Laurens County Development Corporation President and CEO Jonathan Coleman has been listed among North America’s Top 50 Economic Developers by a Michigan-based consulting firm.
Consultant Connect, an agency “designed to bridge the gap between economic developers and site consultants,” announced its annual Top 50 list Tuesday. The economic development professionals selected for this list were nominated by their colleagues in both the economic development industry and the site location consulting industry for excellent practices, innovation, and success in building the communities they serve.
“I am greatly honored to be recognized, but I can’t receive recognition without recognizing the hard work of the rest of the team at the Laurens County Development Corporation,” Coleman said. “Lynn Finley and Whitney Lagrange work tirelessly to make our community a better place, and our Board of Directors is very supportive in our vision to make Laurens County a better place to live and work. It is truly a team effort and it is great to work with such a talented group every day.”
Each of the 50 named to the list will receive an award at Consultant Connect’s ECONOMIX event in Phoenix, Arizona in December.
“I was elated to hear this news. Laurens County has a lot of great things going for it, and to have one of our own recognized as one of the top 50 Economic Developers on the continent is a big deal,” said Laurens County Council Chairman Brown Patterson. “There are good things in the works, and I am excited to see what the Laurens County Development Corporation will bring to us this year. Jonathan and his staff work hard to attract new industry for our community, and I thank them for all of their hard work and dedication to this county.”
Coleman, a Clemson graduate, began his career at the LCDC in 2008. Over the past five years, the LCDC has announced $560 million in investments from industry in the county with more than 1,600 jobs. Those investments have included 13 new companies and 16 expansions of existing companies.
Despite COVID-19 pandemic which caused a worldwide recession in 2020, Coleman announced at the LCDC’s recent annual meeting that Laurens County Laurens County exceeded its 2019 growth with $56 million in capital investment and 200 new jobs.
“This award is further evidence that Jonathan is and has been a driving force for economic development in Laurens County and the Upstate,” said John Young, chairman of the LCDC Board.
In a release, Consultant Connect said it strives to “lift up the industry by recognizing remarkable economic developers for the entire economic development community to learn from.”
“Releasing the Top 50 list is one of Consultant Connect’s favorite times of the year because we are so passionate about economic development leaders,” said Consultant Connect Managing Director Carla Sones. “This year’s group faced hurdles unlike any other Top 50 group has seen over the past year, and we are honored to provide a platform for them to be recognized for the incredibly hard work that they do every day for their communities. This annual list recognizing North America’s Top 50 Economic Developers is designed to acknowledge the hard work of the top leaders in this field and elevate the conversation around economic development and job creation.”