February 15, 2018 | last updated February 15, 2018 11:38 am

MetroHartford Alliance taps Minn. economic dev. expert as new CEO

PHOTO | Contributed
PHOTO | Contributed
David Griggs

The MetroHartford Alliance has chosen a Minnesota-based economic development expert as its new president and CEO.

The Alliance announced Thursday that David Griggs, who helps lead the Greater Minneapolis St. Paul Regional Economic Development Partnership as vice president of business investment and research, will take over as Alliance chief executive officer March 12.

Griggs is replacing Oz Griebel, the longtime MetroHartford Alliance CEO who recently stepped down the from the position and is now running for governor.

"David is nationally known for his accomplishments in attracting and retaining tens of thousands of jobs in Minnesota and New York, and his keen sense of research and data will allow us to promote the Greater Hartford Region as an exceptional place to live and do business," said Andy Bessette, chair of the MetroHartford Alliance, and executive vice president and chief administrative officer at Travelers.

Nancy Wheeler, who is serving as interim president and CEO, will resume her role as senior vice president in March.

During his tenure in the Minneapolis-St. Paul region, Griggs and his partnership -- a private-public nonprofit that focuses on job growth and capital investment in 16 counties -- worked on projects that created over 25,000 jobs while investing more than $3.2 billion. His team also provided key research support for winning the 2018 Super Bowl bid, according to the Alliance.

Griggs also served eight years with Buffalo Niagara Enterprise in Buffalo, N.Y., the last four as business development director, where he worked closely with site selectors, corporate and commercial real estate partners and other key professional advisors to build the regional economy while retaining existing companies and recruiting new ones, according to the Alliance.

In that capacity, his leadership resulted in thousands of jobs created and billions of dollars invested by such companies as Yahoo!, Definity Health/United Health Group and GEICO, the Alliance said. Prior to that, Griggs worked in research and planning at the Orleans County (N.Y.) planning department and for the city of Niagara Falls.

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