Two of the six partner organizations that make up the Region 2000 Partnership — the Economic Development and Technology councils — have announced plans to combine missions, redistribute priorities and consolidate support staff.
As part of the new Region 2000 model, released Wednesday, the partnership will transition from six member organizations to four, with the Center for Advanced Engineering and Research slated to become self-sufficient and break off from the group in about five years.
The new model is the conclusion of an 18-month restructuring effort spurred in part by shortfalls in fundraising.
“The amount identified as needed to support partner organization was $184,000 more than expected be available in 2014,” according to the transition plan.
Bryan David, the outgoing executive director of the EDC, said the recession and the resulting fundraising gap forced Region 2000 to look at ways to operate more cost-effectively. Many other organizations have gone through similar restructuring efforts in recent years, and now, David said, “it’s Region 2000’s turn.”
The new structure will combine staff support for economic development and technology initiatives, which, according to plan, “can lead to improved services and more effective operations.”
A new group, called the Business and Economic Development Alliance, will absorb and redistribute the duties of the Tech Council and the EDC.
The Tech Council will continue to be governed by its own board, as will the new Alliance, but the groups will “work more closely together to support the area’s efforts to facilitate business investment, grow jobs and promote both the technology community and the greater integration of technology into area businesses,” according to a news release.
The Young Professionals of Central Virginia, currently a partner organization, and the Future Focus Foundation, currently overseen by the Tech Council, will fall under the Alliance’s umbrella. A new group composed of local economic development professionals will be created under the Alliance as well.
The change will eliminate the positions of EDC executive director, Tech Council executive director and communications officer. Both executive directors, Bryan David of the EDC and Jonathan Whitt of the Tech Council, have announced plans to leave Region 2000 at the end of the year. Communications officer Catherine Mosley left the partnership at the beginning of December.
A chief executive officer, who will be hired by the executive committee of the Alliance Board and ratified by the full Alliance Board of Directors, will run the Alliance and receive a salary of between $90,000 and $120,000. After a CEO has been hired, the Alliance will seek a senior vice president.
Elizabeth Narhood, currently managing director of the Future Focus Foundation, will serve as vice president of the Alliance. A fourth part-time staffer will handle marketing technology needs.
David, who said Wednesday he’ll spend the next few months serving as interim county administrator in Orange County before deciding on a permanent position, cited the civic center study, regional collaboration on broadband and a recent entrepreneurship study as some of Region 2000’s biggest accomplishments during his five-year tenure.
“I really think if Region 2000 can get this right, and I have every confidence that it can…that Region 2000 will continue to serve this region well,” David said Wednesday.
In the release outlining the new structure, John Doyle, chair of the EDC board, called the transition a “natural evolution to ensure good communications and effective use of all available resources.”