State Economic Developers Recognize Hoke County’s Don Porter

Don Porter, executive director of Raeford/Hoke Economic Development and former chairman of the Southeast Commission’s Technical Advisory Group (TAG), was honored by the North Carolina Economic Developers Association (NCEDA) as Economic Developer of the Year for 2010. The award was presented at the professional association’s annual meeting in mid-June.

In making the award, NCEDA leaders cited the recent completion in Hoke County of the first ethanol plant in the Eastern U.S. as a major milestone for the county, region and state. Complementing the arrival of Clean Burn Fuels’ $100 million ethanol plant was the recruitment of Alpla, Inc., which is bringing 75 new jobs to the county, and the expansion of Hoke Rubber Products, which is added 49 jobs to local employment rolls. Mr. Porter’s achievements in business recruitment and expansion projects came despite the worst national economic recession in a generation, the association’s leaders pointed out.

“Residents of Hoke County have reason to be proud of the progress made in the decade since Don Porter began his tenure as economic development director,” said Steve Yost, director of North Carolina’s Southeast Commission, which nominated Porter for the award. “Arguably no other local economic development program in the state gets a greater and more lasting bang for its buck.”