After Terry Gill stepped down as VP of EnterpriseCorp last week to take a job in the private sector, IL checked in with Greater Louisville Inc. CEO Kent Oyler to take the temperature of an organization that’s seen a lot of employee turnover in the past year.
Unsurprisingly, he reassured us that everything is going to be fine.
Although he admits the economic development organization has seen numerous high-level employees depart, he echoed what Gill told IL last week, saying employees at GLI are high profile and companies seek them out.
He also said some departures can’t be helped, like that of former VP James Reddish, who relocated to Chicago for his wife’s new job. “We haven’t suffered ‘quits’ or layoffs, and net-net we are growing the staff by about 30 percent as we hire up to execute the Advantage Louisville 2020 initiatives.”
Although Gill was the third head of EnterpriseCorp in the past three years, this doesn’t concern Oyler, who said he is in no rush replace Gill and that it will “take some purposeful work and time to fill his shoes.”
Oyler praised the core staff of EnterpriseCorp, including Lisa Bajorinas, director of the Kentucky Innovation Network, and new hires Amelia Gandara and Brittain Skinner. He also said his long history as an entrepreneur allows him to chip in with EnterpriseCorp as well.
“GLI was already working with its staff and board on a new strategy to improve how we help our medium-sized growth company members, and much of that responsibility will fall to (EnterpriseCorp),” said Oyler. “I loved Terry’s combination of grizzled corporate experience and embracement of the new double bottom line mindset.”
Shortly before Gill’s departure from EnterpriseCorp, he published an editorial (which IL reposted with permission) about Louisville’s need for an “entrepreneurial center.” The editorial was well received, with many entrepreneurs echoing his call. With Gill out of the picture, will the vision remain?
“We have in EnterpriseCorp today many of the elements of an entrepreneurial center, though not (yet) the physical place,” Oyler said. “While a good idea on the surface, we need to be purposeful in advancing towards a center that is sustainable, impactful, and ultimately successful. Specifically, we must engage with the corporate community and be assured of their long-term support.”
He said Gandara has been charged with continuing Gill’s research.
“If and when a local enterprise center happens, I’m confident that GLI’s EnterpriseCorp will lead the charge,” he said. “Definitely on my radar for 2016.”