Lexington County hires new economic rainmaker

Mike Eades to assume role as Lexington County's Economic Development Director

Despite an already positive economic climate, and one of the lowest unemployment rates in the state, Lexington County is seeking even more growth and prosperity in the years ahead.

County officials are banking on Mike Eades to take them to the next level.

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Mike Eades (Photo provided)

After a “thorough search,” county officials announced Eades will take over as Lexington County’s next Economic Development Director.

Eades, a 39-year veteran of economic development, will be tasked with increasing the county’s industrial, economic, and job growth.

Eades’ economic development acumen has been duly noted throughout the South. Southern Business & Development Magazine named him as one of “Ten People Who Made a Difference in the South in 2012.”

And he’s no stranger to the area, either.

Eades previously lived in Lexington County for 18 years and participated in a number of key economic-development projects, including Michelin, Pirelli, Golden State Foods, and cookie-maker Otis Spunkmeyer.

Additionally, his work also extended beyond county lines, helping bring Union Camp and FN Manufacturing to Richland County, as well.

A native of Washington County, Va., Eades received his bachelor’s degree from Emory & Henry College, double majoring in geography and geology. He then took postgraduate studies in Economic Geography at the University of South Carolina, and was later graduated from the Economic Development Institute at the University of Oklahoma.

“Eades’ extensive education and wealth of knowledge of economic development is coupled with the illustrious experience he brings to the position,” according to the county’s announcement.

Eades began his full-time economic-development career in South Carolina in 1976. Since then, he has served in executive positions for a variety of economic-development companies throughout South Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, and Louisiana.

Eades most recently served as the President and CEO of Ascension Economic Development Corp., in Ascension Parish, Louisiana. In the past five years, he’s worked on 16 new projects there, representing $933 million in capital investments and 585 new jobs. He also assisted in expansions of 35 existing projects, creating $6.48 billion in capital investment and 1,145 new jobs.

Due in part to his work, county officials noted, Ascension was recognized by the International Economic Development Council and Atlas Advertising for having the highest level of announced new-and expanding-capital investment per capita of any county in America.

Eades will begin his job Nov. 21.

Categories: Business, Lexington, Lexington County, Local News

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