Fresno County Economic Development Corporation hires new CEO

The Fresno County nonprofit that spearheads various business activities in the region selected an internal candidate as its next leader.

With longtime director Lee Ann Eager on the way out, the Fresno County Economic Development Corporation has picked an inside candidate as her replacement. 

Vice President of Business Services Will Oliver has been hired as the organization’s new CEO, the corporation announced Thursday. 


The backstory: Eager is retiring after leading the corporation as CEO for 14 years, overseeing its growth from eight to 21 employees. 

  • Eager announced her retirement from the organization in May and is leaving at the end of the month. 

Driving the news: Oliver was hired by the corporation in 2013, working his way up through the ranks under Eager’s leadership. 

  • Part of Oliver’s work with the organization brought the $23 million Good Jobs Challenge grant to the region, which will result in 2,500 people being trained in various job skills over the next four years. 
  • In addition to his work with the Economic Development Corporation, Oliver also served on the Madera City Council and the Madera Housing Authority. 
  • The corporation was founded in 1981 and markets Fresno County as a good place to do business, facilitates site selection for new businesses and assists in the retention and expansion of businesses in the county. 

What they’re saying: Oliver said in a statement that he is honored and humbled to take the reins from Eager and lead the corporation. 

  • “We are poised to amplify our efforts in attracting new businesses, creating living-wage jobs, and training the workforce of the future,” Oliver said. “I am excited to lead our talented team in driving sustainable growth and advancing initiatives that will impact the businesses and communities we serve. Having worked alongside Lee Ann Eager for a decade during her distinguished career, I embrace the opportunity to continue to build regional, national, and international relationships and further our mission into the future.” 
  • Eager added, “I am thrilled to pass the torch to my friend and colleague – Will Oliver. He has been an amazing leader at the EDC for the past 10 years in numerous capacities, and I know he will continue to do incredible things as CEO.”
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