Jan 28, 2020
About the episode:
Jim Dinkle became president of the KRDA/FirstPark on November 6, 2017. He moved to Maine from Arizona where he had led a regional economic development organization along the Interstate 10 corridor between Phoenix and Tucson. He was deputy chief of staff to former Kentucky Governor Wallace Wilkinson and he went on to serve as Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley’s special projects manager leading the first-in-the-nation brownfields initiative to remediate and market 345 acres of environmentally contaminated sites citywide thanks to a $50 million HUD guaranteed loan.
Mr. Dinkle worked five years for Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad (BNSF) in Chicago and he managed site selection for new and existing customers across five states in the Midwest. He was the owner’s representative in the redevelopment of the former Joliet Arsenal into a multimodal transportation facility with 14 million square feet of warehouse and distribution facilities being developed on the site by such names as Wal-Mart, Georgia Pacific, Cargill and Home Depot. This was a $300 million project built on over 1,400 acres.
Mr. Dinkle is a past member on the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees and he is a UK Bowman Fellow. He is a native of Lexington, Kentucky, and presently resides in Oakland.
Jim’s involvement with Rotary began in 1987 when he was selected for a Group Study Exchange to South Africa.
His core principles are the same as Rotary International’s Four-Way Test, “Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build good will and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned?” Mr. Dinkle believes that accountability, credibility and integrity have been the keys to his professional success, and he upholds those values in his job as president of FirstPark.
In the episode:
3:19 – With a Toyota Motors plant located nearby in Georgetown, Kentucky, Jim’s interest in economic development began after giving tours of the state capital and governor’s mansion to visitors from Asia.
5:44 – Jim shares how his eyes were opened by international visitors to things he had taken for granted growing up.
8:30 – Jim shares how important location is for economic development.
13:01 – Jim describes how he learned how to listen from his grandfather.
16:32 – Jim shares a story about not judging a book by its cover.
18:56 – After completing The Marshall Plan®, Jim shares FirstPark’s successes, including increased web traffic and becoming certified dog friendly.
23:24 – Jim talks about all the communities that came together to create FirstPark.
25:57 – Jim describes how living in Maine was always a dream for him.
31:39 – Jim shares all the benefits of operating a business out of FirstPark.
36:16 – Jim tells the story of meeting Yonghyon Kim, the Consul General of the Republic of Korea.
40:05 – Jim and Nancy discuss the restaurants and revitalization of Waterville and Oakland.
41:16 – Jim provides wisdom that others could learn from and use in their careers.
On living in Maine: “It's not just a place to recreate. It's also a place to live and grow your family and expand your business.” – Jim Dinkle, Executive Director of Kennebec Regional Development Authority, FirstPark
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