Catherine Bieterman, who worked as Painesville’s director of economic development for 17 years, could move to Beachwood to work alongside Mayor Justin Berns in his office, where she will be the town’s full-time director of economic development.
His appointment is pending approval by City Council at its September 6 meeting. She is expected to start the job that week and has already announced her last day in Painesville will be Aug. 29, according to June Scharf, public relations consultant for the town of Beachwood.
One of four candidates interviewed, she will start with a base salary of $112,485.
Berns introduced Bieterman to the city council at an August 15 economic development committee meeting.
“Our team has met Cathy three times,” Berns told the board. “Each time we have been more impressed with his in-depth knowledge and approach to economic development. I believe Kathy will be an asset to the town of Beachwood.
Bieterman told the Beachwood City Council that she secured more than $10 million in grants for the city of Painesville over the past year, among other accomplishments.
Bieterman holds a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Arts from Youngstown State University. Prior to her work in Painesville, she was Executive Director and CEO of the Streetsboro Area Chamber of Commerce.
Board Chairman Alec Isaacson asked her about Beachwood’s key differentiators and how she would market them.
“I think one of the unique positions you’re in is the fact that you have this Class A office space,” Bieterman said, adding that there’s a demand for such space right now. “You have the only Nordstroms and Saks Fifth Avenue, other than Columbus and Cincinnati. And I think those are things you really need to capitalize on. Because even though you have these emerging malls around you, they don’t have the same impact that you have through Beachwood Place.
Councilman Barbara Bellin Janovitz asked Bieterman to address what she believes is Beachwood’s biggest economic development challenge.
“I would definitely see it as your business park area,” Bieterman said. “It’s a big undertaking to redevelop this site. But I think it’s 100% something that’s needed. … There are opportunities to interconnect this with the emerging health care happening here in the community and to creatively look at cluster developments around this area of Commerce Park.
Councilor Danielle Shoykhet asked Bieterman about her business attraction and retention strategy as well as how she would connect with the Beachwood Chamber of Commerce.
Bieterman said she would start by speaking with local businesses, especially those identified for possible expansion, and she talked about new residents, with new apartments being built in the city.
“With this, I see opportunities to link these people to potential investments here in the town of Beachwood for new business investment,” she said. “I actually come from the world of chambers of commerce so I greatly appreciate the relationships they build and the opportunities they have to be able to network here. But there’s a deeper level that I’m still working on to make sure that we really get into the details of what needs to happen in order to be able to grow these businesses that are here today.
Councilwoman June Taylor, who heads the economic development committee, told Bieterman that Beachwood is a proud community that values teamwork. She also warned Bieterman about security concerns regarding Beachwood Place.
Berns reiterated his commitment to economic development, explaining that Bieterman would sit in his office.
“I want to know everything that our director of economic development is working on,” Berns said. “And I want the community to know that too.”