Catherine Bieterman, who served as Painesville’s economic development director for 17 years, may be moving to Beachwood to work alongside Mayor Justin Berns in his office as the city’s economic development director full time
His appointment is pending approval by the city council at the September 6 meeting. He is expected to start the position that week, and has already given notice that his last day in Painesville will be Aug. 29, according to June Scharf, public relations consultant for the city of Beachwood.
One of four candidates interviewed, he will start at a base salary of $112,485.
Berns introduced Bieterman to the city council at an Aug. 15 economic development committee meeting.
“Our team met with Cathy on three separate occasions,” Berns told the board. “Each time, we were more and more impressed by his depth of knowledge and approach to economic development. I believe Kathy will be an asset to the city of Beachwood.”
Bieterman told the Beachwood City Council that he has secured more than $10 million in grants for the city of Painesville in the past year, among other accomplishments.
Bieterman holds a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Arts from Youngstown State University. Prior to working in Painesville, she was the Executive Director and CEO of the Streetsboro Area Chamber of Commerce.
Council President Alec Isaacson asked him about Beachwood’s key differentiators and how he would market them.
“I think one of the unique positions you’re in is having that Class A office space,” Bieterman said, adding that there’s a demand for that space right now. “You have the only Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue, aside from Columbus and Cincinnati. And I think those are elements that you really need to take advantage of. Because even though you have these pop-up malls around you, they don’t have the same impact that you have in via Beachwood Place.
Councilwoman Barbara Bellin Janovitz asked Bieterman to address what she believes is Beachwood’s biggest economic development challenge.
“I would definitely see it as your Commerce Park area,” Bieterman said. “This is a big undertaking to redevelop this place. But I think it’s 100 percent something that’s necessary. … There are some opportunities to interconnect that with the emerging health care that’s coming out here in the community and to creatively look at the cluster developments around this Commerce Park area.”
Councilwoman Danielle Shoykhet asked Bieterman about his strategy for business attraction and retention, as well as how he would connect with the Beachwood Chamber of Commerce.
Bieterman said he would start by talking to local businesses, especially those identified for potential expansion, and talked about new residents, with new apartments being built in the city.
“With that, I see opportunities to link those people to potential investment here in the city of Beachwood for more business investment,” he said. “I actually come from the chamber of commerce world, so I really value the relationships they build and the opportunities they have to be able to engage with networks here. But there’s a deeper level that I’m always working to ensure -me that we really delve into what needs to happen to be able to grow these companies that are here today.”
Councilwoman June Taylor, who chairs the economic development committee, told Bieterman that Beachwood is a proud community that values teamwork. He 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 our economic development director is working on,” Berns said. “And I want the community to know that, too.”