President, Greater Columbus Economic Development Corporation
Jason Hester brings more than twenty years of local and state-level economic development experience to his role as President of the Greater Columbus (Indiana) Economic Development Corporation. Building on the area’s strengths in advanced manufacturing, design, and foreign direct investment, Hester leads the area’s business retention and expansion efforts as well as business recruitment activities focused on targeted domestic and international opportunities. Since joining Greater Columbus EDC in August of 2010, collaborative efforts have supported over 115 local expansion and attraction projects calling for more than $1.0 Billion in new capital investment and 3,270 new direct jobs. Jason also places value on supporting international relations and is active at both home and abroad with local Sister City initiatives in Japan, China, Germany, and India.
Before joining Greater Columbus EDC, Jason served as the Central Region Director for the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, where he led business attraction and expansion efforts in the state’s largest region. Over three years, he and his team successfully closed more than 220 competitive projects, calling for $5.1 billion in new capital investment and the creation of 38,000 new jobs. Prior to IEDC, Jason served locally in two other Hoosier communities – Elwood and Kokomo.
A native Hoosier, Jason obtained his MBA from Indiana Wesleyan University and a B.A. degree with honors from Oral Roberts University (Tulsa, OK), majoring in International Community Development. Jason is also a graduate of the Economic Development Institute of the University of Oklahoma, and in 2004 he earned the coveted Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) designation given by the International Economic Development Council.