Bob Donnell will retire from Economic Development Corporation of Roswell-Chaves County after serving as its executive director since 2002. He will stay on as executive director until a replacement is named, which could be as late as March 2013.
Donnell said the position will be posted Monday at several locations, including State of New Mexico Economic Development Department, State of New Mexico Economic Development Partnership and Texas Economic Development Council. Applications will be accepted through mid-January.
“I’ve been here now for 10 years, and it’s been a wonderful 10 years,” Donnell said. “I just feel like it’s time in my career to maybe look for some other opportunity within the industry, but for now I’m just planning on spending time with my family and my grandchildren.”
Donnell said he will not seek another full-time position but will consider consulting opportunities within the industry, such as in the rural economic development arena. He added that he will remain active in some capacity as a volunteer with certain boards and commissions in Chaves County.
Donnell said he has thoroughly enjoyed working for EDC and that he is proud of what the organization has accomplished. He said EDC is presently working on several exciting projects and will continue to support its primary initiatives of agriculture, food processing, general light manufacturing and aviation.
“I believe through the cooperative effort of the individuals here and all the organizations, we’ve seen some marked success in the industrial side and assisted a number of businesses in their growth here in Chaves County.
“There’s still a lot to be done; we’re extremely optimistic about the future for Roswell and Chaves County, for industrial and aviation and agricultural growth and opportunity.”
Donnell credited EDC’s accomplishments to joint efforts with the city of Roswell, Chaves County and other organizations. He said he is happy with the work EDC has done to create jobs in Chaves County and in helping a number of companies with expansion, such as Dean Baldwin Painting and Great Southwest Aviation.
Donnell said EDC was the leading entity in bringing American Airlines to Roswell, and that being involved in the recruitment of those services was “an absolutely wonderful opportunity for us as an organization.”
Mike McCleod, EDC board past president, said that Donnell has been the face of economic development in Roswell and Chaves County for 10 years, and that during this time, has become one of the most respected economic development practitioners in New Mexico and southwestern United States.
“Bob is one of those people who is genuinely concerned about the economic development growth of this area,” McCleod said. “And not only of Roswell and Chaves County but southeast New Mexico.
“We’re going to dearly miss him, but his retirement is well-deserved, and I’m sure we’ll still be leaning on him in the future from time to time.”