FLORENCE---Jeffrey D. McKay of Statesville, N.C., has been named the executive director of the North East Strategic Alliance (NESA) in South Carolina, effective Dec. 15.
His appointment was announced today (Nov. 16) by South Carolina Sen. Yancey McGill of Kingstree, chairman of NESA’s executive committee, following a meeting on the Francis Marion University campus.
NESA was formed in 2000 to promote the joint development of the historic Pee Dee and Waccamaw regions of South Carolina. The alliance promotes public and private partnerships in coordinating, planning and sharing resources from Chesterfield, Clarendon, Darlington, Dillon, Florence, Georgetown, Horry, Marion, Marlboro and Williamsburg counties.
McKay was chosen by a NESA search committee made up of Sens. McGill and Hugh Leatherman of Florence, Rep. Billy Witherspoon of Conway, FMU President Fred Carter and Douglas P. Wendel, president of Burroughs & Chapin.
McKay comes to this position with nearly 20 years of experience in economic development in several North Carolina settings from the county to the state level. His background includes developing commercial sites for investment by businesses to recruitment of new industry for relocation.
"Jeff McKay is a top-notch economic development practitioner," said McGill. "He brings a wealth of experience to this position that is critical in our efforts to bring together the many cultural, historical, political, financial, industrial, agricultural, transportation and tourism interests of the 10-county NESA region."
Leatherman also praised the selection of McKay saying, "He is a wonderful fit for NESA. He is committed to regionalism. He believes that it makes sense financially and practically for the counties in this northeast quadrant to work together for the common good of the region."
Carter, who was instrumental in forming NESA, along with Coastal Carolina University President Ron Ingle, said, "McKay has extensive economic development experience that focuses on rural regions." Carter also said McKay has "a network of contacts with site consultants and within the industrial ranks."
"Jeff McKay is well-known and highly respected in his field and has been responsible for creating thousands of well-paying jobs," said Wendel. "He comes to us with high marks for marketing, relationship-building and deal closing. His experience as a county economic development director will be invaluable to NESA’s efforts of assisting and coordinating these efforts of the 10-county area."
Since 1992, McKay has been executive director of the Greater Statesville Development Corp., located in the Greater Charlotte Metro Area. In that position, he led economic development efforts that produced more than $1 billion in investments in the greater Statesville area. In 2004, Statesville and neighboring Mooresville were named the Top Micropolitan area in the country by Site Selection. Statesville was also rated the No. 1 small town in the nation for attracting new and expanding industry.
From 1990 to 1992, McKay was economic development representative and assistant director of client services for the North Carolina Department of Economic and Community Development. From 1989 to 1990, he was executive director of Stokes County (N.C.) Economic Development Commission. Two years prior to that, he was executive director of Polk County (N.C.) Economic Development Commission.
He began his career in 1985 as a sales representative with Motion Industries of Asheville.
He is a member of the Advisory Council of the Charlotte Regional Partnership, the International Economic Development Council, past president of the N.C. Economic Developers Association and a former member of the marketing and recruitment committee of the N.C. Economic Development Board.
Born in Franklin, N.C., McKay earned a bachelor’s degree in political science (1985) and a master’s degree in public affairs (1991) from Western Carolina University. He and his wife, Carrie, have two children, Zach, 9, and Claire, 5.
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