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Streetsboro seeking new economic development director

by mike lesko | Reporter Published: March 5, 2014 12:00 AM
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Streetsboro -- Economic Development Director Bill Bishilany announced that he is resigning as of March 10, saying he's accepted a new job offer that "he couldn't pass up."

Bishilany will become the chief of staff for the Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities Agency in Columbus, working for director Kevin Miller. Bishilany will begin his new duties March 10.

"It was an offer I couldn't refuse," he said. "It's a different atmosphere at state government than local government. I like being in a leadership position. It's an exciting challenge, and it's about helping people who really need help."

Bishilany served as Streetsboro's economic development director since April 29, 2013. His annual salary was $84,000, according to Mayor Glenn Broska.

"Bill will oversee a large staff. He couldn't pass up this offer," Broska said. "Bill said they offered him the job once before, and he turned it down because he wanted to be working in Streetsboro. They came after him again, and [he felt he had to accept it]."

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Broska said the city has "put out feelers" for a successor.

"We went to an economic development conference in Independence and found some people who were highly regarded by those in attendance," Broska said. "We are interviewing candidates. We have one candidate who is rated extremely high, and we are doing what we can to bring that person on board."

Broska said the person that takes that position will be positioning themselves to be "very successful."

"Streetsboro is getting a lot of notice [in terms of economic development]," he said. "If that person comes in and beats the bushes and busts their chops, they're going to do the city proud."

Broska praised Bishilany's performance.

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"Bill has brought professionalism here that we have not seen," Broska said. "He was shaking the bushes, literally calling and reaching out to people. Because of the network of people that Bill knows from previous jobs, he knows who to reach out to. That is irreplaceable. Besides his professionalism and the way he presents himself, those are intangibles. It's hard to put a figure on those. I told him, 'I am deeply saddened [that he is leaving].'"

Bishilany is saddened, too.

"The worst part is leaving people you care about," Bishilany said. "There are a lot of good people in Streetsboro. I enjoyed working with Glenn [Broska]. Glenn is not a politician. He is an individual looking to make a difference and make Streetsboro better. He is worried about doing the right thing for the right reasons. It's nice to work with someone where politics don't come first.

"Glenn works very closely with all his directors," Bishilany said. "Glenn believes in the people he hires. That's nice to have that confidence and support."

Bishilany credits part of his success to his wife, Denise. They will celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary March 17.

"She is a big reason why I've succeeded," he said.

They have three grown children including a son in Cleveland and daughters in California and Columbus. The daughter in Columbus has a 9-month-old grandson.

"That should make the transition a little easier," he said.

Bishilany is a former deputy state treasurer and state economic development director, and a former Seven Hills director of public works and five-term Seven Hills City Council member and Council president.

Email: mlesko@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9439

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