Mesa City Manager Chris Brady announced the appointment of Jaye O’Donnell as the new Mesa Economic Development Director. During her more than 14 years of service in Mesa, Jaye has been instrumental in positioning the City as a corporate and industrial destination and developing critical workforce development and small business resource initiatives.
“Jaye is intimately familiar with our vision for growth in Mesa, and her work has been pivotal in shifting our brand from quiet suburb to established international business destination,” said Mesa City Manager Chris Brady. “Jaye keenly understands the importance of developing a talented workforce pipeline to increase our economic growth potential. I can’t wait to witness Jaye’s accomplishments in this new role.”
Ms. O’Donnell will replace Bill Jabjiniak, who announced his retirement earlier this month. Jaye has served as Mesa’s Assistant Economic Development Director since 2012 and, before that, was the City’s first Office of Economic Development Marketing and Business Development Manager. Jaye has been responsible for strategic planning, brand management, communications, and operations in that role. During her career in the City, Jaye has ushered in the creation of the Falcon District and Asian District brands, and the Mesa CARES Small Business Reemergence Grant and Technical Assistance programs. Since 2014, O’Donnell has led and internally developed the last three strategic plans for Mesa’s Office of Economic Development.
“I’m excited to build on the momentum this team and City staff have created. We’ve accomplished so much in the last 16 years, but we still have more to do,” said Mesa’s new Economic Development Director, Jaye O’Donnell.
Ms. O’Donnell’s priorities as Economic Development Director for Mesa include:
- Doubling down on efforts to attract industries and companies that create high-paying jobs above the county median
- Fostering connections between industry and academia and promoting workforce development services
- Serving Mesa’s micro-businesses and helping entrepreneurs start and grow
- Partnering with City departments to enhance the revitalization of the Asian District, Broadway Corridor, and Fiesta Mall
Before coming to Mesa, Jaye served five years as the Senior Director of Marketing and Business Attraction at the Arizona Department of Commerce, directing International and Domestic Business Attraction, Trade, and the Arizona Film Office. She’s also served as Director of Advertising, Media Relations, and Fulfillment for the Arizona Office of Tourism.
“Economic Development is a team sport, and it takes a lot of people to get deals done. Our job is to think long-term using a solid approach to making decisions today that will position us and sustain our community well into the future,” added O’Donnell
Jaye is an active member of the Arizona Association of Economic Development Board of Directors and Visit Mesa Board of Directors. She began her career in the public sector in the City of Glendale as Tourism Manager more than 26 years ago. Jaye holds a B.S. in Journalism and Mass Communication from Iowa State University.