Marty Vanags (far left) has been CEO of the Economic Council of the Bloomington Normal Area for nearly nine years. He is leaving to take over as Director of the Indy Partnership in Indianapolis. (Paul Morello/WJBC)
By Stephanie Pawlowski
BLOOMINGTON - CEO of the Economic Development Council of the Bloomington Normal Area, Marty Vanags is leaving to take over as Director of the Indy Partnership in Indianapolis.
He said he loves Bloomington-Normal but couldn't pass up the opportunity.
He has been the EDC director for nearly nine years and said he's most proud of turning around the council.
"Projects like CAMTek, BridgestoneFirestone, developing the Micro-Enterprise Loan Fund, really operating the revolving loan fund for the county at a much higher level than it was in the past," Vanags said.
Vanags was the creator of the annual One Voice trip to Washington, D.C. where local lawmakers, business leaders, and union leaders lobby local Congressional members for funding.
"When earmarks were part of the process we brought $23 million back for the community," Vanags said. "The incubator, the Uptown Station, the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts all received money through earmarks."
Vanags was instrumental in creating the business incubator. He also helped craft the recent five year strategy.
EDC Board Chairman Jeff Lynch said the search will begin immediately for the next chief executive. EDC Director of Government and Investor Relations Mike O'Grady will provide interim leadership during the search process.
Vanags' last day is Feb. 22.