City taps new Community Development director

Another leader has joined Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey’s administration.

Morrissey announced during an April 24 press conference that Reid Montgomery has been named the city’s next Director of Community and Economic Development .

“I’m very pleased we’re getting the right people on the bus,” Morrissey said.

Both Montgomery and City Administrator Jim Ryan said Montgomery is slated to begin his new job in about a month. They both said no firm date had been set. He’ll earn $111,000 a year.

Montgomery replaces Jim Caruso. According to Morrissey, First Staffing conducted the nationwide search that produced Montgomery.

Morrissey said Montgomery’s expertise in process improvement and management—and impeccable credentials—made him the perfect choice. He stressed that Montgomery was completely vetted.

“(I’ll be) focusing on customer service and accountability,” Montgomery said.

He currently serves as the Economic Development Director for the city of Elk Grove, Calif., managing a staff of four. Although he’ll lead a larger staff in Rockford, the cities have something in a common.

The Sacramento County municipality has a population of 130,000 people. According to Montgomery, it’s been cited as the second-fastest growing town in the nation. He said many people are moving there from San Francisco—which is 90 miles away.

Other management experience includes supervising more than 100 full-time as well as between 50 and 100 part-time employees at electronics manufacturer, JVC. He’s also managed students.

Montgomery attended grade school and high school in LaGrange, Ill., before attending College of DuPage and Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. He earned an education degree and is certified in both elementary and secondary education.

That education experience, he said, will help him build a cohesive and productive team. But it could also help fulfill a passion—workforce enhancement.

“There’s a tsunami on the horizon (in terms) of a skills gap,” Montgomery said.

He said he’d like to find some way to link economic development with education. Montgomery said he’d like to form alliances with area colleges, school districts and businesses to make that a reality.

The 54-year-old Montgomery has a wife, Paula, and son, Michael. Michael is attending California State University in San Francisco.

From the April 26-May 2, 2006, issue

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