In one of the least surprising moves in the history of Guilford County, High Point Interim City Manager Randy McCaslin announced on Wednesday, Nov. 18 that Sandy Dunbeck was being appointed as the city’s interim economic development director.
She’ll take over that job on the first day of the New Year following the retirement of Loren Hill – the long-time point man for economic development efforts in that city.
Hill, the president of the High Point Economic Development Corp. – the arm of that city’s government that works to attract new business – announced earlier this year that he was stepping down. (Though he doesn’t like calling it “retirement” since he intends to stay active on the economic development scene in some capacity.)
For years, Dunbeck has been Hill’s right-hand woman at the city’s Economic Development Corp., so she is the logical choice to step in when he steps down. Dunbeck is only being made the interim director right now, though many would like to see the “interim” eventually dropped from her job title.
Dunbeck, who will make just over $130,000 a year in the new job, has been a key figure in High Point and Guilford County economic development efforts for nearly a decade and a half, and she was once named as North Carolina’s “Economic Developer of the Year.”
She’s worked a great deal with office, industrial and retail clients and prospects in High Point. She’s played a big role in business recruitment and advancement including leading office and industrial projects that include Amada, HAECO, Ralph Lauren Corporation, Thomas Built Buses, BuzziSpace, Solstas Lab Partners and Honda Jet.
Dunbeck is very well known in the High Point community. She has led the High Point Opportunity Zone effort and is a member of the Small Scale Manufacturing Initiative. She also participates as a staff member and supporter of the Guilford County Economic Development Alliance – a countywide group formed by Greensboro, High Point and Guilford County five years ago to bring more business to the area.
Over the years, Hill has been highly complimentary of Dunbeck and her work. The two have had a great deal of success, especially in the last decade, during which High Point has landed many more than its share of major prospects.
Prior to joining High Point Economic Development, Dunbeck worked in economic development for Greensboro and for Rockingham County. Before her career in that field, she worked for the State of North Carolina Employment Security Commission.
Dunbeck has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agricultural Economics from Virginia Tech and is a graduate of the Economic Development Institute at the University of Oklahoma. She received scholarships from the North Carolina Economic Developers Association to attend Basic Economic Development and the Economic Development Institute.