Choose; New Jersey

Choose New Jersey’s Founding President Heads Home

Princeton-based Choose New Jersey, Inc., a privately funded and operated nonprofit that works to grow investment and jobs in the Garden State, today announced the departure of its founding President and Chief Executive Officer, Tracye McDaniel. She will be leaving the organization early next year to serve as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Texas Economic Development Corporation. The Choose New Jersey Board of Directors has initiated a search for her successor.

“As the founding president of Choose New Jersey, Tracye set our course and secured a strong base of support from the state’s business, labor and education community. Her vision and expertise helped the organization become a powerful marketing engine, promoting the state as a premier business location all over the world,” said Bernie Flynn, Chairman of the Board of Choose New Jersey and President and Chief Executive Officer of New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Company. “The opportunity to lead economic development efforts in Texas, Tracye’s largest challenge to date, is a validation of all that she has accomplished in New Jersey. She is a savvy leader who leaves behind a strong organization that is a critical part of the Christie Administration’s Partnership for Action and is poised for growth and success.”

Under McDaniels’ leadership, Choose New Jersey supported the recruitment, expansion and/or retention of  60 corporate operations that accounted for more than 12,600 jobs and nearly $1.4 billion in capital investment – including investments by Allergan, Ferring Pharmaceuticals, First Data Corp., Orexo, Sandoz, Shiamak, and Valeant/Bausch + Lomb.

“I’m incredibly proud of what we were able to accomplish in the last four years, forming the basis of a next–generation model for economic development that has sparked global awareness about the benefits of doing business in New Jersey,” McDaniel said. “There is a growing recognition around the world that New Jersey has a superb business climate and a strong pipeline of leads that the state’s economic development team will no doubt handle with expert care.”

McDaniel is no stranger to Texas. Her nearly 30 years of professional experience include leading a number of economic development organizations in the state. Prior to coming to New Jersey in 2011, she served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Greater Houston Partnership. She had previously served as Executive Director of the state’s Economic Development and Tourism Division, and as CEO for the Texas Economic Development Corporation’s “TexasOne” Program, which is part of the organization that she will now lead.

“I leave with very mixed emotions,” McDaniel said. “New Jersey is where I honed my craft and where I made the biggest impact. But Texas is where I got my start, and in many ways it is like going home.”

McDaniel launched and led Choose New Jersey, a privately funded and governed organization that works to promote the state globally. In four years, she grew the nonprofit to a nationally recognized “next generation” model for economic development. Partnering with business leaders across the state helped New Jersey understand emerging opportunities among companies looking to enter the U.S. market, and helped to parlay them into active leads for the state. Choose New Jersey visited a variety of strategic destinations during McDaniel’s tenure, including Canada, India, Israel, Germany, Mexico, South Korea, Taiwan and Turkey.

Choose New Jersey is part of the New Jersey Partnership for Action (PFA), which includes the New Jersey Business Action Center, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, and the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education. Under the leadership of Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno, the PFA serves as the starting point for all initiatives, policies and efforts related to growing New Jersey’s economy and creating quality, sustainable jobs.

McDaniel holds leadership positions in numerous professional and industry organizations and sits on the Board of Directors of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), the world’s top organization for economic development professionals. NJBIZ included McDaniel on its list of New Jersey’s 2014 Best 50 Women in Business, as well as the 100 Most Powerful People in New Jersey Business.

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