Friday, May 27, 2011

Head of Solano Economic Development Corp. taking job in Stockton

By Richard Bammer / The Reporter
Posted: 05/27/2011 05:09:31 AM PDT

Mike Ammann, longtime president of the Solano Economic Development Corp., has accepted the top job at San Joaquin Partnership, a Stockton-based organization similar to EDC, and will leave his $100,000-a-year post in Fairfield on June 14.

EDC Vice President Sandy Person has been named interim president at the nonprofit business that promotes the county's economic interests, Ammann confirmed Thursday afternoon after a morning announcement to the board of directors gathered at their Campus Lane offices.

Ammann, 64, called the change "a good professional move for me," adding that his new job, which begins June 15, pays "substantially more," though he declined to be specific. He will supervise a slightly larger staff and oversee an annual budget of $1 million, he noted. In his new position, as he did at the EDC, Ammann will be responsible for attracting, growing and retaining business in San Joaquin County.

"Overall, it's a larger marketing opportunity for me," he said, adding he was familiar with some staff members at the Stockton office. "I've competed against them before -- they're a good crew."

San Joaquin County, added Ammann, "has a lot of the same characteristics as Solano," but the biggest difference is its geographic size and population (600,000 people) and, like Solano, has seven major cities.

Saying "I'm still going to be part of Solano County," Ammann said the two counties share common problems. They include the improvement of marketing to attract business, enhancing safety along Highway 12 -- a major commerce corridor for Solano, San Joaquin and Napa counties -- and tackling a host of issues surrounding the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, a major source of fresh water for California, widely perceived to be in crisis and hemmed in by a fragile levee system.

"We'll be working in those areas, I'm sure," he said. "Even though I'm leaving, I'm still going to be part of Solano County. You'll see me around from time to time."

Ammann, who served eight years at the helm of EDC, praised his Fairfield colleagues, saying, "They've all done a really good job. Eight years ago, there was a question whether or not the Solano EDC was going to be around. That's why they hired me, to bring back the marketing focus, to put together a team and bring that back. I think we've done that."

A Jackson, Mich., native, Ammann graduated from Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Mich. He is the father of one. A resident of Rancho Solano in Fairfield, he and his wife plan to relocate to the Stockton area by the end of the year.

Person could not be reached for comment at press time Thursday.