Savannah’s Creative Coast enters another transition as executive director departs

Creative Coast Executive Director Jake Hodesh gave me a nice shoutout in his Savannah Morning News column today (more on that in a future post), but he made some much bigger news around town today.

According to a press release:

Jake Hodesh, the executive director of The Creative Coast, has been recruited to serve as the director of mentoring for Cintrifuse, a Cincinnati-based organization that proactively links entrepreneurs with strategic businesses to launch high-growth startups. Hodesh will start his new position in February of 2013.

“The fact that Jake was recruited underscores the fact that The Creative Coast is doing strong, impressive work and capturing national attention,” said Susan Isaacs, chair of the board of directors for The Creative Coast. “We’re on the right path and must continue the good work.”

Hodesh successfully transitioned the organization from The Creative Coast Alliance to The Creative Coast. In 2012, The Creative Coast hosted TEDxCreativeCoast, the FastPitch Competition, StartUp Lounge and monthly Free Advice Friday sessions and initiated several projects for the creative entrepreneurial community. The organization also consulted with more than 400 local companies and individuals and helped fill 140 local jobs through the Creative Coast web site. Hodesh will continue to serve The Creative Coast by being a member of its board of directors in 2013.

The announcement has already gotten some nice press from Cincinnati’s Business Courier.

Jake Hodesh photoJake’s a Cincinnati native and I join many other Savannah residents in wishing him well and thanking him for his fine work. Hodesh has been an upbeat figure — and has taken full advantage of the networking potential of the Creative Coast. He has consistently drawn attention to the importance of understanding the civic interplay of the arts, livability, and knowledge-based businesses.

From the press release description of The Creative Coast and its mission:

The Creative Coast was originally founded in 1997 by a group of volunteers as CBETA (Coastal Business & Technology Alliance of Savannah). In 2004, under the leadership of Chris Miller, the name changed to The Creative Coast Initiative. Today, The Creative Coast has a stronger foundation and deeper understanding of the community it serves with an autonomous independent board of directors and funding through the City of Savannah and the Savannah Economic Development Authority.

Despite assurances that the Creative Coast is on firm footing, it seems clear that much will hinge on finding just the right replacement for Jake.