Five months of searching nationwide has ended.
Vision Together 2025 leaders said Tuesday that they've selected a president and CEO to help the organization achieve its goals to revitalize Johnstown.
The chosen candidate, Mike Tedesco, of Spokane, Wash., was most recently executive director of the Spokane Tribe of Indians. He was responsible for 515 employees and an annual budget of $66 million.
“I oversaw all governmental activities for the Spokane Tribe, including planning, economic development, public works, human resources, finance and compliance, health and human services, and information technology,” Tedesco said in a press release from Vision Together 2025.
Being the executive director for tribal governments is comparable to a city or county manager, Tedesco said.
In his new position with Vision Together 2025, he will lead the volunteer organization in implementing a comprehensive strategy for renewal and growth in Johnstown.
Tedesco is set to take the helm of Vision Together 2025 by mid-March, said William Polacek, president and CEO of JWF Industries and chairman of the Vision Together 2025 board of directors.
"He's extremely skilled, intelligent and creative in what he's doing," Polacek said.
Among the organization's goals are to remediate blight and redevelop properties in Johnstown, leverage and conserve natural resources, including rivers and trails, and recruit and retain businesses.
"Johnstown attracted him," Polacek said. "He toured the city for four days. He said it was everything he thought it would be."
Tedesco said he looks forward to the move.
“The challenge really speaks to me and you don’t stumble upon opportunities like this very often," he said. "I think it is a perfect fit, and I can’t get there quickly enough.”
During his tenure with the Spokane Tribe, Tedesco was the primary architect of a winning Promise Zone designation from President Barack Obama – one of only 22 places in the country to earn the presidential designation.
Prior to his position with the Spokane Tribe, Tedesco served as president and CEO of the Downtown Spokane Partnership, leading numerous economic development and marketing initiatives resulting in new business and jobs for the community.
He also served as executive director of the Pueblo Urban Renewal Authority, helping to revitalize the city of Pueblo, Colo.
"He's what we are asking for in a CEO and president," Polacek said. "We are excited to have him on board."