Written by JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN Sentinel County Editor
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 09:01
After spending more than a decade helping to bring business to Wood County, Wade Gottschalk has been promoted to the job of executive director of the Wood County Economic Development Commission.
|Wade Gottschalk. (Photo: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
Gottschalk, who has worked as associate director for the commission since 2001, will replace Tom Blaha, who retired in July.
"Tom set up a very successful model, and I will continue that forward," Gottschalk said.
Gottschalk was the best of 17 applicants from around the nation, according to Wood County Commissioner Jim Carter.
"Wade was the top choice by the commissioners because of his 10 years of service in that economic development office," Carter said.
Gottschalk was "instrumental in shepherding many significant projects," according to the commissioners' office.
Recent projects that he worked on include the CSX intermodal terminal in Henry Township, the new FedEx Ground facility and First Solar expansions in Perrysburg Township, and Calphalon in Middleton Township.
"He was very instrumental in making all that happen," Carter said.
Gottschalk first came to the area in 1998 when he majored in political science at Bowling Green State University, then went on to get a master's degree in public administration.
He found that economic development was a very satisfying profession.
"I like all the interaction with different people," he said. "Every project is different. Every project is a challenge."
The times are even more challenging now than when he first started working on economic development for the county. But Gottschalk said Wood County is seeing signs of recovery from the national economic downturn.
"In Wood County, we're doing OK."
"I'd really like to see Wood County succeed, and I'd like to be a small part of that," Gottschalk said.
Gottschalk said it's quite rewarding to work on projects then see them come to fruition - like the CSX hub.
"There's a personal level of satisfaction," he said. "A lot of time was spent on that project. It's very fulfilling."
As director, Gottschalk's salary will be $70,657, the base rate for that position, Carter said. The salary is paid for from conveyance fees on real estate sales in the county. The economic development commission is supported by those fees and membership fees from private businesses and governmental entities.