Champaign Economic Partnership names executive director

Succeeds longtime leader Marcia Bailey, set to retire at year’s end.

The Champaign Economic Partnership has appointed Richard Ebert to serve as the next executive director of the Champaign Economic Partnership.

Ebert, a small business owner, will lead the organization, which plays a large part in economic development efforts in Champaign County, starting in 2022.

That follows news that his predecessor Marcia Bailey will be retiring from that role at the end of this year. Bailey has lead the CEP since its inception in 2015 and has served the county as a whole for more than three decades.

Bailey made her announcement last month and the executive board of the CEP proceeded to review applicants.

“I am going to enjoy some quiet time and spend time with my family. But I am not too good at sitting still for very long,” Bailey previously told the News-Sun of her planned retirement. She also noted at the time that she is not sure what the future holds for her.

Representatives of the CEP noted in a post on their website this week that Bailey’s replacement, Ebert, will continue the partnership’s commitment of strengthening existing businesses, encouraging the creation of new jobs as well as attracting more investment to the county.

“His previous work experience and knowledge of the community is a vital asset to this position. Richard is a lifelong resident of Urbana/Champaign County and will have the best interest of the community in this new role. I look forward to seeing Champaign County continue to flourish,” Bailey said in the post.

Ebert most recently worked under the umbrella of the Champaign County Clerk of Courts as an assistant manager with the Champaign County BMV.

He currently owns an entertainment business, Ebert Entertainment, where he is the DJ/master of ceremonies ,and also served as an elected official for Urbana City Council as well as owned small businesses along with his wife that were located in Monument Square.

Ebert has also volunteered his time in the community and that work includes being a member and chair for the Urbana Planning Commission and for Urbana City Schools as the voice of the Urbana High School marching band, according to the online post.

“What Marcia has created, in essence, is a dream job. Our local county businesses are so vitally important. Being able to better serve them and the county communities is something I feel very strongly about,” he said.

“I am looking forward to meeting and talking to the business leaders and employers in our community. I am also excited to meet with the county villages and find out their hopes and dreams for their economic development,” he added.

The CEP was formed as a collaborative effort between Urbana, Champaign County government as well as local organizations and businesses in order to further stimulate economic growth and strengthen the area’s competitiveness in attracting investment.

The partnership grew out of conversations between Champaign County commissioners, Urbana officials and members of the Pioneer Rural Electric Co-op.

About the Author