Public and Private Leaders Converge to Guide Partnership


Business, governmental and community leaders from around Southeastern North Carolina gathered in Elizabethtown on September 16thfor the first meeting of The Southeastern Partnership’s full board of directors. The group includes top private-sector leaders as well as public appointees from each member county commission.

 “The meeting was an opportunity for new board members to become familiar with the Partnership and its mission, but equally important, to get acquainted with each other,” said Chairman Jeff Etheridge. Board members, drawn from small and large businesses and both rural and urban counties, are united in their common commitment to job growth and regional economic development. “They understand that the challenges facing their communities can’t be resolved by working in isolation,” Etheridge said. “Collaboration across counties and between the public and private sectors is the clearest path for regional advancement.”

 The board reviewed the organization’s new committee structure, heard an update from the LocalDevelopersAdvisory Group (LDAG) and were briefed on the status of regional collaboration with the state’s new business recruitment organization, the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina (EDPNC). In addition to hearing an update on recent industry outreach missions and client projects, the board reviewed the Partnership’s three-year strategic marketing plan, which was unanimously approved earlier in the year. The plan outlines seven objectives and forty-seven strategies for lead generation, project development, corporate relocation and job creation. “The plan is a roadmap for the organization and the region through 2017,” said Steve Yost, president and CEO of The Southeastern Partnership. “Its objectives are ambitious, measurable and clear.”