George Gault is stepping down as CEO of Mesquite Regional Business, Inc. as a new employment ad for the position begins appearing in numerous media outlets. Photo by Barbara Ellestad.

George Gault is stepping down as CEO of Mesquite Regional Business, Inc. as a new
employment ad for the position begins appearing in numerous media outlets. Photo by Barbara Ellestad.

From its birth in 2012 through infancy and now bordering on adulthood, Mesquite Regional Business, Inc. (MRBI) has had one steady hand at the helm, George Gault. Now, an employment ad seeking a new president and chief operating officer to replace Gault marks a changing of the guard and a new era at the successful economic development organization he helped create and build.

Gault has filled the CEO position for just over a year after the original CEO, Gaye Stockman, left in 2015. Now he says it’s time to turn the reins over to someone else so “I can take a much desired break and enjoy some undivided time and relaxation with my wife Linda and our family. We plan to do some extensive traveling that we haven’t had the opportunity to do before now. We are looking forward to seeing new places and new faces even though Mesquite will remain our home.”

According to the help wanted ad that is appearing in numerous media outlets, “The purpose of this position is to develop, manage, and implement economic development projects designed to attract industry, create better paying jobs, and increase the investment tax base. Identifying prospective opportunities, reviewing, analyzing and responding to prospect inquiries, and coordinating and participating in prospect visits. Advocate for business with governmental and private entities and act as liaison in order to facilitate the location of new business and the expansion of existing companies. Compensation is $65,000 to $85,000. For full job description visit our website.”

Even though the Gaults moved to Mesquite to enjoy some much deserved retirement, neither George nor Linda have spent much time in the proverbial old rockin’ chair.

Gault, Ken Cook and Dave Ballweg were original Board of Directors when the city of Mesquite formalized a private-public partnership to improve economic development activities that previously had been the responsibility of City Hall. Successes were few in the beginning with only three new Mesquite businesses directly stemming from MRBI’s efforts, Star Nursery being the most noted.

But in 2015 Gault and others who had joined the Board saw five major successful businesses coming to Mesquite. In a periodic report to the Mesquite City Council in May, Gault said that MRBI estimates the companies it has helped relocate to Mesquite will have cumulative and projected capital expenditures exceeding $14 million in the next two years.

Since MRBI began operations it’s received total contributions from sources other than city funds of $95,078 with close to $35,000 of that in investor contributions. Recently, the organization conducted a fundraising program under a challenge from the Eureka Casino Resort who promised to match donations up to $10,000. “We raised $14,000 during that effort and received the $10,000 from Eureka,” Gault told the council in May.

While the city provided $190,000 in funding the first two years of its existence, last year MRBI received $140,000 in tax funds. Gault said that MRBI is ahead in net revenues to the city.

But bringing new businesses isn’t all Gault has racked up in the win column.

He and the MRBI Board of Directors have worked extensively with the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development to market Mesquite as a viable alternative to the higher costs of doing business in Las Vegas and North Las Vegas. MRBI’s main target has been distribution and warehouse businesses based on Mesquite’s ideal location halfway between Los Angeles and Salt Lake City on I-15.

MRBI and Gault have also been very active in establishing successful job fairs in Mesquite that have benefited both businesses and those looking for a job. The organization has also been working with Nevada Rural Housing Authority and Nevada Division of Housing in addressing future potential workforce housing projects.

Gault has also been instrumental in the newly formed Mesquite Works workforce development non-profit organization that is working closely with the College of Southern Nevada and Nevada State College to bring workforce training programs to the city.

MRBI has also worked extensively with public and private entities to address the lack of natural gas lines in the area, a drawback that has caused several major companies to withdraw their interest in developing in the local area.

It’s plain to see that whoever the MRBI Directors select to take Gault’s place will have some pretty big boots to fill.