By Michael Levensohn
GOSHEN — The Orange County Partnership has hired Michael Sullivan as its director of business attraction.
Sullivan, who has had a long, diverse career in economic development, currently leads the Pike County, Pa., Economic Development Authority and the Pike Chamber of Commerce.
He'll leave those positions May 31 and join the Partnership the following week. Sullivan will replace Meghan Taylor, who left the Partnership to head up Putnam County Economic Development Corp.
"Day One, he can go to a trade show and represent us well," said Partnership CEO Maureen Halahan. "I feel like I hit the mother lode."
The director of business attraction is a marketing position geared toward bringing projects and jobs to the county. The post has launched the careers of a number of high-profile business leaders in the region, including Halahan.
The Partnership received nearly 70 applications for the position, Halahan said. One of the first calls came from Sullivan, a seasoned veteran who has hopscotched between a number of economic development posts.
"I said, 'I should be working for you,' " she recalled, noting that Sullivan had mentored her a decade ago, when she was new to the Partnership and he was running a competing organization in Sullivan County.
"He trained Meghan. He trained me. He's just the kind of guy who comes in and helps," she said.
Led Sullivan County Partnership
Sullivan, who lives in the Town of Deerpark, led the Sullivan County Partnership from 1997 to 2004. A board including Halahan hired him in 2009 to find buyers for the Middletown and Goshen campuses of Orange Regional Medical Center. His career also included stints with the Orange County Chamber of Commerce, R.J. Smith Realty and the Times Herald-Record.
He has led Pike County's economic development efforts for a little more than a year, bringing a number of deals into the pipeline and developing a tax-incentive program. Progress has been hampered, he said, by the lack of large, developable sites in a county with limited water, sewer and natural gas service.
Sullivan, who has also been running the county's chamber of commerce, is looking forward to focusing on economic development.
"I'm really enthusiastic about going to the Orange County Partnership. I've always wanted to go there, and I've always coveted the job I'm going to get."