The town of Florence has concluded its search for a new economic development director with the hiring of Elan Vallender, the senior economic development specialist for the city of Apache Junction.
Mr. Vallender will fill a new position in Florence that was created as part of the town’s annual budget process this past summer, according to a release.
Florence Town Manager Brent Billingsley announced the appointment of Mr. Vallender and cited his significant experience with the city of Apache Junction beginning as an intern in 2012 and ultimately promoting to his current role. Mr. Vallender will being working at the town of Florence on Dec. 7.
“Elan has honed his skills in economic development in Apache Junction and has been heavily involved in Pinal County, meaning that he will be ready to roll right away. His previous experience as a small-business owner really resonated with me, and I think he will be a wonderful advocate for our many small businesses in Town. I’m excited to have him leading our Economic Development efforts moving forward,” Mr. Billingsley said in the release.
Mr. Vallender has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Ottawa University and a master’s degree from Arizona State University. He has nearly completed the certified economic developer program through the International Economic Development Council and plans to finish the written and oral examinations required for that certification within the next few months. He is a member of IEDC, the Arizona Association for Economic Development, and the International Council of Shopping Centers.
In his new position, Mr. Vallender will lead Florence’s efforts towards business sustainability, growth, attraction and retention.
“I’m very honored to be selected to be the town’s economic development director and I am excited to work with the many charming businesses that help make Florence such a special place,” Mr. Vallender said in the release.