Mayor Dave Snow announces new Director of Strategic Initiatives and Director of I & D

November 3, 2021

Mayor Dave Snow has appointed Beth Fields to the position of Director of Strategic Initiatives, effective Monday, November 15. This new position, created through the annual budget process, is designed to assist the City of Richmond in several collaborative initiatives. The Director of Strategic Initiatives will work hand in hand with local, county, state and federal officials and organizations to manage and oversee critical projects. These initiatives include implementation of our community action plan, Richmond Rising, projects in the recently submitted READI application, downtown development, the new PLACE Program, and OCRA’s Hoosier Enduring Legacy Program. This position will also focus on leveraging American Rescue Plan funding and securing other local, state and federal dollars for the betterment of Richmond and Wayne County.

Fields, who previously served as Richmond City Controller, worked as the Executive Director of the Urban Enterprise Association as well as Program Director for Main Street Richmond before joining the City.  

The Office of Strategic Initiatives, consisting of the Director of Strategic Initiatives, as well as the Community Development Coordinator, will be part of the Mayor’s Administrative team and will not stand alone as a department.

As Fields transitions into the Office of Strategic Initiatives, City Planner, Ian Vanness, will assume the position of Director of Infrastructure and Development per an appointment of the Mayor. Vanness holds a Master’s degree in Community Planning and a Geographic Information Science Certificate from the University of Cincinnati and served in Cincinnati’s Planning Department.  He joined the City in June of last year.  

This will leave an opening in Richmond’s City Planner position. The City is currently accepting resumes and preparing to conduct interviews. Ian Vanness will continue to serve as City Planner during the search.

Mayor Snow said: “There is a tremendous amount of positive momentum happening in Richmond right now. We’ve been through a really rough couple years, however our horizon is bright. This is a critical time to harness this positive motion and make certain Richmond stands out as a point of attraction while population and moving trends shift nationwide. Richmond is America’s next great city! Beth Fields has shown exceptional leadership throughout her tenure with our City Team. She is certainly the right person at the helm of this new position. Mr. Vanness will serve as a perfect fit for Ms. Field’s replacement. Ian has shown himself to be a hard worker and a strong Departmental leader”

Beth Fields said: “I am incredibly excited to assume this new role focused on turning the community’s visions into results. Richmond is poised for positive change. This change will simultaneously transform the landscape of our city while maintaining the community feel and characteristics valued by us all.”

Vanness said: "I'm grateful for the opportunity to serve the Richmond community in the role of Director of Infrastructure and Development. I'm excited to continue advancing all of the positive work the City has underway and on the horizon."


Press Contact:

Suzanne Bias

Executive Assistant to the Mayor


Click HERE for the official press release.

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