The board of directors of EDC Warren County has made Jim Siplon its permanent president and CEO.
Siplon was serving as a member of the EDC board of directors last July, when longtime CEO Edward M. Bartholomew died unexpectedly. He offered to step in as the organization’s interim leader, having recently retired as chief operating officer of JUST Water.
“Seven months ago, we recognized Jim as a colleague, strategist and advocate for economic growth. Since July, our board has seen firsthand how he energizes people, marshalls resources and catalyzes progress through public-private partnerships,’’ said Matthew Fuller, chair of the EDC board. “Our board concluded that we are fortunate to have in Jim Siplon a uniquely talented and insightful individual leading our economic development efforts at a moment of particular challenge and emerging opportunity.’’
Siplon said his immediate priorities will continue to be expanding reliable broadband and cell service countywide, attracting new residents and businesses, helping local governments obtain funding for major infrastructure projects, improving communication, expanding affordable housing, and helping local businesses recover from the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under his leadership, EDC has collaborated with the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism on research to assess interest among professionals in relocating to the Warren County Lake George area and the Adirondack region. He has also overseen updates to the EDC website, including a blog featuring success stories of investing and professional relocation. HE has led expansion of social media, including creating a Facebook page, an Instagram page and a LinkedIn page for improved communications and marketing.
“Warren County has world-class recreational opportunities, safe, small communities, affordable housing and cost-of-living, excellent health care and education, and a strong base of local businesses,” he said. “Warren County leaders responded to the economic shock of the pandemic with collaboration and innovation. As we look beyond the pandemic, the county is positioned to attract investment in new jobs, creating a broader tax base and greater economic opportunity countywide.”
As chief operating officer of JUST Water, Siplon led the effort to create in Glens Falls an environmentally sound alternative to bottled water. He forged JUST’s fair trade water agreement with Glens Falls and established the company’s headquarters in the re-purposed St. Alphonsus Church on Broad Street.
JUST Water now is produced in a new facility in Queensbury and is sold worldwide.
Siplon previously served as the managing director of FIJI Water, responsible for building its tropical-island production to its current world-class output. He is a former senior executive at MCI, GE, Roll International and Teleflora.
Siplon also founded Rethinkh20, a consulting firm that helps large-scale water users reduce water consumption. He served in the U.S. Air Force for eight years and holds an undergraduate degree in astrophysics from Utah State University and an MBA from Boston University. He and his wife Susan reside in Glens Falls.