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Village Manager

By: Jeanie Mayer

As a small town that was built on farming and agribusiness, the Village of Hampshire has been laying the groundwork for industrial growth and has taken a major step forward in cultivating commercial projects and developing a pipeline that will provide a smooth process for welcoming business investment through the hiring of Jay Hedges as Village Manager.

Hedges comes to the village with a vast amount of business development experience in both the public and private sectors. He served as the Director of Commerce and Community Affairs (DCCA), now known as the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), for the State of Illinois in 1980's where he directed the State's economic development efforts under Governor James R. Thompson. In that role he directed the State's efforts to retain Sears headquarters in Illinois, moving from Chicago to their Hoffman Estates campus, keeping the then top retailer in the State of Illinois. Hedges also coordinated the State's efforts to locate Diamond Star Motors in Bloomington, Illinois and dozens of automotive suppliers and other small businesses to the State.

"We chose Jay Hedges because he has the depth of experience in both the public and private sectors. He has State and Local economic development experience, and his years running private businesses give Jay unique insight into what motivates companies to choose where they want to do business," Village President Jeff Magnussen said.

Hedges started his career in city management in Hoffman Estates, Skokie, and Mt Prospect, where he met Governor Thompson during a meeting with members of the Illinois Municipal League in Springfield. Knowing his desire to eventually return to city management, Gov. Thompson created a post for Hedges as Assistant to the Governor for Local Government Affairs where he worked as a liaison from the Governor's office to DCCA and several other state agencies. In 1986 Gov. Thompson appointed Hedges Director of DCCA.

"My commitment to public service and high ethical standards came from my early years in local government, and particularly working with Governor Thompson. The Governor inspired his staff and cabinet to push the envelope to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of State government, but to never cross the line," Hedges said.

"When I left government to join the private sector, I knew I would return to public service, but I didn't expect it to be 30 years later. Business development, growth, and delivering municipal services to residents economically and efficiently, are high priorities for the Hampshire Village Board; making it easy and affordable to live, build and do business in the Village," Hedges said. Hedges has also worked extensively in the private sector serving as president of several companies over the following 30 years. As a leader in manufacturing, Hedges honed his skills in strategic planning, marketing, technology, and LEAN management.

"A passion for public service is crucial for success as an elected or appointed public official. I am excited to bring that passion, and to inspire it in others, as the Village Manager of Hampshire," Hedges said.

As the first Hampshire Village Manager in over 5 years, Hedges first task is to apply the principles of LEAN Management to eliminate waste in the development process and take full advantage of the many assets Hampshire has to offer current and future businesses considering expanding in or relocating to the Village.

Jay Hedges
Village Manager
Office: (847) 683-2181 ext. 26
Cell: (312) 550-9641

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