Economic Development Coalition Announces 2011-2012 Board Members

January 19, 2011

The Buncombe County Commission voted at their meeting on December 7 to slate new officers for the EDC’s governing body.  The nine individuals comprising the EDC board represent many vital sectors of Asheville’s economy, including government, utilities, advanced manufacturing, technology, and land development. Buncombe County Commissioner K. Ray Bailey will serve as board chair for the upcoming year. Joining him as Vice Chair man is Paul Szurek, CFO of Biltmore Farms. The seven additional board members include Asheville Mayor Terry Bellamy; John Smith, Vice President -Western Region for Progress Energy Carolinas; Jim Oliver, Founder and President of AVL Technologies; Jeff Powers, Director of Operations for Thermo-Fisher Scientific Asheville; Rick Guthy, Executive Vice President of CPU2; Julie Herren, Vice President of Precision Products of Asheville; and Rick Lutovsky, former President and CEO of the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce.
“I am extremely excited to be working with the newly appointed board members. Driving the EDC to the next level will require ownership, energy, and vision by board members. We have the right people at the table,” stated Ben Teague, Senior Vice President of the EDC.  Commissioner K. Ray Bailey added “The Economic Development Coalition board exists to create quality jobs for our citizens.  It is imperative to have the best minds engaged in or der to accomplish our mission. Our community’s future depends on it.” The new EDC board will hold its first meeting at 8 am on January 27, 2011 in the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce Boardroom. 
The EDC for Asheville-Buncombe County is a public-private partnership committed to: creating and retaining high quality jobs, community leadership, and being a resource for better business decisions. The EDC accomplishes this mission through its four core services: business retention & expansion, small business & entrepreneurship, research, and marketing & recruitment.   The EDC is funded by Buncombe County, the City of Asheville, the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce and the Advantage Asheville Campaign.
The Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce is a 2,000 + member organization representing 86,000 employees. Chamber members collaborate with community organizations and coalitions to support the community and each other with the mission of increasing the region’s livability by advancing its economic vitality.  The Asheville Chamber works diligently to ensure that Asheville continues to prosper while also protecting the natural beauty of the area.  In 2006 , the Chamber moved to a new location and is now home to the 4,000 square foot Visitor Center which welcomes 200,000 visitors per year.