Joliet hires lifelong resident as director of economic development – ​​Shaw Local

Joliet’s new economic development director has lived there his entire life, according to a city announcement.

Paulina Martinez started the job Monday, the city said in a news release announcing the appointment.

She receives a salary of $135,000.

Martinez most recently served as director of business development for World Business Chicago, a nonprofit economic development organization for the city of Chicago. She is also vice president of the Joliet Latino Economic Development Association.

She replaces Cesar Suarez, who left on March 7 with what was officially deemed a resignation. Both Suarez and his supervisor Eva-Marie Tropper, the city’s former community development director, officially resigned on the same day during a week in which city council members voiced their dissatisfaction with economic development efforts.

According to the city news release, the economic development director has a “newly defined role.”

Joliet Economic Development Director Cesar Suarez attends the ribbon cutting ceremony for Harbor Freight's new distribution facility in Joliet.  Harbor Freight opened a new 1.6 million square foot distribution center in Joliet, expected to bring 800 new jobs to the area.  Thursday, June 9, 2022 in Joliet.

“Paulina has extensive experience not only in business development, but also in municipal government, which will make her transition to the city easier,” City Manager Beth Beatty said in the news release. “Her responsibilities include serving as the city’s business liaison and the first point of contact for existing and potential entrepreneurs looking to locate in Joliet.”

Martinez is “a lifelong resident of Joliet,” according to the release.

She has a master’s degree in urban planning and policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a bachelor’s degree in sports, recreation and tourism from the University of St. Francis in Joliet. Martinez is also certified as a planner by the American Institute of Certified Planners.