“That is a tremendous opportunity,” he said of the bridge, adding that it would position Clinton to be a key cog in the Union Pacific Railroad’s wheel.
The announcement of his hiring comes eight months after the departure of former CRDC President and CEO Steve Ames, who now is senior vice president of economic development at The Stanislaus Economic and Workforce Alliance in Modesto, Calif.
Since that time, the CRDC has been led by its board of directors and board president Rich Phelan. Phelan earlier this year announced RAIL.ONE, an international manufacturer of railroad ties based in Germany, would be building its first North American location in Clinton’s 1,000-acre Lincolnway Air and Rail Park, which is on track to become one of Iowa’s first certified Super Sites. Work on that project currently is under way.
Also, longtime Clinton business Data Dimensions announced a major local expansion and is building a 30-square-foot data center in the Lyons Business and Technology Park.
“The Clinton region is positioned for economic growth on a global scale and we are confident Mike has the experience and proven leadership to build upon our assets and recent success,” Phelan said.
While Phelan said Kirchhoff is a great match for the city of Clinton and the region as they prepare for more growth, expansion also will happen within the CRDC itself, Phelan noted. An offer has been extended to a potential hire to fill a now-vacant economic development specialist position. That person is expected to join the CRDC in late September, Phelan said.
Kirchhoff is married and has two daughters, one of whom is attending college. The youngest will enroll in Clinton High School as a freshman.
Founded in 1953, the Clinton Regional Development Corporation is one of the first economic development organizations in America. The CRDC serves a bi-state region centered on Clinton, which is located at the intersection of the Union Pacific Railroad east-west mainline and U.S. 30 on the upper Mississippi River. The Clinton region is Iowa's closest point to Chicago, approximately 120 miles away.