Jonas Peterson, who’s been president of the Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corp. for the last three years, tendered his resignation as president and CEO last Monday. He will be taking an economic development job in Las Vegas.
Peterson was the first president of the SCVEDC, said Don Fleming, co-chairman of the organization and co-principal of Valencia Acura.
“This young man has his stuff together,” said Fleming, who was part of the decision-making process to hire Peterson. “We kept him as long as we could, but it’s a great opportunity for this young man and I’m very happy for him.”
The difficult process of replacing Peterson has already started with preliminary talks, Fleming said.
The SCVEDC, which operates in conjunction with College of the Canyons and several prominent members of the business community, seeks out ways of attracting and retaining jobs and commerce to the Santa Clarita Valley.
“I did accept another economic development position,” Peterson said, declining to get into details.
“This is an amazing team place here,” Peterson said. “We’ve built an organization that I think is positioned for greatness in the future.”
It’s also supported by the city of Santa Clarita, which gives $200,000 each year to support its efforts of business retention and growth.
Under Peterson’s leadership, the SCVEDC helped retain and attract tens of thousands of jobs in the Santa Clarita Valley in 2012, according to a recent presentation by the group earlier this year for an Economic Outlook conference.
The city of Santa Clarita recently re-upped its support of the SCVEDC with another three-year contract valued at $600,000, at a Santa Clarita City Council meeting earlier this year.
The group will look all over for applicants to fill Peterson’s shoes, Fleming said.
“We ‘re going to look everywhere, we’re going to look locally and we’re going to look nationally, Fleming said.
“It’s the same type of qualifications (as when we found Peterson),” he said, describing Peterson as young, energetic and extremely qualified.
“He’ll be hard to duplicate, but we’re very optimisistic,” Fleming added.
“He had experience. He was young and energetic – he got us on the road,” Fleming said. Under his leadership, he paved the way for the future.”