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LVGEA selects new chief operating officer

The Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance is bringing aboard its second-ever chief operating officer, after CEO Jonas Peterson.

Jared Smith will start at LVGEA June 1.

Smith currently serves as director of business development for the Baton Rouge Area Chamber, where he said he has independently been following a similar track as the LVGEA.

“Here in Louisiana, in Baton Rouge specifically, several years ago we had a target industry study performed so we could understand what our workforce offers to companies, what skill sets, and at what price range,” Smith said. “And then we had a list of target industries, and then we strategically approached and assisted companies in growing. I anticipate very similar activities in Las Vegas.”

The COO position within LVGEA has been vacant for over a year.

“When I was originally hired on, almost three years ago, I was hired as the chief operating officer. I have since moved on up to the CEO position, so the COO position has been unfilled for a while,” Peterson said.

Having the COO position filled will allow for more community and investor outreach, as well as allow for the organization to grow its research capacity, Peterson said.

“On the horizon, I think you’ll see us supporting workforce development roles for the regional development authorities. We’d like a stronger workforce development system and that availability of skilled workers is just critical in our overall economic development needs,” Peterson said.

After a nationwide search, Peterson describes Smith as “just the perfect candidate.”

A private organization, the LVGEA works as the clearing house for economic development in Southern Nevada. Its 42-member board of directors works directly with the Governor’s Office of Economic Development.

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