MERIDEN — The city has hired a former development manager in Hartford as economic development coordinator.
Tamesha Ortiz began this week alongside Economic Development Director Joseph Feest and Community Development Block Grant Administrator Matthew Sarcione. Her salary is $65,000 annually.
“We believe we have found an excellent addition to the city team and specifically the Economic Development group,” City Manager Tim Coon said in a prepared statement. “Tamesha joins us in supporting the mission of our great city and helping new and existing business owners grow within the City of Meriden.”
The Economic Development department’s goals are to promote a thriving small business community, support more and better employment opportunities and offer improved amenities to current and prospective residents and businesses.
In her first few days, she has met with city stakeholders and business advocacy groups, including the Meriden Economic Development Corp. and the Making Meriden Business Center, Feest said.
“Tamesha is a welcome addition to our team and I look forward to working with her,” Feest said in an e-mail. “She has hit the ground running. We have gone over some of our goals and objectives that we will be working on together. We will be creating a new economic development marketing strategy for the entire city.”
This is the third hire the city has made in recent months. A new finance director and a communications specialist were also added.
One of the job requirements was that the new economic development coordinator be fluent in English and Spanish.
Ortiz previously served as development manager for the Women’s Institute of Housing & Economic Development in Hartford. She is a graduate of Albertus Magnus College with a bachelor’s degree in planning and development and a master’s degree in leadership and organizational development.
City Councilor Michael Cardona, who sits on the Economic Development Housing and Zoning Committee, was pleased to hear the position was filled. He said it’s not unusual for cities the size of Meriden to have several employees in the economic development and marketing offices.
“When you compare these departments in other cities, they are more than one person,” Cardona said. “If we’re going to increase economic development, of course there is going to be accountability, but there has to be more than one person.”