Everyone knows it’s not all about what you know – it’s about who you know.
And that’s the reason that local economic development officials and real estate developers are tickled pink that a Greensboro woman – who they’re very familiar with – has been promoted to one of the most important economic development positions in the state.
Melissa Smith, who worked for years to draw more businesses to Randolph County, Guilford County and the Triad region, has been named as the vice president of business recruitment for the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina (EDPNC) – a hybrid public-private organization that’s focuses on recruiting new businesses to North Carolina, as well as on supporting the needs of existing businesses in the state.
At a Thursday, June 25 meeting of the Guilford County Economic Development Alliance – a virtual meeting of course – it was evident that the local economic development team members were thrilled over the promotion that can only help area recruitment efforts.
Greensboro Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Brent Christensen was one of those who was very pleased.
“She’s a local contact who has worked her way up to the upper echelon of EDPNC,” Christensen said at the meeting. “We’re awfully proud of her.”
High Point Economic Development Corp. President Loren Hill was also delighted.
“It’s really good for us, here in Guilford County, to have someone who knows us, knows our assets and knows us personally,” he said.
Hill said he’s been impressed with Smith’s work for years.
“Melissa is someone the economic development teams have known a long time,” Hill said. “The first time I met her was when she worked for the Randolph County Economic Development Corporation.”
Smith was hired by the NC Department of Commerce and worked there for the benefit of the Piedmont Triad region before being hired by the EDPNC in 2014, when that business recruitment organization was founded.
“She’s been a senior rep for them but, as of two weeks ago, she’s now vice president of economic recruitment,” Hill said. “She lives in Greensboro now. I joked that the bad news about her promotion is that she has to move away. She has until the end of the year to move to Raleigh.”
Hill said that, despite where Smith lives, her focus on the Triad won’t go away.
“Her boss, EDPNC President Chris Chung told us, ‘Regardless of where she’ll be living, she’s committed herself and her team to do all they can to put the Triad in play to compete for, and hopefully win, more recruitment opportunities looking at North Carolina,’” Hill said.