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The new Renew Moline CEO/president is proud and excited she will be on the frontline of downtown Moline's next chapter of redevelopment.

"I'm humbled and honored to be selected," Alexandra "Alex" Elias said Tuesday, as she met city officials and community leaders on Renew's Project Management Team.  "I'm super excited to be back in what I consider my hometown."

A Davenport native, Elias spent nine years with the City of San Diego's development agency, the former Center City Development Corp., which worked on the city's $280 million redevelopment of its downtown and a major waterfront redevelopment project. She also has worked as a civilian employee for the U.S. Navy, helping it complete land transformation and conservation projects. She will take the helm of the Moline public-private partnership June 1.

Earlier this month, Renew leaders announced Elias' appointment. She replaces Janet Mathis, who stepped down last summer.

"It was a great time to be in San Diego, but I really think it's a great time to be in Moline," she said in an interview after the meeting. "San Diego didn't have the construction of a new interstate bridge that is going to free up 14 acres of real estate for redevelopment."

In addition, she comes as downtown Moline is awaiting the arrival of passenger rail, other residential and downtown developments, and on the heels of the Western Illinois University's expansion to the riverfront.

"Those things come up every 50 to 80 years and we have them all at once," she said. "That is so exciting."

She graduated from Central High School and the University of Iowa, and earned a master's degree in city and regional planning from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.

"I love the Quad-Cities, each city is known for its own thing," she said, adding "I was always excited to come here during and after college and bring people here to show them around."

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