December pre-Christmastime get-togethers are supposed to be filled with cheer, but a Thursday, Dec. 3 meeting of the Guilford County Economic Development Alliance will no doubt be bittersweet for the group: a little bitter because the Leadership Group of the Alliance will be losing three key members, but also sweet because those empty slots will be filled with new talent.

The Guilford County Economic Development Alliance was formed in 2015 as a joint effort between Guilford County and the Cities of Greensboro and High Point. The goal was to have a unified effort for recruiting new businesses to the county and for promoting the growth of existing businesses. The alliance has seen quite a bit of success over the years, as well as some national and international recognition for its unique and collaborative structure.

The three members who’ll be leaving are Chairman of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners Jeff Phillips, High Point Economic Development Corp. President Loren Hill and Leadership Group Vice Chair Derek Ellington, a man who’s been highly involved in local economic development efforts for years.

The incoming members are 2021 Leadership Group Chair Anita Bachmann, Interim High Point Economic Development Director Sandy Dunbeck and the next county commissioner chair, who’ll be chosen on December 7. (Read: Guilford County Commissioner Skip Alston.)

In addition to a changing of some of the guard at the meeting – or, rather, at the virtual, Zoom meeting – the alliance will hear updates on local November employment conditions as well as an update on Guilford Technical Community College.

The leadership group will also hold a closed session to discuss the location or the expansion of business and industry in Guilford County. That’s usually a good sign for the county because the alliance discusses general strategies in its open meetings but talks about specific projects that are considering coming to the county or expanding here in its closed sessions.