Bob Riley has been hired as the Kingman 2005 economic developer and began his duties Monday.
"Riley knows the area and the Kingman Airport Industrial Park well from precious experience as airport manager and economic developer," Dave French, president of Kingman 2005, said.
"His knowledge of Arizona and Mohave County means he already has lots of contacts."
The Kingman Airport Authority approved the hiring at a meeting last Thursday.
Bob Feagins is president and French president-elect of the airport authority.
French is president of Kingman 2005, the economic development organization for the city and industrial park.
Riley came to Kingman in 1977 as a city planner and moved to the airport management position in 1980.
He was hired for the position by Mohave County, then the owner of the property.
"I ended up manager of airports in Kingman, Bullhead City and Dolan Springs plus being responsible for economic development at the airport," he said.
"General Cable was here and Tucker was building."
The Duval Mine was closing and Kingman was looking for new jobs.
"I am excited to be back in Kingman," he said.
"This is a great community."
Most recently, Riley was economic developer in Bullhead City and helped attract a Home Depot store.
"I brought new industry to Prescott, retail stores to Chandler, retail and office development to Glendale and tourism and retail to Bullhead City," Riley said.
"I see that experience having broad applications in Kingman."
Riley said Kingman has a great product to sell both in the industrial park and the city: easy access to California markets, a stable, reliable, educated labor force and excellent transportation facilities, and the state has a reasonable tax base.
"It is important to be near California markets with their large population and their access to the Pacific Rim," Riley said.
"If they were a country, they would rank 10th in the world in gross national product."
He said Kingman draws different development than Lake Havasu City or Bullhead City because of a younger, more stable workforce and more moderate weather.
Riley said he will target expanding companies for the industrial park, companies that use the airport facility and retailers.
He said retailers constantly look for markets and will adjust to smaller markets.
Lowes and Target are two retailers expanding into smaller areas, Riley said.
"They need to turn inventory to be profitable, so they downsize the store size," he said.
"I worked with national retailers for 10 years in Chandler and Glendale.
Each retailer has a specific set of requirements."
Riley likes the quality of life in Kingman, saying companies want to be where the employees are happy during off hours.
"Better shopping is part of that quality," he said.
He will be involved in improving the streets at the industrial park, getting the Federal Aviation Administration to release more land for industrial development, making repairs from the September rainstorms and upgrading rail facilities.
Riley said he plans to move his two children to Kingman as soon as he can find a house.
He said a lower salary in Kingman is offset by a lower cost of living and an excellent quality of life.
He will make $54,000 as Kingman 2005 economic developer.