SCLA promoter honored: Jim Worsham named regional business leader of the year

Jun. 3--ONTARIO -- In recognition of his achievements in promoting development at Southern California Logistics Airport, business leaders and county officials Thursday honored Jim Worsham as the Inland Southern California Global Leader of the Year.

Formerly an executive with General Electric and McDonnell Douglas, Worsham has been instrumental in bringing aviation-related businesses to SCLA, including global corporations such as Boeing, Pratt & Whitney, General Electric and Leading Edge, among others.

"Not many years ago, SCLA was just growing tumbleweeds," Worsham said. "After the base closed, Victorville alone lost 8,000 jobs. I was hired to be a member of the team to grow and develop the airport."

Drawing on his long career in the aviation industry, Worsham leveraged his corporate contacts to encourage investment at the facility.

"Worsham is on a first-name basis with the CEOs and senior vice presidents of every major company that is in one way or another involved in the aviation industry," said Terry Caldwell, mayor of Victorville, during a presentation at the award ceremony.

"He quickly seized on the opportunity to transfor m 5,000 acres of a closed military base into the most dynamic economic engine in the Victor Valley, if not the entire Southern California region. He is definitely a visionary," Caldwell said.

Hired by Stirling Enterprises, the master developer of SCLA, Worsham's efforts in promoting business development have resulted in thousands of new jobs at the airport.

"From the very beginning, Jim has definitely been a strategic adviser in getting us where we are today," said Dougall Agan, a partner with Stirling Enterprises.

County officials credit Worsham with helping to transform the airport into a major transportation hub.

"Thanks largely to the work, expertise, enthusiasm and contacts of Jim Worsham, SCLA is growing by leaps and bounds. We are creating opportunities for between 8,000 and 20,000 jobs in the next 15 years," said Brad Mitzelfelt, 1st District supervisor of San Bernardino County.

Mitch Deacon can be reached at 951-6232 or at mdeacon@vvdailypress. com.

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