As part of National Economic Development Week, the Greenville Eastern North Carolina (ENC) Alliance is celebrating the experienced economic developers in our community. These professionals are committed to bringing economic prosperity and growth to the Greenville, Pitt County, and eastern North Carolina areas.
Steve Weathers, CEcD, is the president and CEO of the Greenville ENC Alliance. With more than 25 years of experience in economic development, he’s been involved in the attraction, retention, growth, and start-up of more than 900 companies nationwide. In a Q&A style blog, Steve shares details about his economic development journey, what brought him to Greenville, and why he's passionate about this profession.
Q. Why did you decide to pursue a career in economic development?
A: I came to the economic development profession by accident. I was in the finance industry and by random chance a friend in the executive search business thought it would be a good fit for my background and experience. Up until that time I had never heard of the economic development profession. It seemed interesting, so I interviewed. My first position was Vice President with the San Diego Economic Development Corporation.
Q. What is your most memorable project or accomplishment?
A: I have two very memorable projects. One is the Lego Theme Park in Carlsbad, California. I led this effort for more than four years and we secured the first Lego Theme Park in the United States. It was a very complicated, yet fun experience. The other memorable project was with a company by the name of Howard Leight Industries. We successfully located the company in San Diego. The most memorable moment from that project was when a single mom with three young children came up to me and thanked me for helping the company locate in San Diego. She had been without a job for over a year and was living on government assistance. She was so thankful to be back to work and able to provide for her young family. It was an unforgettable moment and is why I continue to love this profession. We tend to forget that our work affects the lives of individuals in our community, maybe even our next-door neighbors.
Q. How did you get to your current position?
A: I was contacted by an executive search firm that told me about this new start-up economic development organization in Greenville, NC. It is rare these days for a community to start a new economic development organization. After I learned about the opportunity and did a little research, I jumped at the chance to be interviewed for the CEO position.
Q. What is your favorite part about working in economic development in Pitt County?
A: My favorite thing about working in economic development in Pitt County is interacting with the incredible people in this community. They are positive, uplifting, and collaborative. After all, our profession is really all about engaging people in the economic development process. And, while the Greenville ENC Alliance is a professional team of six, we have a lot of partners and collaborators that have a very positive impact on our region.
Q. What do you want the community to know about economic development and your work?
A: It takes the engagement of everyone in our community to make a difference.Whether you work with the Greenville ENC Alliance directly, or with the school district, the trades, or the retail service industries, everyone can choose to have a positive impact on our community. The more individuals we can engage in the economic development process the greater success all of us can have in the community we all call home.
Join the Greenville ENC Alliance in celebrating #EconDevWeek on social media by following the handle @GreenvilleENCA on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram,YouTube, and LinkedIn. Local economic developer profiles will be added each day online at www.encalliance.com/news. To learn more about National Economic Development Week hosted by the International Economic Development Council, visit the organization online at www.iedconline.org/edw.
Media Relations Contact: Maria Satira
Director of Marketing and Communications
Greenville - Eastern North Carolina Alliance