The Illinois Secretary of State officially approved the charter of the Regional Economic Development Corporation on March 23, 1999. The original Articles of Incorporation showed three directors; George Trammell, Donald W. Bett, and James A. Brandt. On April 15, 1999, Donald W. Bett and James A. Brandt signed a Notice of the First Meeting of REDCO. It was held on May 6, 1999, at the Marion Comfort Inn. At this meeting there were 11 at large directors elected, 6 appointed by the City of Marion, and 4 appointed by the Marion Chamber of Commerce (based on funding amounts from each organization). The elected directors were Jim Brandt, Don Bett, Dutch Doelitzsch, Hugh Crane, Gene Norman, Dave Behen, Marjorie Wright, Stacey Moore, Larry Jordan, Jay Sala, and Rudy Bond. The city appointments were Bob Butler, Dog Connell, Marlene Simpson, Loren Carter, Gary Mayer, and Gary Turnbull. The Chamber appointments were Monte Blue, Bill Nielsen, Steve Larsson, and Debbie Vinyard. The first officers elected were Chairman Dutch Doelitzsch, Vice Chairman Hugh Crane, and Secretary-Treasurer Don Bett.
At the second meeting of the board on June 10, 1999, the officers recommended that an Executive Director be hired to conduct the day-to-day operations of REDCO. After some discussion by the board, Thomas Wimberly was hired for the position. Also discussed was the fact that the City of Marion had appointed Marlene Simpson, the Herrin City Clerk, as a board member, and that Stacey Moore from Orpack Stone Corp in Herrin was elected as a board member. It was suggested that in order to help REDCO become an organization that was known countywide, that REDCO should have some more board members from Herrin, Carterville, and Johnston City. It was pointed out that a heavy representation was needed on the board from existing industry executives, and that the long term goal of REDCO was to make the organization the largest and strongest countywide industrial economic development organization in southern Illinois.