Paul Krutko

President and CEO of Ann Arbor SPARK in Ann Arbor. Ann Arbor SPARK is a nonprofit organization that works with businesses at every stage and collaborates with government and universities to grow and attract businesses to the area. Krutko leads the organization's efforts to expand the regional economy through business attraction, retention, and initiatives to support entrepreneurs and early stage companies. Recently, Ann Arbor SPARK was awarded $1 million from the Michigan Strategic Fund to create a new Washtenaw County Incubator Collaborative in partnership with the MC3 Business Accelerator and Michigan Research Institute to increase collaboration and bridge funding gaps for businesses in target industries. Under his leadership, Ann Arbor SPARK contracted with the Livingston County Economic Development Council to assist with business attraction and retention. As a result, Lake Trust Credit Union recently announced it plans to build a $30 million corporate headquarters in Brighton Township. Krutko has more than 31 years of economic and business development expertise. Before joining Ann Arbor SPARK, he led San Jose, California's economic development efforts. He has also worked for Cleveland and Jacksonville. In addition to his economic development leadership, Krutko founded Peloton Development, a consultancy devoted to advising businesses and municipal, regional, state, and national governments on economic development and climate prosperity strategies and on creating high-performing economic development leaders and teams. Krutko chairs the governance committee of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). He co-chairs IEDC's Economic Development Research Partners subsidiary and was selected as a Fellow in 2009. He earned his bachelor's degree in urban planning and design from the University of Cincinnati.

WHERE BORN: “Cleveland, and I grew up in the Cleveland area.”

MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSONS: “My professors at the University of Cincinnati College of Design, Art and Architecture. They gave me a way of thinking and approaching problem solving that has served me well over a 34-year career.”

LAST BOOK READ:Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain.”

WORDS THAT DESCRIBE ME: “Creative, connector, translator, persistent, loyal.”

WHERE MY FIELD/INDUSTRY IS HEADED: “I'm fortunate to be the chairman of the board of my professional association, the International Economic Development Council, which has 4,500 international members. From that perch, I think that professional economic developers are focusing on entrepreneurship, developing local assets in a globalized world, and the importance of place as a key determinant where talented people and the companies that need that talent choose to locate.”

FAVORITE TECHNOLOGICAL GADGET: “My TdF ProForm exercise bike. You can highlight almost any cycling route in the world through Google maps and experience that terrain of the road as you pedal and 'see' the route on your iPad through continuous images from Google Streetview. Very cool on a snowy day in Michigan.”

FAVORITE PLACE: “Santa Cruz County, Calif.”

FAVORITE HOBBIES: “Road cycling, golf, and talking with and traveling with my wife.”

FAVORITE FOOD: “The menu of the day in any small-town restaurant in France.”

MY HIDDEN TALENT: “I'm actually a very good cook.”

HOW I WANT TO BE REMEMBERED: “That I left the world better than I found it for my family and the communities that I have the chance to work in.”