semiconductors and end-market applications to catalyze investment into new advanced industrial parks across the region, as well as the development of innovative data science capabilities to support domestic and international business attraction and marketing efforts. He has a master’s degree in Urban and Environmental Planning, as well as a bachelor’s degree in Aeronautical Management Technology from Arizona State University. Frijia has played a key role in the development of GPEC’s international strategies. He is fluent in English, Italian and French.
Dr. Sherilyn Emberton, president of Huntington University and Regional Partnership board chair, shared her excitement for Frijia as the organization’s next leader, explaining that he stood out as an exceptional candidate because he has been a key contributor to a world-class economic development team in one of the fastest growing regions in the country.
“As technology drives global access and opportunity without boundaries, leaders in economic development must have a proven record in data intelligence and international marketability. Stephane brings experience and a record of success in both. His background in building strategies that supported the diverse growth of the Greater Phoenix area will complement the incredible work already being done in Northeast Indiana. I extend my sincerest thanks to Mark Millett and the rest of our search committee for their excellent work throughout the recruiting process,” said Emberton.
“The CEO search process yielded several high-quality candidates, but Stephane’s unique set of economic development experiences and skill-sets set him apart. He has a clear history of successful execution, driven by partner collaboration and innovative marketing approaches,” noted Mark Millett, Regional Partnership vice chair, CEO of Steel Dynamics Inc. and chair of the CEO search committee.
Ellen Cutter, vice president of economic development for Greater Fort Wayne Inc. and member of the president and CEO search committee, said, “Stephane has the background, experience and energy to elevate Northeast Indiana’s outward facing national sales and business development program. Fort Wayne is the fastest growing metro area in the Great Lakes region, and the opportunity for Northeast Indiana to capitalize on the momentum, together, has never been stronger. Greater Fort Wayne Inc. looks forward to our continued collaborations with the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership under Stephane’s leadership.”
Regional Partnership board member and interim CEO Jeff Turner noted Frijia has the right mix of skills and personality to build upon the organization’s strong foundation created over the past 15 years.
“Stephane is an economic development team leader, team builder and team player. His deep experience in regional cooperation in the Phoenix area will help the Regional Partnership remain a national leader in attracting investment and the talent that all of our employers need. His strategic guidance will enhance the contributions of all of our stakeholders, including government, economic developers and our large investor base,” noted Turner.
Frijia is in the process of relocating to the Northeast Indiana region and will begin his leadership role with the Regional Partnership on Oct. 11.
“I am honored and grateful to the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership board of directors and selection committee for trusting me with responsibility to lead the economic development strategy for Northeast Indiana. Northeast Indiana is poised for growth, with a competitive business environment and a strong specialization in advanced manufacturing. I look forward to leading the team and supporting our local partners as we work together to deploy tools and position this region as a location of choice for business expansion,” said Frijia.
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