Harnett County Economic Development has a new location and has added staff to provide more hands-on services to Harnett County’s businesses at every phase of their development.
The department has expanded from a staff of one to a three-person team of economic developers dedicated to different sectors of the business community. In addition to Small Business and Downtown Development Manager Nick Dula, Debbie Taylor has been brought in as Marketing and Business Recruitment Manager and Angie Stewart has been hired as Existing Industry and Product Development Manager.
The three economic developers will report to Deputy County Manager Paula Stewart. Lee Anne Nance with Britt Nance Collaborative has been brought in as a consultant for the department.
Paula Stewart said she is excited about the future of economic development in Harnett County.
“One of the things that was evident when we completed our Economic Development Strategic Plan last year was that we needed more capacity in our Economic Development office,” Stewart said. “What we’ve done accomplishes that and ensures that whether you’re trying to start a business, operate or expand an existing business, or you’re looking for somewhere to locate your business, we have an economic developer who is experienced, knowledgeable and solely dedicated to your needs.”
“Harnett County is currently facing numerous challenges and opportunities in terms of economic development. The key to overcoming those challenges and seizing our opportunities is readiness,” said Harnett County Manager Joseph Jeffries. “The economic development team we have in place will work with our academic, private, nonprofit and public partners to develop a climate of readiness, job creation and investment for the benefit of Harnett County’s citizens.”
Harnett County Economic Development also has a new home – 200 Alexander Drive in Lillington. The department’s number will remain (910) 893-7524.
Taylor is a nationally certified economic developer with broad experience promoting economic development in the Research Triangle Region. She has more than 20 years’ experience in the field, most recently serving as Vice President of Business Development for the Research Triangle Regional Partnership. Prior to joining the RTRP team, she was vice president of the Moore County Economic Development Corporation.
Taylor is an active member of several professional organizations including the N.C. Economic Developers Association and the International Economic Development Council. She and her husband, Tony, have two children and four grandchildren.
Stewart, who has more than eight years of experience in economic development, most recently served as Business Services Coordinator for Central Carolina Community College. She previously worked for Harnett County Economic Development from 2008 until 2011 as Existing Industry Manager. She returns to Economic Development, having built and maintained positive relationships with industries and businesses in the county.
Stewart is a Harnett County native. She and her husband, Jon, have two children.
Harnett County Economic Development has gained staff and moved to a new location at 200 Alexander Drive, Lillington. The Harnett County Economic Development team is, from left to right, in the front row, Existing Industry and Product Development Manager Angie Stewart, Small Business and Downtown Development Manager Nick Dula, Marketing and Business Recruitment Manager Debbie Taylor, and in back, Deputy County Manager Paula Stewart and Economic Development Consultant Lee Anne Nance with Britt Nance Collaborative.