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As May begins, both members of the unique and effective public-private partnership that has helped make Moline a city on the go, will see changes at the top.
Even as mayor-elect Stephanie Acri is sworn in next month, Renew Moline will be looking to replace top-notch CEO/President Janet Mathis, who will resign May 8 to pursue other interests.
Ms. Mathis is just the fourth person to lead the agency created 28 years ago by visionary local business leaders. During her tenure, Renew’s membership has seen historic growth and Moline has completed transformative development projects and is on the cusp of more.
“In her six years with Renew, Janet has worked hand-in-hand with the city of Moline to create a public-private partnership that is truly unique in the economic development world,” said Renew Moline board chairman Steve McCann. “As a result of Janet’s efforts, Renew is in an extremely strong position financially and very well positioned to assist the city in its economic development efforts.”
Ms. Mathis said the city “is light years ahead of other similar communities that had industrial, or even just aged, downtowns. Many aspire to what we have here and come to visit and learn from our collective experiences.”
The arrangement has leveraged more than $420 million in investment in Moline’s downtown since 1989. Among the projects wrapped up during Ms. Mathis’ tenure are KONE Centre, Moline Live-Work Enterprise Lofts, WIU-QC Phases I and II, the Mills at Riverbend Commons and historic building conversions to loft housing projects. Under her leadership, the city and Renew also have broadened their vision beyond the downtown. Such leadership will be missed.
Renew’s executive committee is conducting a search for her replacement. It won’t be easy to replace Ms. Mathis and the new hire will have to hit the ground running as the city takes advantage of the blank slate being created by the new Interstate 74 bridge, the development at The Q and the arrival of passenger rail and Phase III of Western Illinois University.
There is no question that these are exciting times for Moline and Renew. And as Ms. Mathis herself suggested, Renew and the city will benefit from fresh eyes and fresh ideas. But if that person also has a healthy dose of what has made Ms. Mathis so effective, Moline will be well-served.
Happy Birthday, J.C. Penney
While Moline looks to the future, we join in celebrating a rich past and a bright future for a retailer who has been a community mainstay for a century.
James Cash Penney opened his first Illinois store in Moline 100 years ago. On Friday, Moline’s modern-day J.C. Penney store observed the occasion with a birthday bash. That commitment to our community and the milestone are all the more remarkable given the challenges facing large retailers.
From the beginning, J.C. Penney has been a great place to shop and a reliable taxpayer and local booster. It was hardly surprising that, at Friday’s party, shoppers received balloons, cake and coupons and Two Rivers YMCA got $250 in gift cards to help buy things for the kids in its after-school programs. Please join us in thanking J.C. Penney for its contributions to our community.
QC Times (April 14, 2017)
Chicago-to-QC rail moves forward
The Dispatch (April 10, 2017)
Editorial: Moline loses effective leader
QC Times (March 29, 2017)
Renew Moline CEO stepping down
The Dispatch (March 29, 2017)
Mathis leaving Renew Moline
The Dispatch (March 29, 2017)
Moline alderman tour The Q
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