July 19, 2011
Partnership names Denyse Ferguson VP, Economic Development
Denyse Ferguson has been named vice president of economic development at the Cincinnati USA Partnership, the Chamber’s economic development arm. She will join the Chamber on August 15.
Ferguson, who currently serves as the president and CEO of the Lansing Area Economic Partnership, Inc. (Leap, Inc.) in Michigan, will report to Dave Dougherty, Cincinnati USA Partnership interim executive director.
In this role, Ferguson will be responsible for managing the Partnership’s cluster-focused economic development activity, and will specifically lead the Ohio Hub of Innovation and Opportunity in Consumer Marketing. This strategic initiative will leverage the region’s deep knowledge of the consumer value chain to grow “clusters” of consumer marketing-related businesses, talented workers and venture capital funding. This cluster-based strategy was born from the Chamber’s regional action plan, Agenda 360.
“Denyse is an innovative leader with a wealth of public-private experience,” said Ellen van der Horst, president and CEO of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber. “Her expertise in building partnerships and successful brands will help us continue to attract jobs and capital investment to Cincinnati USA.”
Cincinnati USA Partnership interim executive director Dave Dougherty said, “The competition for business attraction and venture capital funding is fierce and Cincinnati USA has a clear advantage in its consumer value chain expertise. Denyse offers both the economic development and consumer marketing experience to transition the Partnership to an across-the-board, cluster-based economic development approach.”
Ferguson brings over 20 years of experience to the Chamber. She joined Leap, Inc. in 2007 as vice president of new business development and marketing and was named president and CEO in 2009. Prior to this role, Ferguson was with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, where she worked with all of the state’s universities to enhance technology transfer and increase the impact of commercialization efforts.
Ferguson has served in a variety of business development and marketing roles. She developed and managed strategic partnerships and overall brand marketing at Home Depot and ran trademark licensing programs for The Timberland Company and Harvard University. Also at Harvard, she served as a technology transfer specialist, ultimately managing the university’s worldwide intellectual property programs.
Denyse has a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University. She and her husband, Gordon, have three children and they will relocate to Cincinnati.
“Cincinnati USA firms have a proven expertise in taking successful brands to market,” offered Ferguson. “I am energized by an opportunity to nurture this ‘cradle’ and drive the vision of the region to become the ‘Silicon Valley’ of consumer marketing. The success of the Hub will generate significant economic impact it represents in terms of jobs, capital investment, and talent attraction.”
The Cincinnati USA Partnership is responsible for attracting new business, jobs and investment in the three-state, 15-county region. Over the last seven years, the Partnership brought 117 projects to the region, more than 8,900 new jobs and $1.7 billion in capital investment, representing about one in seven of the new jobs created in the region. Every $1 invested in the Partnership results in $70 in new capital investment in the region.
In 2010, the Cincinnati USA Partnership won 12 new projects, bringing 485 new jobs and more than $43 million dollars in total investment to the region. Site Selection magazine, which ranks top metro areas in the U.S. for new and expanded corporate facilities, named the Cincinnati USA Partnership as one of its Top 10 economic development groups in the U.S. for 2010 for the third time in four years.