About the blog
The SpringfieldEdge blog is in its second year (started May 2009) and is focused on helping to create employment opportunities for our community by providing the best resource information for the job creators in our community – the businesses. By working with employers to provide them all the information and assistance we can, we create an environment that maximizes their desire and ability to employ our residents and improve our quality of life. They are the lifeblood of our economy. Posts include information about resources, assistance programs, recent business projects, businesses, and industry as well as statistics, things to do and various other items that would be of interest to someone looking to locate or expand a business or live in our community.
About the author
David Zak was born and raised in Toledo, Ohio, a third generation German immigrant (on his mother’s side). His mother’s family owned and operated a bakery in Toledo, while his father came to Toledo from Connecticut. His mother Marilyn, now retired, was an executive secretary with Owens-Corning Fiberglass for her entire career, and his father, also now retired, was a pharmacist, having graduated from NYU, owned his own pharmacy as well as worked for several larger chains.
David participated in many outdoor activities growing up, including bicycling, hiking, and canoeing. He won several gold medals in the Pepsi Bicycle Marathon, most notably riding 68 miles at age 7 on a banana seat bike. At age 12, he took a bike trip from Toledo to Maine, carrying all of his gear, a trip of 1500 miles in three weeks. At age 16, he won a government scholarship to spend a year studying in Germany, which he did during his junior year of high school. He went on to college at the University of Michigan, but unfortunately after a year, the scholarship fund financing his education was depleted. He then transferred to Lourdes College and eventually Ohio State, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude with a degree in German. He continued down the academic track for the next couple of years, receiving the coveted Blume Fellowship and then later in teaching was nominated for the Graduate Teaching Award.
After obtaining his Master’s degree in German, he entered the private sector, working first for Battelle in the Foreign Technology Section, for the Dublin, Ohio based Neoprobe Corporation as a Clinical Consultant, and then for the Ohio Department of Development as International Business Liaison. He served at the State of Ohio for over six years, when he received an offer to head of the first Economic Development Department for Fairfield County, Ohio, which was the third fastest growing county in the state of Ohio. After doing that for three years, he ran his own real estate management company and eventually jumped back into economic development in 2007 at the Greater Springfield Chamber, where he currently serves as Economic Development Director.
David is a graduate and past instructor of the University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institute as well as a Certified Economic Development Finance professional. He has also taught marketing–both traditional and social–at multiple colleges. In his career in economic development, he has worked on over 400 economic development projects, helping to create over 5,000 new jobs and retaining over 18,000. Those projects also involved investment of over $1 billion and incentives worth over $200 million.
David’s two passions in the profession are retention and expansion (working with local companies to expand employment opportunities) and social media and communication. This blog is part of his desire to explore how blogging can help promote and position the community for economic growth.