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Greenville, SC, United States, 2013/08/20 - Greenwood (SC) Partnership Alliance CEO Mark Warner, who led the county’s economic development initiatives since 2009 is stepping down. Veteran economic development exec Heather Simmons Jones will succeed Warner as interim CEO - PartnershipAlliance.com.
Greenwood Partnership Alliance (GPA) CEO Mark Warner, who has led Greenwood County’s record-setting economic development initiatives since 2009, is stepping down to accept a senior business development role with a regional engineering firm. The GPA Board of Directors has retained veteran economic development executive Heather Simmons Jones to succeed Warner as interim CEO, and has established a task force to conduct a national search committee to identify and recruit Warner’s successor. Warner will remain with the organization for a transitional period spanning several weeks.
Warner joined GPA in 2007 as the Director of Workforce and Existing Industry and was promoted to CEO in 2009. Under his leadership, the organization completed a new strategic plan, undertook a successful capital campaign raising more than $3 million, and announced more than 800 new jobs and $110 Million in new capital investment for Greenwood County.
In addition, Warner has overseen key projects such as the Work Ethic Certificate Program, the Edgefield/South Main Street revitalization effort and the Clemson University-Greenwood Genetic Center partnership within the Greenwood Research Park.
The Greenwood Partnership Alliance is a non-profit organization established to promote and enhance the economic growth and development of Greenwood County. Since 1994, GPA efforts have resulted in announcement of more than 3,450 new jobs and more than $1.6 billion in capital investment in the county.
“Throughout his tenure as CEO, Mark Warner has gone above and beyond the call of duty in helping ensure that positive economic growth and the good jobs and millions of dollars in economic contribution and taxes that go with them are situated right here in Greenwood County,” said Partnership Alliance chairman Dan Martins. “Mark Warner has done an exceptional job of leading this organization to its current position as one of the most respected economic development organizations in the Southeastern United States.”
Under Warner’s leadership, the GPA has built a diverse and talented team of economic development professionals, Martins noted. “The caliber of the Partnership Alliance is widely recognized as one of the leading economic development groups in this region. To his credit and the community’s benefit, Mark and the GPA have built a team of professionals who ensure that Greenwood County will not miss a beat.”
The GPA has also obtained record numbers of private and public sector supporters, counting more than 55 investor organizations whose annual investments go directly to create better jobs and a bright future for the community, noted Martins.
“It is certainly with mixed emotions that I am making this move,” Warner said. “The leadership of the GPA has been very supportive of me and our staff, and I believe that the organization is in a far better place than when I assumed its reins. Under Heather Simmons Jones’ interim leadership, the team in place has all the skills and talent to be successful, and I believe that Greenwood County is poised to enjoy a very bright and prosperous future.”
Ms. Simmons Jones is CEO of Opus 3, LLC, a Columbia-based economic development consultancy. Her economic development career has included leadership roles for Allendale, Beaufort and Anderson counties, and includes post-graduate training from the Kettering Institute at the University of Dayton in community politics. A South Carolina Certified Economic Developer, as well as a graduate of the Economic Development Institute at the University of Oklahoma and SC Executive Institute, Jones served as President of the SC Economic Developers’ Association in 2012 and currently serves on the Clemson Alumni Association Board of Directors.
“The Board is highly confident that our experienced staff, under the interim direction of Heather Simmons Jones, will continue with successful execution of all initiatives and aggressive pursuit of all project leads for Greenwood County,” said Martins. “We thank Mark for the important contributions he has made to this organization and the Greenwood community, and wish him well in his new career.”
Warner will assume the role of Director of Business Development with Davis & Floyd, Inc., a regional full service engineering, architectural and environmental firm based in Greenwood, in a few weeks.
The Greenwood Partnership Alliance (partnershipalliance.com) is a non-profit organization established to promote and enhance the economic growth and development of Greenwood County. Since 1994, GPA efforts have resulted in announcement of more than 3,451 new jobs and more than $1.6 billion in capital investment in Greenwood County, SC.