Named President and COO of the Chester County Economic Development Council
Exton, PA – March 23, 2023 – The Chester County Economic Development Council announces that Mike Grigalonis, CCEDC’s COO and Executive Vice President since 2004, has been promoted to President and COO. CCEDC’s board of directors approved the promotion on Thursday, March 23, 2023 at the board’s monthly meeting.
“As many of you know, Mike and I have worked hand-in-hand over the course of my 46 years as President and CEO of the Chester County Economic Development Council, and it has been one of the highlights of my career to support his rise in leadership,” said Gary W. Smith, CEO. “While I will continue to serve as CCEDC’s Chief Executive Officer, Mike’s promotion to President reflects the expansion of his management and leadership of the day-to-day operations of CCEDC.”
The promotion also reflects the growth of CCEDC’s services since the pandemic, when Grigalonis spearheaded administration of programs that significantly impacted Chester County’s community and the region, including $86,634,534 in COVID-19 assistance to area businesses and administration of $5,076,446 in grants to 248 companies through the Chester County Main Street Preservation grant program.
In addition, over the past 2+ years, Grigalonis’ leadership has helped to establish a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Strategic Plan that comprises input from more than 50 community and business leaders as well as new programs focused on strengthening minority- and women-owned businesses in Chester County. Implementation included a culturally inclusive communications strategy, internal training for CCEDC staff and board, and the grand opening of a business support office in Coatesville called 190 West Business Resource Center in August 2022. Grigalonis has also helped oversee the launch of a CCEDC pilot program called New Business Champions, funded in part by the Chester County Workforce Development Board. Oversubscribed since its launch in February 2022, New Business Champions offers thousands of dollars in free services to help small businesses develop critical entrepreneurial skills in accounting, marketing, HR, legal and more. Priority is given to businesses that are minority-owned, women-owned and veteran-owned.
Grigalonis has served a two-year term as President of the Pennsylvania Economic Development Association (PEDA), where he led the statewide association throughout the pandemic and guided thousands of local, state, corporate and nonprofit economic development professionals in their mission to promote sound economic development policies and nurture economic growth. He is currently the regional leader of Partnerships for Regional Economic Performance (PREP), Pennsylvania’s network of business assistance partners designed to help companies start, grow and prosper.
Grigalonis said, “CCEDC is a special organization with a mission that inspires me every day. It has been my honor to be a part of the team for 23 years and I’m humbled by the confidence Gary and the board have shown in me with this promotion.”
Smith will continue to operate as CEO, developing new business, advancing the vision of the organization, and representing CCEDC in local, statewide, regional and national communities.
“Gary is a visionary, and his next vision is to see Mike recognized for his accomplishments and leadership. CCEDC’s board unanimously agrees,” said Craig Styer, Chair of CCEDC’s Board of Directors.