EDC, CEO part ways; VP promoted 

Jey Wagner, former CEO of the SCV Economic Development Corp., confirmed his resignation Wednesday. Courtesy
From left, City Councilman Bill Miranda shakes hands with Jey Wagner, former CEO of the SCV Economic Development Corp. Wagner confirmed his resignation Wednesday. Courtesy

The president and CEO of the Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corp., an organization that strives to promote business growth and retention for the region, confirmed his resignation Wednesday. 

Former CEO Jey Wagner said his stepping down was in the best interests of himself and the organization in light of a “strong difference of opinions” on policy and operations. 

Wagner thanked the board, its membership and members of the community who have reached out since the announcement, in an email Wednesday morning. 

“I am a true believer in that when there is a strong difference of opinions in how to operate effectively at the top and apply organizational policies consistently at all levels, a change in the team dynamic is necessary,” he wrote. 

He plans to continue to work in a consultancy role with local businesses to assist organizations in improving their management structure, efficacy in communications and policy implementation. The EDC’s news release Tuesday stated the move was effective Monday. 

A co-chair of the board declined to discuss the personnel matter, adding that he was looking forward to the organization’s next chapter. 

“We are looking forward to the next chapter and finding a replacement who can continue the legacy of great work at the EDC,” said John Shaffery, co-chair of the EDC’s governing board and co-founding partner of Poole Shaffery.  

The EDC’s statement Tuesday also named the holder of Wagner’s former title as his replacement. 

Ondré Seltzer, former vice president for workforce and economic development at SCVEDC, will assume the role of interim president and CEO, according to the board. 

“We extend our gratitude to Jey Wagner for his leadership and contributions to the SCVEDC,” SCVEDC Co-Chair Calvin Hedman of Hedman Partners LLP said in the release. “We are confident in Ondré Seltzer’s ability to lead the organization through this transition, and we look forward to identifying a new president and CEO who will continue to drive our mission forward.” 

Wagner was brought into the organization nearly 14 months ago as vice president of workforce and economic development, and named successor to Holly Schroeder, the organization’s president and CEO for the past decade, in August. 

In January, the city of Santa Clarita authorized a three-year renewal of the city’s contract with the Economic Development Corp., which contributes about $240,000 to the organization’s annual budget. 

City Manager Ken Striplin, who sits on the board of the EDC, declined to discuss questions related to a personnel matter and referred requests for comment to the board co-chairs, Shaffery and Hedman.  

The L.A. County Board of Supervisors, which contributes nearly $300,000 to the organization’s budget, did not have a statement immediately available. 

Seltzer’s background includes serving as “vice president of foreign direct investment at the Arizona Commerce Authority and held the position of vice consul with the British Consulate-General in Los Angeles,” according to a bio published by the Maple Business Council, a pro-U.S.-Canadian business organization of which Seltzer is a member.  

Since the EDC’s contract renewal in January, local economic development has seen its share of ups and downs, which also have been linked to regional economic factors, market shifts and yearslong planning efforts. 

A recent celebration of Vallarta’s move of its headquarters from Sylmar to the SCV was overshadowed by news 10 days earlier that Shadowbox Studios and its billion-dollar investment are no longer. 

In January, Princess Cruises announced it was making its Valencia Town Center office space available for lease — which amounted to nearly 300,000 square feet. 

Two days later, the company, which has had its headquarters in the SCV since 2000, said it has a rich history in the area and that some of its 1,300 local employees were now working remotely, which was why it made sense to try to sublease the space. 

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