Updated: Wed, 12/19/2012 - 23:40

Creative Coast leader resigns to take similar job in Cincinnati

WATCH!  ·  BiS News Video
Video updated throughout the day

Jake Hodesh spearheaded The Creative Coast’s transition from a neglected arm of the Savannah Economic Development Authority to an independent and proactive advocate for the local creative community in a span of two years.

On Wednesday, Hodesh announced he is moving on to a new challenge.

Hodesh resigned his position with The Creative Coast to accept an executive role with a similar entrepreneurial organization in his hometown of Cincinnati. Hodesh will start with Cintrifuse in February and serve as the group’s director of mentorship.

Cintrifuse is a corporate-led group aiming to grow the innovation economy in Cincinnati. With funding from Cincinnati-based corporations Proctor & Gamble and Kroger as well as the University of Cincinnati, Cintrifuse plans “to boost options in the region and establish a more vibrant networking environment for local entrepreneurs.”

“I’ve enjoyed every moment in Savannah, and I’m thrilled with how much progress we’ve made in such a short time attracting entrepreneurs to the area,” said Hodesh, who noted he and his wife are excited about the opportunity to live close to their families in Ohio.

Under Hodesh, The Creative Coast implemented several entrepreneurial and mentorship events aimed at start-up and early-stage business, including the FastPitch Competition, StartUp Lounge Savannah and TEDxCreativeCoast.

Hodesh also reached out to existing businesses in the community to assist them in working with local government and identifying financing options as well as other forms of support. He also was instrumental in instituting The Creative Coast’s “Free Advice Friday” sessions, a monthly open house where successful local entrepreneurs shared time and knowledge with the public.

The Creative Coast is credited with consulting with more than 400 local companies and individuals and helped fill 140 local jobs through its website during Hodesh’s tenure.

While his departure is a loss for the local community, it is a compliment as well, according to Susan Isaacs, chair of The Creative Coast’s board of directors.

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

The Creative Coast board immediately will launch a search for Hodesh’s successor. The group’s staff, including program director Charisse Bennett, will remain with the organization.

Hodesh has become a fixture in the local business community since Hurricane Katrina prompted him and his wife, Miriam, to leave New Orleans for Savannah in 2007. The Hodeshes launched New Moon of Savannah, a company dedicated to developing community-centered programs and events, shortly after moving to town.

The Savannah Market Bazaar was one of their early projects, and they teamed with another local entrepreneur, Brad Baugh, to start Refuel Savannah. The business recycled cooking grease from River Street restaurants into biodiesel fuel for vehicles.

The Hodeshes also teamed with Sloane Kelley to co-found Geekend, an annual interactive technology conference, in 2009. The Hodeshes left the Geekend organization earlier this year because of time issues.

Miriam Hodesh is a community relations specialist with Gulfstream.

Rate This

0
Your rating: None

Explore more of Business In Savannah

 

Current weather

Scattered clouds
Jobs
JOBS
Homes
HOMES
Autos
AUTOS
Savannah Deals
DEALS

Sign Up! - BiS Email Newsletter

Recent Job Postings

Loading...

Business In Savannah | business news for the creative coast