Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership opens national search for next President & CEO


Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership (TSEP) announced today that it has launched a national search to find its next leader, as current President & CEO David Zak resigned this week to assume a leadership position with the Crawford Partnership for Education and Economic Development. Position description and requirements can be found at tsepsearch.com. Resumes and cover letters will be accepted by email only to tsepsearch@tiffinseneca.org until 5 p.m. Monday, May 16, 2022.  

Lillian Schumacher, Chair of the TSEP Board of Trustees and President of Tiffin University, was excited about starting the next chapter for the award-winning organization that serves as the economic, downtown, and community development agent for the City of Tiffin and rural Seneca County. “We are one of the premier local economic development organizations in the country,” she said, “and we are looking for a strong, experienced, dynamic, and visionary leader to help us continue the success we have seen over the past decade.” She also stated, “I am grateful for David Zak’s leadership and wish him the best in his new position.”

Site Selection magazine has ranked the Tiffin-Seneca County micropolitan in the top 20 percent nationally in economic development for 11 straight years, and for five of the past six years, it has ranked among the top 10 of the 581 micropolitans in the United States. Since 2014, companies have invested half a billion dollars and created 2,800 new jobs here, and in 2021, the organization won the Ohio Economic Development Association award for Innovation in Economic Development for its small business relief grant program.

Dean Keller, head of the Search Committee, Immediate Past Chair and President of the First National Bank of Sycamore, said, “We have incredible collaboration here, and we believe you need a holistic approach to economic development. In addition to traditional industrial and commercial development, we also focus on downtown revitalization, community development, entrepreneurship and workforce development in order to be a community of choice where people want to live, work, invest, and run a business.”

Thanks in large part to TSEP’s efforts, Downtown Tiffin has received both state and national Main Street accreditation every year since 2016, as well as nine state awards for revitalization excellence. It has also recorded more than 70 new downtown businesses, $35 million of new investment, and 100 façade projects take place in the downtown. TSEP Director of Downtown Revitalization Amy Reinhart has been recognized as Ohio’s Main Street Manager of the Year, and more than 50 volunteers contribute 1,500 hours per year to the downtown efforts.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz, a member of TSEP’s Executive Committee and Board of Trustees, described the importance of the search this way: “We continue to push for excellence in everything we do, and we aspire to continue becoming one of the best communities in the state and country. In order to get there, we need an experienced leader at TSEP to join our community and help us move forward with passion, dedication, and a high level of engagement.”

Rounding out the TSEP team are Development Coordinator Adam Gillmor, Seneca Job & Family Services Business Services Consultant Carol Owen Kern, and Operations Manager Corrina Haynes. Gillmor helps coordinate the Dream Big Tiffin! community development initiative, the Tiffin-Seneca Entrepreneurship Clearinghouse, and rural development. Owen Kern leads adult-based workforce development and the organization’s INSIGHT retention and expansion program. Haynes support the team, manages finances, and administers the Sandusky-Seneca-Tiffin Port Authority.

Seneca County Commissioner Mike Kerschner, also a member of TSEP’s Executive Committee and Board of Trustees, strongly supports both the organization and the search. “It will be difficult to fill the shoes of David Zak, who is unfortunately moving on. We know, though, that TSEP has a great team in place and works extremely hard to promote our community, communicate with stakeholders, and drive economic growth. We think this is a great opportunity for the right person.” 

About the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership

Started in 1983 as the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC), the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio. Tiffin and Seneca County consistently rank in the top two percent of communities nationally for economic development and has one of the most recognized and award-winning downtown Main Street programs in Ohio. Learn more about the great things going on in Tiffin and Seneca County at www.tiffinseneca.org.

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