WHPO Blog

After conducting a nationwide search that spanned more than four months, the Vermilion Advantage Board will consider the appointment of Timothy Dudley of Decatur to the position of president/chief executive officer.

 

Dudley would replace Vicki Haugen, who led Vermilion Advantage since its inception 37 years ago as a Vermilion County-based economic-development corporation. Haugen passed away on Feb. 11, 2020.

 

Dudley has specialized in economic development for nearly a decade throughout Central Illinois. In his current role for the City of Decatur, he has spearheaded a renaissance in downtown revitalization. His key achievements included the $65 million construction of a Community Care Campus that was funded in part through the Howard G. Buffett Foundation. In his prior experience managing the Central Illinois region for the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, one of his chief accomplishments was in acquiring grant support for Archer Daniels Midland in the construction of the Midwest Inland Port to improve transportation and logistics.

 

The Vermilion Advantage Board wanted to make sure it found the right person to continue Haugen’s tenure as president.

 

“Tim’s a pedigree in the world of economic development. He’s had hands-on experience addressing regional needs not unlike our own. He led major downtown-restoration projects in Macon County and throughout Central Illinois. He attracted industry to the regions he served. He supported the workforce needs of manufacturers. He helped welcome retailers into his communities. With this guy, we’re getting a full-service master in economic development. Best of all, he has family ties to Danville and has worked in our region on past projects,” said board chairman Stephen Nacco, through a press release.

 

With board approval next week, Dudley plans to get to work as soon as Jan. 4.

 

“I am honored and humbled to be chosen as the next President/CEO of Vermilion Advantage. I can’t wait to get started,” he said, through the press release.

 

Former Board chair Jon Stalcup organized the hiring process in two stages. Dan Laughner led a 14-member screening committee that winnowed out the top three candidates from among 20 applicants. Choosing Dudley from among the three finalists was an executive committee that included Nacco, Stalcup, Linda Darby-Dowers, Gardner Peck, Deanna Witzel, Jeff Fauver, Mayor Rickey Williams Jr. and Vermilion County Board Director Larry Baughn.

 

Nacco is grateful to board members on both the screening committee and the executive committee.

 

“I appreciate their patience and their trust in a process that led to what we think will be a real benefit to our community in the hiring of Tim Dudley,” Nacco said.

 

He also praised the four-member Vermilion Advantage staff “for holding the organization together and continuing to serve the community and member businesses in spite of losing a great leader in Vicki Haugen and in spite of COVID.”

 

The appointment of Dudley as the new president/CEO will be presented for a vote by the 73-member VA board via zoom next week.

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