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Posted On: 1/6/2011

Regional Non-Profit Leader Appointed to Top Economic Development Post

Former NorTech CEO Dorothy Baunach to serve as Interim Director of Development


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: JAN. 6, 2011
Media Contact: Keary McCarthy, (614) 425-9163

CLEVELAND – Underscoring the importance of economic development, Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald announced today his first cabinet-level appointment for the new county government. Former NorTech CEO and long-time economic professional Dorothy Baunach will join FitzGerald’s leadership team as the Interim Director of Development.  

“Economic development is a top priority for the new county government,” said FitzGerald. “Dorothy has over 20 years of experience fostering economic growth and I’m thrilled she has agreed to join our team and help jumpstart our economic development efforts.”  

Baunach is the founding CEO of NorTech, a non-profit technology-based economic development organization. She more recently served as an advisor to the Ohio Business Roundtable where she helped renew the successful Ohio Third Frontier Program. Baunach also worked on economic development strategies with regional business leaders at Cleveland Tomorrow. She was also the founding President of the Edison BioTechnology Center (now BioOhio), which fosters economic growth in the biotechnology industry.    

“I’m excited to be part of this new focus on creating jobs and fostering economic prosperity,” said Baunach.  “I’m honored to help Mr. FitzGerald’s team and I look forward to working with private and public sector partners to develop a coordinated economic development strategy for this region.”  

Baunach will begin her work on Monday and will serve on an interim basis as the Director of Development. Her selection is consistent with the Charter’s focus on job creation and the Transition Advisory Group’s recommendation to prioritize the selection of this position.    

“Dorothy knows what it takes to help our region's businesses grow and will be able to help Ed FitzGerald redefine the county's role in improving the regional business climate," said Tim Mueller, Vice Chairman of Phylogy, Inc.  

The Director of Economic Development is a Charter-mandated position responsible for coordinating economic development functions for the county.  The position will be responsible for developing the county’s strategic economic development plan.  The position will also work with the Economic Development Commission and foster a strong working relationship with local businesses and municipalities in Cuyahoga County.  

“Dorothy has a proven track record and she is well-respected among information technology professionals, as well is those in both the private and public sectors,” said Lev Gonick, Vice-President of Information Technology at Case Western Reserve University.  “She will be a tremendous asset and she will help get the county’s coordinated economic development strategy started.”  

Today’s appointment is the first in a series of appointments over the next several days.  Additional personnel announcements are expected tomorrow and possibly Monday as details are finalized.