Royal Oak Welcomes New Manager of Economic Development

Royal Oak Welcomes New Manager of Economic DevelopmentCandlewickshop_May2014

(Royal Oak Press Release, May 14, 2014)

The City of Royal Oak is welcoming a former Wayne County senior development officer to serve as its new manager of economic development.

Todd Fenton – who has served as one of the region’s primary points of contact for companies seeking to grow, expand, and relocate to southeast Michigan – will lead the charge to provide resources and technical assistance to businesses contemplating investing in the city. He started his new position Monday.

“This position is something that has been a priority for the public and the chamber for a long time,” said gallowaycollens1Shelly Kemp, executive director of the Royal Oak Chamber of Commerce. “We are really excited about having Todd onboard. He brings a great deal of energy to the table.”

Fenton is an attorney with over six years of real estate and economic development experience. Prior to forming Ellman Pike LLC in 2013, an economic and business development consulting firm, Fenton’s work with Wayne County, first as an executive project manager with the Wayne County Land Bank, then as a senior development officer with Wayne County EDGE, was instrumental in bringing new investments into Michigan’s largest county, which totaled more than $7 billion between 2008 and 2013.

During this time, Fenton also led the rebranding of Wayne County’s Department of Neighborhood and Economic Development into Wayne County EDGE through the creation of new marketing materials, website content, and the implementation of an outreach initiative that targeted the nation’s top site selection jennifer sandler bowen reflexologyconsultants and corporate real estate decision makers.  These marketing and economic development efforts resulted in EDGE’s classification by Site Selection Magazine as one of the United States’ Top 10 Economic Development organizations.

Jay Dunstan, chairperson of the Royal Oak Downtown Development Authority (DDA) is looking forward to tapping into Fenton’s deep list of relationships with both the top real estate and corporate decision makers in Michigan and the local and state economic development professionals that sit on the other side of the table.

“The DDA looks forward to working with Todd. He brings a wealth of experience and energy to a position sidebar01sponsorwhich demands both,” Dunstan said. “His hiring is a positive step for all of Royal Oak.”

The Mayor of Royal Oak agrees.

“The creation of this position was designed to establish an advocate for economic development services and business vitality in the city,” said Mayor Jim Ellison. “Todd’s passion and experience are consistent with our objectives for this new role. We’re delighted to welcome him.”

Fenton looks forward to working with Royal Oak’s business community and the city’s residents to keep both growing, while targeting new investment opportunities for downtown and beyond.


“Royal Oak is a destination city, overflowing with energy, enthusiasm, and limitless growth potential, and I am tremendously excited to serve as its first manager of economic development – a destination position for anyone in my field,” Fenton said.

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