The City of Delaware’s economic development team has expanded with the addition of Thien Bui, who began her role as the economic development project manager last week.
Bui comes to Delaware after having previously worked as an international trade counselor in Cleveland State University’s Small Business Development Center Export Assistance Network. In the role, Bui prepared small and medium-sized companies to export to new foreign markets to expand the footprint of products originating in the United States.
Bui also spent several years at the Ohio Department of Development (ODOD) as an export assistance program manager. During her time at ODOD, Bui managed a federal and state-funded program called the International Market Access Grant for Exporters while coordinating several trade missions as well as domestic and international trade shows for small and medium-sized companies.
“Thien has a proven background in working with small and medium businesses to help them to grow their business,” Economic Development Director Sean Hughes said in a press release. “With business expansions leading to over 60% of job growth for a typical community, we are excited to see how Thien can continue to grow our business retention and expansion efforts.”
Hughes added, “Thien’s work with global business also will be invaluable as we continue to see interest in foreign direct investment in the city of Delaware.”
During her time focusing solely on growing clients’ international business, Bui decided she wanted to have a hand in helping businesses grow in other ways that resulted from the increased international business.
“I eventually had to refer those clients elsewhere to work with other organizations, and to me, that was a missed opportunity,” Bui said of her previous role. “I want to develop my skills further in economic development. I didn’t want to just focus on international business anymore. I’ve done that for 10 years, and I decided it was a change I needed.”
Bui said most of her family also resides in central Ohio, which only increased her desire to pursue a new endeavor closer to her aging parents.
Of course, for someone looking to have a significant impact on a community, Delaware’s continued growth and the opportunities that accompany such growth also caught Bui’s attention.
“As far as central Ohio goes, we’re growing so fast. … People are moving to the Midwest because the cost of living is a lot less than other areas in the country,” she said. “And I know Delaware County in general and the city of Delaware are both growing rapidly, and I really wanted to be a part of that growth. I want to be able to make an impact on the city.”
Bui believes the biggest asset she will bring to Delaware is her past exposure to a variety of organizations that provide services and programming to small and medium-sized companies similar to what she will often work with in Delaware.
“Small businesses don’t really have the time to research or seek out those organizations, so I feel I can be an asset because I know a lot of those organizations, and I can make connections as I go out and meet with the companies in the community,” Bui said.
Having worked primarily with manufacturing companies in the past, Bui went on to say she is looking forward to being able to partner with a variety of companies in Delaware in addition to the manufacturing companies with which she’s become quite familiar.