In a move that was one of the least surprising in history, High Point Interim City Manager Randy McCaslin announced on Friday, May 7 that Sandy Dunbeck – a longtime worker in the field of economic development – had been named as the city’s economic development director.
She has been the city’s acting interim director since January of this year and she will assume her new title on Sunday, May 9. The seat came open last year when previous director, Loren Hill, stepped down to spend more time walking trails and enjoying his wife’s gourmet cooking. Hill did not stay out of practice long. Soon after he stepped down from his job as High Point’s point man for economic development, Hill took another job, in economic development.
Hill had a very good working relationship with Dunbeck and it’s probably a good guess that he’s delighted Dunbeck is getting the “Interim” dropped from her title.
On Friday, May 7, Dunbeck said that she was honored by being chosen and she added that she was looking forward to continuing to serve the people in the city and the region.
She said that High Point “continues to reach new heights,” and she is, she said, “thrilled to do my part to help people and companies ‘make it here.”
“You can make it here,” is a tagline economic development officials came up with several years ago to help market Guilford County to potential new businesses.
The selection of Dunbeck comes on the heels of a big get from Dunbeck and her team. Earlier this week, High Point officials announced that a $305 million data center was going to be built in the city.
Dunbeck has worked in economic development for High Point for 15 years and was selected North Carolina’s “Economic Developer of the Year.” She’s worked closely over the years with companies like Amada, Amazon, HAECO, Ralph Lauren Corporation, Thomas Built Buses and Honda Jet.
Dunbeck recently led the work creating High Point Opportunity Zones and she is a team member of the Small Scale Manufacturing Initiative. She also serves as the 2021 Director of the Guilford County Economic Development Alliance – an alliance formed in 2015 by Guilford County, High Point, Greensboro and local economic development groups.
Before joining High Point’s team, Dunbeck worked in economic development for Greensboro and for Rockingham County.
She has a Bachelor of Science degree from Virginia Tech and is a graduate of the Economic Development Institute at the University of Oklahoma. She has also received scholarships from the North Carolina Economic Developers Association to attend the Economic Development Institute.