Alex Pietsch, the backbone of the City of Renton’s Department of Community and Economic Development, will leave his role in Renton to head Governor Chris Gregoire’s new Aerospace Office.
“I’m excited about the opportunity, but sad to leave my friends in Renton,” Pietsch said. “I had the opportunity and privilege to work on a lot of exciting projects in Renton.”
The newly created position is the next evolution of the Governor’s plan to ensure that the 737 MAX production will occur in Washington and help the state remain at the top of it’s game in the aerospace industry.
“Alex comes highly recommended and brings to the role extensive experience in economic development and in working with the aerospace industry,” Gregoire said of her decision to appoint Pietsch to the position. “He knows the importance of keeping our state economically competitive, and I look forward to his guidance and expertise as we continue to build our important aerospace sector.”
The new office will coordinate multiple state agencies to support the aerospace industry, guide development and implement strategies to expand the aerospace sector and make the pursuit of a world-class aerospace industry in Washington state a sustained effort.
“This is an incredibly exciting time for Washington’s aerospace cluster,” said Pietsch. “We have achieved a tremendous amount and, yet, there is significant work to do. I am excited about the opportunity to work with Governor Gregoire and our public and private partners across the state to preserve and enhance Washington’s position as the worldwide center of aerospace.”
As director of the Governor’s Aerospace Office, Pietsch will chair the Washington Aerospace Council, lead state government efforts to coordinate with private state aerospace industry associations, define the state government’s aerospace industry strategy, identify priorities and evaluate the effectiveness and impact of current and proposed aerospace economic development investments, according to a statement from the Governor’s office. Pietsch will also serve as executive director of the Washington Aerospace Partnership, the partnership between government, labor, and business that lead the successful efforts to secure the Boeing 767 Tanker contract and additional 737 MAX production opportunities for Washington state.
Piestch’s appointment comes as bittersweet news for the City of Renton.
“Renton has benefited greatly from Alex’s contributions over the past 11 years. He has been a visionary and a strategic thinker for our city,” said Renton Mayor Denis Law. “From The Landing, the Seahawks and the Federal Reserve Bank, to the Renton Farmers Market, and marketing Renton through the Community Marketing Campaign, Alex has definitely left his mark here. We are sad to see him go but pleased to know that he will be well-positioned to help Renton in the future as we continue to grow the aerospace sector here.”
The City of Renton hired Pietsch in July 2001 as Economic Development Director and he’s worked closely with The Boeing Co., the state’s largest private employer, ever since then. In 2003 he took charge of the Department of Community and Economic Development, where he led the economic development activities and oversaw the City’s land use planning and permit processes.
“Hundreds of companies and thousands of workers are behind Boeing, and I’m looking forward to supporting them,” he said of his new role. Pietsch’s last day in Renton is March 23. He will begin his new job on March 28.
Pietsch currently serves as a member of the Prosperity Partnership Regional Economic Strategy Technical Advisory Group and Aerospace Cluster Working Group and serves on the Regional Staff Committee at the Puget Sound Regional Council. He formerly served as a member of the Renton Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors from 2005 to 2011. In 2005, Pietsch was named to the Puget Sound Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” annual list of young business and community leaders.
Prior to his position at the City of Renton, Pietsch had a TV news career and then worked for Wright Runstad and Co. in Commercial Real Estate.