Developer John Kane and the Research Triangle Regional Partnership are helping assemble a task force to prepare a “regional response” in pitching for the Amazon HQ2 project.

Farad Ali, president and Chief Executive Officer at The Institute (Economic Development) in Durham, and Nate Spilker, vice president of Product Management at Citrix, “have been asked to serve as co-chairs of this task force,” according to Partnership spokesperson Ryan Combs. Ali is a candidate for mayor in Durham’s upcoming election.

Other task force members names are not being disclosed “because of the competitive nature of this project,” Combs added. “As you can imagine we are still in the process of finalizing the list and confirming attendees.”

Amazon is expecting formal responses to its “request for proposals,” or RFP, by Oct. 19. News broke about the project on Sept. 7.

RTRP is part of an effort “to assure that we are collaborating as a region and to have community leaders available to answer questions and support the efforts to attract HQ2,” Kane, the developer behind the massive North Hills projects and head of Kane Realty Corp., told WRAL TechWire. He chairs the RTRP.

“The EDPNC [Economic Development Partnership for North Carolina], the [Department of Commerce and local economic developers are all involved. RTRP is just being supportive.”

The RTRP represents several counties and has been actively pursuing the project since Amazon disclosed its intent to build a second headquarters outside of Seattle in a project worth billions of dollars that could create as many as 50,000 jobs.

Kane earlier told TechWire that government leaders needed to lead the project. The RTRP has is helping line up leaders and organizations wanting to be involved, according to Combs.

“The economic developers of our region have been positively overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from our business and university leaders asking to help in the effort to win the Amazon HQ2 project,” Combs told TechWire.

“Because a regional response is needed, the RTRP is establishing a regional business and educational task force to advise and assist in our response to Amazon.”

“Unified voice”

Amazon has listed several requirements for the project, from land to metropolitan size in population, work force availability, and many more.

“We firmly believe the research triangle region has all of the assets needed to contend for this project, but it is crucial that we have a unified voice,” Combs said.

“This task force will help focus our efforts and provide us with all of the tools we need to succeed.”

Combs had earlier said that the partnership was putting together a coordinated effort for pitch the Triangle.

“The Research Triangle region has a long history of strong collaboration working projects, and this RFP is no exception. Economic development teams and business leaders from the RTP, Wake, Durham, Orange, and Chatham are all working together with EDPNC [Economic development Partnership for North Carolina] to submit a joint bid to bring Amazon HQ2 to North Carolina,” he said on Sept. 21.

[Note: This story has been revised to reflect an update from Kane regarding the RTRP’s role in assisting with the task force.]