Restructuring underway at Heartland Partnership

By Denise Jackson

August 24, 2012 Updated Aug 27, 2012 at 10:23 AM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- A month after the resignation of former Chief Executive Officer Jim McConoughey, restructuring of Heartland Partnership is taking place.

Heartland Partnership Interim CEO Cal MacKay says the agency will continue to rally for economic development but will focus a lot on the private sector.

"This is a great asset to the community and one of my jobs is to understand what's here, to figure out what the future is and where we're headed with it and to make sure we don't lose the resources that we have here," MacKay said.

MacKay confirms that some Heartland investors have delayed funding to the agency until it more clearly defines its mission. He says seven employees have been laid off under restructuring and more changes could be in the works. This all follows a report criticizing the agency's role in economic development plus calls for more accountability.

McKay is only expected to work as interim CEO for 60 days but given the scope and magnitude of changes, he could be around longer

"There is still a lot to understand here. There are some basic parts of Heartland that will survive no matter what happens. For example, the Chamber is a very important aspect of private business," he said.

As reorganizing moves forward, MacKay says it's unclear whether or not Heartland will continue to share space and services with its current tenants, the Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development Council and others. In the meantime, the search for a new CEO to replace Jim McConoughey continues.

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