Central College News

Central’s Putnam named first president of new Pella economic leadership board

Featured: Central’s Putnam named first president of new Pella economic leadership board

March 23, 2017

Central College President Mark Putnam was appointed president of the Pella Area Community and Economic (PACE) Alliance Board of Directors.

As president of the PACE Alliance board, Putnam will play an active role in leading dynamic economic development growth and innovative solutions for Pella. Putnam was appointed by a unanimous vote of the board.

“It is an honor to serve in this capacity with the support of Pella’s business community,” said Putnam. “Pella is ready for growth and the PACE Alliance will serve as a catalyst for economic and business development, job creation and workforce readiness.

“This is a new opportunity for Pella. A thriving, robust economy and vibrant community will drive this region into an even more competitive, sustainable environment.  Solving area housing needs and developing our workforce are top priorities for maintaining a high quality of life for the residents of Pella. I look forward to leading the PACE Alliance and our partners in a new economic development direction.”

Putnam will lead the 15-person board until February 2018. He also chairs the Iowa Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (IAICU) board. He’s a member of the executive committee of the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council and is on the board of directors of Greater Des Moines Partnership, where he also served on the Capital Crossroads 2.0 Steering Committee, and is an active member of the Immigration Council and the CEO’s for Cities cluster. Additionally, he serves on the executive committee for the Future Ready Iowa Alliance, the Iowa College Foundation board, the Iowa Campus Compact Board, the Greater Des Moines Committee and the higher education working group for the Council on Foreign Relations.

The PACE Alliance is a non-profit organization made of 305 businesses working collaboratively to achieve economic growth and success in the Pella area. Through six working councils with more than 140 community members, the PACE Alliance seeks dynamic growth focused on growing Pella’s population, housing inventory, net number of employees, retail footprint and visitor traffic. Additional information can be found at www.pella.org.

Putnam is in his seventh year as Central’s president after serving as senior vice president for executive affairs, chief of staff and chief planning officer at Northeastern University (Mass.), where he filled several leadership roles. He earned a bachelor’s degree at Nyack College (N.Y.) along with master’s and doctoral degrees at Teachers College, Columbia University (N.Y.). At Central, Putnam leads a private, residential liberal arts college known for its academic rigor and strength in global experiential learning, STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), sustainability education, athletics success, leadership and service.