City names new director of economic development • Long Beach Business Journal


Ralph “Bo” Martinez, who most recently served as deputy town manager of Parker, Colorado, has been named director of Long Beach’s Economic Development Department by City Manager Tom Modica, officials announced today.

Martinez has over 20 years of economic development, according to the Friday announcement, including stints in Phoenix, Miami Beach and Broomfield, Colorado. As economic development director, Martinez will oversee four bureaus with 87 full-time staff.

The department handles the city’s real estate assets as well as its business and workforce development efforts. Economic Development manages $23 million in revenue and has an annual budget of about $20.4 million, according to the city.

“Mr. Martinez has already achieved an impeccable career in guiding municipalities across the nation in strategic, equitable and vital economic development initiatives,” Modica said in a statement. “I look forward to his leadership and all he will bring as director here in Long Beach.”

Martinez will assume the role of director on Oct. 24.

The city has been without a permanent director for the department since John Keisler vacated the position at the end of March to serve as CEO of investment firm Sunstone Management. Business Operations Bureau Manager Johnny Vallejo served as acting director in the interim and will resume his previous role.

Vallejo did not apply for the permanent director position, according to the announcement.

In Parker, Martinez assisted in carrying out town goals, council directives, initiatives and programs, and supported the town manager by working with department directors and coordinated interdepartmental projects and initiatives, according to the announcement.

As president and CEO of the Regional Economic Partnership in Adams County, Colorado, Martinez led the public-private nonprofit that served 10 municipalities, more than 10,000 companies and over half a million residents.

In Miami Beach, as economic development director, Martinez led an effort that created the first urban renewal district in 25 years between Miami Beach and North Beach. He also served as economic director for the city and county of Broomfield.

Martinez also has experience in public sector program development and administration, as well as experience in public and private real estate development, according to the announcement.

Martinez has a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in urban and regional planning from the University of Colorado.

“I’m honored and incredibly excited to accept this position with the city of Long Beach,” Martinez said. “I look forward to working with our dedicated staff and leaders in the private and public sectors to continue to create opportunities for workers, investors and entrepreneurs as we build on the growth and vibrancy of this world class city for all.”

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Read More: City names new director of economic development • Long Beach Business Journal

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