Kelley hired to spark new growth in Brawley

December 01, 2001|By DARREN SIMON, Staff Writer

BRAWLEY — With its mission to bring about economic growth, the Brawley Economic Development Commission has hired its first executive director to promote the city.

Tim Kelley, a Brawley native, started work as the BEDC director in November. His goal: to attract new industry and commercial business to the city.

The BEDC — a subcommittee of the Brawley Chamber of Commerce — has in the past had a director who also served as the chamber executive director.

That one director reported to two separate boards — one for the chamber and the other for the BEDC.

The boards recently decided the city's interests would best be served if there were separate directors for the chamber and the BEDC.


Nicole Gilles was hired earlier this year to serve as the chamber director.

Kelley said he is pleased to have the opportunity to serve the city and he thinks there is an opportunity to spark new growth in Brawley.

"I'm definitely interested in seeing Brawley's growth and providing good jobs for the people of Brawley and of Imperial County."

Greg Smith, president of the BEDC, said he thinks Kelley brings to the commission the skills necessary to promote the city and bring about growth.

"He has a lot of experience outside the Valley, along as being from our own back yard," Smith said.

He added, "There isn't anything he does that he doesn't put his best effort into it. He puts his best into everything."

Smith said local economic development efforts deserve an equal status to other chamber activities.

"Economic development needs a little bit higher status than it has had in the past," Smith said.

Kelley said Brawley has the elements it needs to bring new growth. Among those are expanded water and waste water services to meet the needs of new businesses, a manufacturing enhancement area that allows the city to provide tax incentives to businesses, low-cost water and power and an available work force.

He said in the next three years, the city could start to see key growth.

"I think if someone was to leave today and come back in three years, they would see a completely revitalized city."

Kelley, who was born in Brawley in 1965, has come to the new position after working as a teacher for Sacred Heart Catholic School in Brawley and as a summer school teacher for Brawley Union High School.

Before that he ran a farming business with his brother, Michael, and worked six years for a title company in San Diego.

He has a bachelor's degree in communication arts and sciences from the University of Southern California.

He resides in Brawley with his wife, Marisa.

He is past exalted ruler of the Elk's Lodge in Brawley, is a member of the Irish-American Club and was part of a group study exchange to Africa through the Rotary Club.

As BEDC executive director, Kelley said he will work with the chamber and as a liaison to the city. He also will work with those businesses interested in the city by helping them to get in contact with those they need to speak with from different city departments.

He said he does see his role as being a bit different from that of the chamber.

Kelley said the chamber works toward fostering an atmosphere for businesses to succeed in the city; the BEDC looks outside the city to market the community and attract new business.

He said, "I'm glad that I have this opportunity to hold this position and I'm looking forward to helping the city."

>> Staff Writer Darren Simon can be reached at 337-4082.

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