The City of Rock Island has hired Thomas Flaherty to fill the newly created position of assistant to the city manager/economic development director, a news release says. Flaherty started in his new role Monday, Oct. 9.

Thomas Flaherty (City of Rock Island)

The city created the new position in an effort to advance economic growth in Rock Island through business development and retention, site development, community relations, and more.

Flaherty will work in partnership with the Community and Economic Development Department and its director, Miles Brainard, while managing a variety of projects and activities related to development activity in the city.

“We are excited to bring Tom Flaherty on board to help energize retail, industrial and commercial growth in Rock Island,” City Manager Todd Thompson said. “Tom brings extensive municipal experience to the City and has successfully fostered millions of dollars in growth for other communities. His record of business retention and growth will benefit the community as a whole.”

Flaherty grew up in Davenport and earned his bachelor of arts degree in political science and master’s degree in business administration from St. Ambrose University. He brings nearly 20 years of municipal and economic development experience to the city.

Flaherty most recently served as economic development director for Mahaska County, Iowa. Prior to that, he was executive director of the Mahaska Community Development Group. From 2012 through 2017, he served as vice president of regional business development for the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce.

Over the course of his career, Flaherty has generated more than $325 million in economic development expansions and secured an additional $178 million in regional downtown redevelopment projects, the release says.

“I appreciate the opportunity to work for the City of Rock Island,” Flaherty said. “The staff has been positive, collaborative, and I am excited to get to work.”