Yost, Pope Elected to NCEDA top positions, joining other Southeast Leaders

Yost, Pope Elected to NCEDA top positions, joining other Southeast Leaders

Meeting in Wrightsville Beach in June, members of the North Carolina Economic Development Association (NCEDA) elected officers for 2017-2018 and they include names that are very familiar in the Southeast Region.

Steve Yost, president of The Southeastern Partnership, is now serving as president of the Raleigh-based organization, which unites the state’s economic development professionals and their public and private partners and allies. Yost, who previously served as NCEDA’s vice president, has led NC Southeast since 2009. He has served on the board of the 51-year-old organization since 2012.

“To call this a highlight in my career would be an understatement,” Yost says. “Leading North Carolina’s economic development community at this important time is a daunting challenge that I don’t take lightly. It is an honor, and I take it very seriously.”

Serving as NCEDA’s vice president this year is Mark Pope, executive director of Lenoir County Economic Development. A Kinston native, Pope has led Lenoir County Economic Development since 2005. His leadership has facilitated the arrival and expansion of companies that include Spirit AeroSystems, Sanderson Farms, West Pharmaceuticals and Moen. “Mark has engineered nothing short of an economic renaissance in Lenoir County, and his leadership has been and will continue to be pivotal to NCEDA,” Yost says.

Yost and Pope will enjoy the support of several other Southeast leaders on the NCEDA board. They include Dr. Gary Lanier, executive director of the Columbus County Economic Development Commission since 2010, who was re-elected to a second three-year term on the NCEDA board. Also serving on the board is Randall Johnson, executive director of the North Carolina Biotechnology Center’s Wilmington office, which strengthens the Southeast Region’s life science economy through the development of jobs, businesses and investment in clinical research, renewable energy, and marine, agricultural and industrial biotechnology. Rotating off the NCEDA board was Brenda Daniels, manager of economic development for ElectriCities, a long time ally of the Southeastern Partnership and its communities.

“Southeastern North Carolina is fertile ground for economic development leadership, and this year’s class of officers and directors clearly reflects that,” said Andrew Tate, NCEDA’s immediate past president, who heads the Henderson County Partnership for Economic Development. “Steve, Mark, Gary and Randall collectively bring a broad spectrum of experience and expertise in our profession that’s hard to beat.”