Jackson Growth Alliance Elects New Officers and Directors

Jennifer Olson was elected Chairman of the Jackson Growth Alliance Board of Directors for 201 at JGA’s Annual Meeting. Olson, is a Vice President with Farmers State Bank and enters her second year as JGA Board Chairman. Other officers elected during the Annual Meeting were Brad Fager, Vice President of Fager McGee Commercial Construction, as Vice Chairman, and George Sheffer, Owner of Murdale True Value Hardware, as Secretary/Treasurer.

Community Board members elected were Stephen Bost, Attorney with Miller and Bost Attorneys at Law; Bryce Cramer, Manager of Memeber Services, Egyptian Electric Cooperative Association; and Phil Schaefer, Vice President and Administrator, Ambulatory and Physician Services, Southern Illinois Healthcare and SIH Medical Group.
The remaining JGA Board members are Kyle Harfst, Executive Director, Southern Illinois Research Park, Southern Illinois University; Bonnie Kucharski, Director, Managed Services, Liaison Technologies; Tom Redmond, Member, Jackson County Board; Gary Shafer, Manager, Southern Illinois Airport Authority; and Gary Williams, Inerim City Manager, City of Carbondale. Jeff Doherty serves as JGA Executive Director.
Jackson Growth Alliance is an independent, not-for-profit corporation created to encourage community and economic development for all of Jackson County and the greater southern Illinois region.  JGA unites the efforts of Jackson County government, City of Murphysboro, City of Carbondale, Southern Illinois University, Southern Illinois Airport Authority, and the business community for the achievement of economic development goals.


Enterprise zone could welcome new projects

November 23, 2014  THE SOUTHERN •  By Dustin Duncan

The Jackson County-Murphysboro-Carbondale enterprise zone could welcome three new projects in the county’s incentive program for economic development.


Quinn announces state investment in emergency response center

September 23, 2014  •  MOLLY PARKER THE SOUTHERN

Gov. Pat Quinn on Monday announced a $4.5 million investment to develop an Emergency and Critical Response Center at Southern Illinois Airport in Carbondale.


Local leaders say airport can make huge difference

January 29, 2012  THE SOUTHERN

In addition to the flight services it already has, local leaders believe Southern Illinois Airport can fly in a healthy amount of economic development.



Upgrade of Illinois 13/127 boosted

October 22, 2011 The Southern

A four-lane upgrade of Illinois 13/127 from Murphysboro to Pinckneyville is getting a renewed push, courtesy of the Jackson Growth Alliance.



Voice of The Southern: Now's the time to reach for the skies! We can't wait

August 28, 2011 1:00 am

Is it a problem that both of the region's major airports - Southern Illinois Airport in Carbondale and Williamson County Regional Airport in Marion - are less than 20 miles and 30-minutes driving time apart? Is the glass half-empty or half-full?


Airport offers growth potential

August 20, 2011 3:00 am  •  BY GARY METRO, The Southern

Southern Illinois Airport and the surrounding lands offer strong and unique growth potential, the director for the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity said Friday.

"I'm pleased to see local leadership has come together and developed a vision around (SIU) and its sectors of strength in aviation and automotive technology," said Warren Ribley. "You've got a good vision of what could happen here."



News Release
February 9, 2011

Jackson Growth Alliance Announces Small Business Loan Program

A low interest loan program for Jackson County businesses is being offered through Jackson Growth Alliance. For the first time, Jackson County businesses have access to the USDA Rural Development’s Intermediary Relending Program (IRP) designed to assist new and existing businesses in rural areas.

Jackson Growth Alliance has partnered with the Southern Illinois Coal Belt Champion Community Corporation (SICBCC) to expand the Rural Development loan program into Jackson County. Through this partnership, over $1 million in loan funds are now available to Jackson County businesses.

The IRP program offers loans to qualified businesses with a maximum of $150,000 and a maximum of 75% of the project cost. The interest rate is 5% and the term varies depending upon the activity financed, with the maximum being 15 years. All loans will be fully secured with traditional forms of collateral.

Eligible uses of the IRP loan proceeds include real estate acquisition, construction, machinery and equipment, working capital and inventory. Businesses participating in the program will be required to demonstrate their ability to create or retain one full time equivalent employee per $15,000 of loan funds within the first two years of the loan.

“The Rural Development loan program has been a missing economic development tool in Jackson County,” said Jeff Doherty, Executive Director of Jackson Growth Alliance. “Jackson County businesses now have the opportunity to benefit from the low interest loan program to help their businesses grow.”

Parties interested in learning more about the Rural Development IRP Loan Program may contact Jeff Doherty, Executive Director, Jackson Growth Alliance at 618-713-9210 or jdoherty@jacksonbiz.org.


News Release                
March 25, 2010

Jackson Growth Alliance Names New Executive Director

Jeffrey W. Doherty has been appointed Executive Director of the Jackson Growth Alliance.

Doherty previously served as Carbondale City Manager for 16 years before retiring from the City of Carbondale in 2008. He began his career with the City of Carbondale in 1976 and served in various administrative positions prior to being appointed City Manager in 1992. Jeff Doherty holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Administration of Justice and a Master of Public Affairs degree from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. He is also a graduate of the Senior Executive Institute at the University of Virginia.

Doherty has over 20 years of economic development experience. In addition to his economic development work as City Manager, he has served on various economic development boards including the Carbondale Business Development Corporation Board of Directors and the Southern Illinois Research Park Board of Directors where he served as Chairman.

“We are building a foundation in the Jackson Growth Alliance that will bring business, government and the university together to achieve economic growth in Jackson County,” said Doherty. “We can be successful through an alliance and I am excited to be a part of this cooperative effort.”

Philip Schaefer, Chairman of the Jackson Growth Alliance Board of Directors stated, “Economic development will be a critical factor in the success of Jackson County and its residents in the future and Jackson Growth Alliance will play an active role in the expansion of business in the county. We are very happy to have Mr. Doherty join our organization and look for his leadership to be a catalyst to economic development here.”

Jackson Growth Alliance is an independent, not-for-profit corporation created to encourage community and economic development for all of Jackson County and the greater southern Illinois region.  JGA unites the efforts of Jackson County government, City of Murphysboro, City of Carbondale, Southern Illinois University, Southern Illinois Airport Authority, and the business community for the achievement of economic development goals. The Jackson Growth Alliance was formerly known as the Jackson County Business Development Corporation.

The Jackson Growth Alliance Board of Directors are: Philip Schaefer, Southern Illinois Healthcare; John Evans, Chairman, Jackson County Board; Mayor Brad Cole, City of Carbondale; Mayor Ron Williams, City of Murphysboro; John Koropchak, Southern Illinois University Carbondale; Gary Shafer, Southern Illinois Airport Authority; Kristin Gregory, Carbondale Chamber of Commerce; Shawn Stearns, Modern Copier; and Karl Maple, U. S. Congressman Jerry Costello’s Office.