Jay Foran to Retire after 15 Years of Service to Team NEO

Transition plan in place to leverage in-house expertise and bring new insights to Team NEO’s economic development efforts in the Northeast Ohio Region

Team NEO announced today that Jay Foran, the organization’s Sr. Vice President of Industry and Innovation, plans to retire effective April 30, 2022. Steve Fritsch, currently Vice President of Marketing and Engagement for Team NEO will take over as Vice President, Industry Advancement and Engagement. New hire Mark Owens has joined the team as Vice President, Marketing and Communications.

“I want to thank Jay for his contributions, his leadership and the undeniable mark he has made on our organization and economic development in the Northeast Ohio Region,” said Team NEO CEO Bill Koehler. “As we move forward, we are well-positioned to build on the foundation Jay has laid and continue to help build economic vibrancy across the region.”

During Jay’s tenure as Sr. Vice President, he played a critical role in advancing smart manufacturing adoption through commercialization roadmaps for smart manufacturing and additive manufacturing. He has played a leadership role in shaping an aligned and coordinated state-regional-local business retention and expansion calling program that has helped identify growth opportunities.

“The impact of Jay’s leadership will endure long after his retirement. As a key member of the business development team, Jay and his teams have won projects with companies such as Nestlé, Home Goods, AMS, Ambaflex, Borgers, and many more  – when an economic development project is won in Northeast Ohio, the people in the Region know that ‘Jay Foran did that deal,” said J.P. Nauseef, JobsOhio president and CEO. “His work earned him the designation as one of America’s Top 50 Economic Development Professionals by Consultant Connect in 2015.”  

Steve Fritsch, who has led marketing, communications, and engagement for Team NEO since October 2018, will take over the Industry and Innovation leadership position effective May 1, expanding the role to retain responsibility for network engagement.

“Steve has the vision and relationships with local partners throughout the region to help forge stronger network alignment, build business growth and bolster technology adoption,” stated Peter W. Broer, Team NEO Board Chair and President and CEO of Lumitex, Inc. “We look forward to his leadership in this new role.”

This transition also prompted Team NEO to hire Mark Owens to take on the revamped position of Vice President, Marketing and Communications, responsible for leading efforts to help support Team NEO’s ability to achieve its goals related to promoting not only Team NEO, but also the Northeast Ohio Region as a destination for business attraction, expansion, and retention. Mark most recently was Marketing & Public Affairs Director with RelateCare, a Cleveland, Ohio- and Waterford, Ireland-based healthcare support services firm. “Marketing the Northeast Ohio Region and helping to build awareness of Team NEO’s efforts to advance regional economic development are critical to our success,” said Bill Koehler. “Mark’s marketing expertise and accomplishments will amplify the work that Steve initiated, particularly with the recently introduced Vibrant Economy Index, our Marketing Advisory Council, promoting our regional brand, and telling compelling stories of ways companies are leveraging Northeast Ohio’s many assets.”

About Team NEO

Team NEO is a private, nonprofit economic development organization accelerating business growth and job creation throughout the 18 counties of the Northeast Ohio Region. As the designated JobsOhio Network Partner, we align and amplify local economic development efforts in the region’s 18-counties; we conduct research and data analysis to inform local conversations and influence solutions; we market the Northeast Ohio Region; and we work to increase access to jobs, education, and training for the region’s 4.3 million people. We do this to build a more vibrant regional economy; one that is more talented, equitable, competitive, innovative, resilient, and prosperous. For more information, visit teamneo.org.