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Zalmezak promoted to head economic development

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Evanston City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz today announced today the appointment of Paul Zalmezak as economic development manager for the city.

Zalmezak, who has been the the senior economic development coordinator, joined the city staff in 2011.

He serves as the city’s startup liaison, works in business attraction and retention efforts and is the city lead working with Downtown Evanston.

His projects have included bringing Valli Produce to Evanston and the revitalization of the Evanston Plaza Shopping Center, retaining ZS Associates in Evanston and many new business projects.

“Paul Zalmezak has been a cornerstone of our economic development efforts over the past six years. His understanding of the role Evanston plays in the larger Chicago metropolitan marketplace both in commercial and retail estate has been critical to our success in those areas. He is the perfect choice to lead our economic development team,” Bobkiewicz said.

Bobkiewicz last week promoted the previous economic development manager, Johanna Leonard, to head the Community Development Department.

Before joining the City of Evanston, Zalmezak worked as a neighborhood economic development planner for the City of Chicago covering the Loop, River North, Cabrini and Goose Island, and worked for several years as an economic development consultant conducting market analyses, tax increment financing,  and special service area creation.

He holds a master’s degree in urban planning, focused on economic development, from Wayne State University. Paul and his family live in Evanston.

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