BCEDC’s Leadbeater announces retirement

After almost 15 years at the helm of the Belknap County Economic Development Council, Executive Director Eliza Leadbeater has announced that she will be stepping down from the post.

Her retirement was announced Monday by Greg Dickinson, chairman of the organization, who said Leadbeater will leave the organization in April. The BCEDC’s finance manager, Jennifer Boulanger of Northwood, will succeed Leadbeater.

During Leadbeater’s tenure, the BCEDC has developed a wide range of support services for businesses, organizations and municipalities.

Named one of New Hampshire Business Review’s 2007 Outstanding Women in Business, Leadbeater has long worked to develop partnerships to provide training and technical support covering a broad range of areas, including employee recruitment, lean manufacturing, e-commerce and exporting.

Joining forces with Southern New Hampshire University, the BCEDC established the Lakes Venture Resource Center, offering space to other organizations assisting small business. The council’s Business Information Center was expanded as well, and with a grant from Laconia Savings Bank, the council helped re-establish the Lakes Region Chapter of SCORE.

Leadbeater also has long worked on new uses for mills and other outdated facilities, including brining the New Hampshire Community Technical College-Laconia’s culinary program and a health clinic to the Belmont Mill, development of Riverfront Place at the former Tilton Endless Belt facility, the conversion of the Scott & Williams mill in Lakeport to a conference/exposition center and renovation of the Scott & Williams mill in Laconia into workforce housing.

She currently is working with Gilford businessman Bob Callahan on development of Granite Media Center in Tilton as a multi-tenant sound and film production facility in another outdated manufacturing plant. – JEFF FEINGOLD

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