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Article updated: 6/28/2013 2:26 PM

Arlington Heights hires business development coordinator

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Arlington Heights has hired a business development coordinator to work on business attraction and retention for the village, officials said on Friday.

Michael Mertes, who is currently the economic development coordinator for the city of St. Charles, will replace John Melaniphy, who left Arlington Heights soon after the April election to become the director of economic development in Wheeling.

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Mertes has been in his position in St. Charles since 2008, according to a release sent by the village.

His duties will include attraction and retention of businesses in the community via marketing, incentives and personal meetings with business owners and managers.

"I'm sure he will be an excellent addition to our village staff and our business development efforts," said village President Tom Hayes. "I'm looking forward to getting the ball rolling."

Hayes said he also was looking forward to how Mertes will fit into plans for a new small business development agreement that will be before the village board in July. Hayes proposed the plan, an agreement between the village and the Arlington Heights Chamber of Commerce, during budget discussions earlier this year and the two entities have been working out the details. Under the proposal, Arlington Heights will fund $50,000 toward the salary of a new Chamber employee to focus on small business, freeing Mertes to focus on bringing larger businesses to Arlington Heights.

Mertes is a member of the International Economic Development Council, the Illinois Development Council and the International Council of Shopping Centers.

Mertes was selected from 98 applicants, Hayes said. He will start July 8.

"In addition to what he presented through his resume and background, which is very strong, he demonstrated enthusiasm and energy and initiative throughout our selection process," said village Manager Bill Dixon. "What he has done in St. Charles, which is a fine community, is very applicable to what he will be asked to do in Arlington Heights."

Mertes worked on tax increment finance districts, a shop local program and business retention, Dixon said. Mertes' salary will be $81,386. Melaniphy's salary was nearly $100,000.

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