KABA adds economic development director

Brian Rademacher /submitted photo

The Kenosha Area Business Alliance has hired Brian Rademacher to fill its newly created position of Economic Development Director.

Most recently, before beginning work with KABA on May 26, Rademacher worked for four years as Economic Development Coordinator for the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning.

In that capacity, he worked with the planning commission for a seven-county region (Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will) in Northeastern Illinois. He also worked closely with economic development corporations, local governments and business leaders to provide insight into the economy and to identify needs ranging from industry analysis to workforce development.

His CMAP duties included an analysis of emerging and leading business trends in the region, as well as helping create the economic development component of a comprehensive regional plan known as “Go To 2040.”

At KABA, Rademacher fills a newly created position. His arrival flows from a recommendation, contained in the organization’s 2009 strategic plan, Kenosha First, to devote additional staff resources to economic development.

“Brian’s addition greatly expands our economic development capacity and will allow us to expand and accelerate our business development initiatives,” said KABA President Todd Battle.

Rademacher will help implement elements of Kenosha First, including business retention and economic development support for new and existing businesses.

“Kenosha County is very community and family-oriented and has a lot of economic development potential,” Rademacher says. “I’m looking forward to contributing my skills and ideas to enhance and expand the economy of Kenosha County.”

Rademacher’s passion for economic development is so strong that it sometimes spills over into his personal life—and well beyond local terrain. For example, while on his honeymoon, as others gaped at the sights, Rademacher would sidle up to his tour guide and get the infrastructure scoop.

Do the utilities come out this far? How deep can you dig into the ground? Where is the nearest port?

“Every vacation is a site selection tour,” laughs Rademacher. “I’m always fascinated about how organizations and governments position their industries and their overall economy. With any local economy, it’s a constant search to find new opportunities to create a better quality of life.”

Rademacher has a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology and Spanish from Marquette University, as well as a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

While enrolled at Johns Hopkins, he “was bit by the economic development bug,” he recalls. Through an internship with the Baltimore Mayor’s office, he worked from 2003 to 2005 for East Baltimore Development, Inc., on a redevelopment project in a blighted neighborhood.

Rademacher enjoys endurance sports and hopes to compete in local triathlons and bike races in the future.

Rademacher grew up in Niles, a suburb of Chicago, and he and his wife, Lisa, reside in Chicago. They plan to move to Kenosha County in the near future with their daughter.

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