The Board of Directors of Tompkins County Area Development (TCAD) announced today that Heather D. McDaniel has been appointed to serve as the organization’s President. TCAD is a 501(c)(6) nonprofit organization and has acted as Tompkins County’s economic development organization since its founding in 1964. Its mission is to build a thriving and sustainable economy that improves the quality of life in Tompkins County by fostering the growth of business and employment. Ms. McDaniel had been serving as TCAD’s Vice President and Director of Economic Development Services and will begin her new position on September 4, following the retirement of Michael Stamm.

John Rudd, President & CEO of Cayuga Health System and Cayuga Medical Center, and TCAD Board Chair, served as Chair of a nine-member search committee that worked with Waverly Partners, a national executive search firm, to identify qualified local, regional, and national candidates. “The board is very pleased that Heather McDaniel will be succeeding Michael Stamm as President of Tompkins County Area Development. Heather has been a key contributor at TCAD for over a decade, which will make this a very smooth leadership transition. The organization is in a very good place thanks to Michael’s 33 years of dedicated leadership. We congratulate Heather as she assumes the duties of President,” said Rudd.

Ms. McDaniel said, “I am excited to begin my next chapter at TCAD, leading the team to meet the economic challenges our community faces over the next decade. I firmly believe there is great potential for business growth and expansion here. My goal will be to work collaboratively with public and private sector stakeholders to maximize our success.”

Larry Baum, Founder of The Computing Center and Vice Chair of the TCAD Board said, “I’ve had the pleasure of working with Heather both at TCAD and when I was a member of the Industrial Development Agency.   Heather’s technical skills in understanding all the complexities of development, how projects fit into our community, and her passion for the success of our local economy make her an excellent person to lead TCAD. I look forward to working with Heather to continue TCAD’s mission of building a thriving and sustainable economy that improves the quality of life for everyone in Tompkins County.“

“Tompkins County is very delighted that TCAD has selected Heather McDaniel as its next President. We’ve enjoyed working with her in the past, for example on the progressive policies she’s shepherded through the IDA. Personally, I’ve worked with Heather since she was in our Planning Department more than ten years ago, and I look forward to continuing our productive partnership for many years to come,” said Martha Robertson, Chair of the Tompkins County Legislature.

Heather McDaniel has spent the last 11 years at TCAD, joining the organization as Empire Zone Coordinator in 2007, becoming Director of Economic Development Services in 2008, and Vice President in 2014. She previously worked for the Tompkins County Department of Planning. Prior to coming to Ithaca, Ms. McDaniel worked in cooperative housing and redevelopment in New York City and began her career with Cushman Realty in Los Angeles.

Ms. McDaniel holds an undergraduate degree in Sociology from the University of California Berkley and a Master of Urban Planning from New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. She is a Certified Planner through the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP). She holds the Economic Development Finance Professional (EDFP) designation from the National Development Council and the Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) designation from the International Economic Development Council.

Press Release