Patrick Ainsworth has been named economic development director for the city of Apache Junction.
Ainsworth, who has more than a decade of experience in economic development in suburban Chicago, will be introduced by the city council on Oct. 4.
“Patrick’s background working in a community that is part of a large metropolitan area fits in perfectly with us in Apache Junction,” City Manager Bryant Powell said in a press release. “Patrick comes to us with innovative ideas, ambition and the experience of working to build stronger cities through attracting business and supporting local industry.”
Ainsworth has spent the past 10 years in municipal economic development, including the pasttwo years as economic development director of suburban Wheeling, Illinois.
Prior to that, he spent 2.5 years as economic development coordinator and development manager in the city of Des Plaines. Ainsworth spent nearly six years as a village planner for the villages of Franklin Park, Downers Grove and Hanover Park. He also interned with several communities prior to becoming a village planner. All of the towns are suburbs of Chicago.
Ainsworth has a master’s degree in urban and regional planning from Ball State University in Indiana and has a bachelor’s in urban and regional planning from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana.
Ainsworth noted his suburban background meshed well with the city of Apache Junction.
“My rich history of experience parallels the roles and responsibilities of this position, which includes municipal marketing, multijurisdictional project management, negotiating real estate and incentive agreements on behalf of municipalities, retention, expansion, recruitment experience, grant composition and administration, employee supervision and consensus building,” Ainsworth said. “In fact, I find that all of my knowledge, skillsets, and experiences will blend seamlessly with the city of Apache Junction.”
In Wheeling, where the population is only slightly smaller than Apache Junction at 39,137, Ainsworth built relationships with developers, business owners, brokers, property managers, and others to advance the local economy. He launched online initiatives and was involved in the Greater Wheeling Chamber of Commerce and the local convention and visitors bureau.
The Apache Junction economic development director has traditionally sat as a non-voting member of the area chamber of commerce, which also houses the community’s visitors center.