Kipp Hicks, 33, was raised in the Kenwood area of Oneida, and he will return to his childhood home during the next month. Hicks was named last week to lead the Madison County Industrial Development Agency.
The IDA board of directors launched a national search in February. That search attracted more than 60 applicants for the position, for which the board interviewed five candidates.
Hicks said he couldn't pass up the opportunity to pursue a challenging position that would bring him closer to his family. His parents and several siblings and extended family live in and around Madison County.
"Everybody is so excited," Hicks said. "I am thrilled to have an opportunity to impact economic development in Madison County, especially knowing what my parents have gone through with Oneida Ltd."
Hicks said he believes the work that needs to be done for and by the IDA is all about partnerships.
"Nobody and no agency can operate in a vacuum," Hicks said.
Hicks serves as executive director of Grow Idaho Falls, the economic development agency for Idaho Falls, Idaho. He has worked for seven years for the agency, first as its finance director, assuming the executive director responsibilities in December 2002. Under his leadership, the agency was reorganized, financial commitments increased, nearly 30 companies were recruited creating more than 850 jobs and $200 million in capital investments and 225 jobs were retained through business retention and expansion efforts.
Hicks also was involved with numerous community development efforts including downtown redevelopment and the creation of the Partnership for Science and Technology with the Idaho National Environmental Laboratory. He was a financial consultant for Merrill Lynch for four years in Ohio.
Hicks expressed in the interview for executive director that he would like to share his economic and community development experience with a community he cares about.