Federal Way’s economic development team is adding an “impact player” with the appointment of Tim Johnson as director of Economic Development. Mayor Jim Ferrell announced the appointment today, pending City Council confirmation during the Aug. 12 Council meeting.
“Tim has the right mix of experience, knowledge and enthusiasm that will fit the city’s ambitious economic development goals,” said Ferrell. “He has a wide range of experience in key areas, including business recruitment and retention, project financing, experience with New Market Tax Credits and downtown development efforts, among others. He’s definitely an impact player.”
Johnson arrives in Federal Way with an impressive 30-year economic development career, including 20 years in the public sector with the cities of Sacramento and San Diego, and more than a decade in municipal and regional development with a private consultancy and a northern California development authority.
“I am thrilled to be coming to Federal Way. I am excited about working towards creating a more diverse and sustainable economy,” Johnson said. “I look forward to helping the mayor and City Council achieve the community’s goals for the downtown, as well as promoting economic development throughout the city.”
The Economic Development director leads the city’s efforts to recruit new businesses and retain existing ones, while catalyzing downtown development. If confirmed by the Council at their Aug. 12 meeting, Johnson will begin work Sept. 15. He will immediately begin working with Ferrell, the Council and business stakeholders on the economic development strategy Council began working on last month.
The City Council created the position of Economic Development director in March, after separating the Economic Development office from the Community Development department.
In Sacramento, Johnson created and directed the city’s first economic development office, strategy and commission and was involved in recruiting over 300 businesses during his tenure. In San Diego, his role as assistant city manager included overseeing a half a billion dollar capital improvement fund, development and management support for the city’s $1.3 billion budget and managing San Diego’s assets for hosting the Super Bowl, World Series and the America’s Cup.
In addition to his public sector experience with economic development, Johnson has a broad range of experience in municipal, county and regional efforts. As the former executive director of the Yuba-Sutter Economic Development District, he led a bi-county, multi-jurisdictional development authority serving a population base of 160,000 people. There, he recruited two Fortune 500 companies and led the successful regional effort to retain the area’s largest employer, which had been considering relocation.
Johnson provided business and economic development consultant services to a wide range of California cities, the California State Financial Development Corporation and the Federal Reserve. He has provided construction financing advice on both the recent Major League Soccer stadium and the new NBA arena in the Sacramento area, as well as that area’s $52 million Science Museum. He is also a member of the Gulf Coast Recovery Initiative Team that worked to deploy federal grants and loans to the post-Katrina rebuilding of Louisiana and is the founder of the California Business Minute blog.