William “Bill” Early, an experienced economic development leader with 29 years of experience in North Carolina, has been tapped as the executive director of Brunswick Business & Industry Development, officials announced in a December news release.
Early will take the helm of Brunswick BID, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting economic development in Brunswick County, on Jan. 2.
The foundation is governed by a 15-member board of directors established earlier this year when Brunswick County commissioners voted to contract with Brunswick BID to handle the county’s industry recruitment efforts. The vote followed the announcement that Mike Hargett, the county’s former economic development and planning director, would retire at the end of 2017.
“For the past 29 years, I have worked in a very rural county with limited infrastructure and resources,” Early said in the release. “During that time, we had a great deal of success in spite of those obstacles. I’ve studied Brunswick County, and am extremely impressed with what we have to offer. Brunswick County is accessible by rail and air, sits in close proximity to the Port of Wilmington, is easily accessible from Interstates 40 and 95, and has great quality of life. We have a great product to sell, and I look forward to getting to work.”
Early will begin putting together processes and policy for Brunswick BID and “familiarize himself with Brunswick County, the region, assets and our people,” Brunswick BID Chairman Jason McLeod said about the future efforts of the organization.
“Our goal from the outset was to bring in a proven economic development professional with the leadership skills, track record, connections and gravitas to jump-start Brunswick County’s economic development efforts. We were fortunate that a number of highly qualified, extremely capable men and women expressed interest,” McLeod said in the release.
“After two rounds of interviews, Bill Early emerged as the clear choice for Brunswick County,” he added.
Early was previously an economic development leader in Hertford County, where he joined the Hertford County Economic Development Commission in 1988 and served as executive director until December, according to Brunswick BID.
During his tenure he led 64 business recruitment or expansion projects resulting in nearly $1.2 billion in investment and 1,993 jobs, officials said in the release.