CH adds new economic-development experts
Tim Boland and Brian Anderson have both joined the staff of the City of Cleveland Heights to help with economic development. Boland is the city’s economic development director. He replaces Greg Zucca, who left in the spring of 2015. Anderson has been named the city’s business development manager, a newly created position. Both started working for the city on Aug. 8.
“Economic development is a top priority for our city,” said City Manager Tanisha Briley. “For a community like ours, maintaining our excellent services means expanding our economic base through community, housing and business development and redevelopment opportunities.”
Boland, 57, most recently served as the city manager of Steubenville, Ohio. Prior to that, he was city administrator in Pataskala, Ohio. He also served as economic development director in Delaware County, Ohio.
Anderson, 37, was most recently the executive director of the Morton Chamber of Commerce and Morton Economic Development Council near Peoria, Ill. Prior to that, Anderson was executive director for the Growth Partnership for Ashtabula County, and from 2007 to 2010, he was with the Council of Development Finance Agencies, a national organization that was based in Cleveland at the time. Anderson also has previous experience as a journalist.
Boland was born in Euclid and grew up on the West Side, in Fairview Park. He graduated from St. Edward’s High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Miami University of Ohio. He also earned a master’s degree in business administration from Capital University in Bexley, Ohio, and a master’s degree in city and regional planning from The Ohio State University.
Boland currently lives in the Cedar Fairmount neighborhood of Cleveland Heights. He said one of his main duties will be “building relationships with all groups in the community. We really need to market our community and build on the successes we’ve had,” he said.
Anderson grew up in Willoughby, and attended Cleveland State University, where he received a bachelor’s degree in sociology and a master’s degree in public administration. He currently lives in Bay Village.
Anderson said his main focus will be working one-on-one with the Cleveland Heights business community. “I will be a point of contact for existing businesses, new businesses and potential businesses,” he said.
“Economic development is a high priority for the city,” Boland said. “We need to emphasize business friendliness, and we want everyone to be customer-service oriented. In addition, we want to help existing businesses and attract new businesses.”
Both men said that the future of Severance Town Center, the “Top of the Hill” redevelopment and other projects are opportunities they want to emphasize. “Brian and I believe it is important to listen to the community and we intend to focus on absorbing input from our citizens,” Boland said.
Boland and Anderson also talked about the Cleveland Heights Master Plan that is being facilitated by the Cuyahoga County Planning Commission. “It will be a good blueprint for the city, as it looks at housing, roads and business development,” Boland said. “They are trying to develop a vision based on public input for the citizens and the community, for the residents and the businesses.”
Boland added, “Important things are the economic health of the community: expanding the tax base in a sustainable way, keeping the diversity of the community and the diversity of the businesses, and promoting vibrancy in our neighborhoods and expanding the quality of life. We have tremendous assets here, and we need to market the community and continue expanding a positive image moving forward.”
Both men also said that culture and arts are extremely important elements of what Cleveland Heights has to offer. “We really need to build on that,” Boland said.
James Henke, a Cleveland Heights resident, was a writer and editor at Rolling Stone magazine for 15 years. He is also the author of several books, including biographies of Jim Morrison, John Lennon and Bob Marley. He is on the board of FutureHeights, and is co-chair of the Heights Observer Advisory Committee.