The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce announced today that Paul W. Jones, chairman and chief executive officer of A. O. Smith Corporation in Milwaukee, has been named Wisconsin Chair of the new Tri State Alliance for Regional Development.  Jones is the third and final chairman to be confirmed, joining Illinois Chair Michael M. Mullen, co-founder of Centerpoint Properties, and Indiana Chair Jim L. Stanley, chairman and chief executive officer for Northern Indiana Public Service Company.

The Tri State Alliance for Regional Development was created to implement recommendations provided by The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).  The OECD consists of 40 countries that represent 80 percent of world trade and investment, playing a pivotal role in addressing challenges facing the global economy. 

“I'm pleased and honored to represent Wisconsin as part of the Alliance for Regional Development,” Jones says.  “The focus of the OECD’s review, which includes workforce development, innovation, logistics, and ‘green’ initiatives, fits well with the priorities of our state as well as those of A. O. Smith.  I am enthusiastic about working with Mike Mullen and Jim Stanley to implement the OECD recommendations, execute the strategy, and enhance the competitive position of the Tri State area.”

“Paul Jones’ selection will help us explore the regional relationship and opportunities on economic development,” says Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation Vice President of Business & Industry Development Lee Swindall.

“Paul Jones is a thoughtful and effective executive,” Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett adds.  “Paul is a respected CEO of a global company, and he is a prominent leader in our region’s philanthropic and business development efforts.  He is ideally suited to take on a leadership role in the Tri State Alliance.”

“The three chairmen and strategic funding partners will begin meeting this month to discuss goals and initiatives for the region. Insights gained from the OECD Review will be instrumental in developing our agenda, maximizing assets and overcoming obstacles as a region.” states Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce Senior Vice President Kelly O’Brien. 

The Alliance is a neutral platform to bring together the leaders from government, academia and the private sector and is proud to have the support of the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration, Central Area Committee, Chicago Community Trust, City of Kenosha, County of Kenosha, Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Kenosha Area Business Alliance, Milwaukee 7, Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO), Northwest Indiana Forum, Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority, Purdue University, Racine County Economic Development Corporation, University of Illinois, University of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation and many others.