Economic development agency on ‘strategic pause,’ executive director is out

June 21. Ryan McDaniels is out as the head of the Lake Norman Economic Development Corp. (LNEDC) after 11 years at the helm of the regional business retention and recruitment organization.

He could not be reached for comment.

Ryan McDaniels

Meanwhile, the LNEDC will undertake a “strategic reevaluation” under the direction of its board which includes elected officials and staff from the towns of Cornelius, Davidson and Huntersville which fund it.

Change in direction

One of them said the temporary pause on some operations will result in a “change of direction.”

The LNEDC recently organized a non-profit expo, “Connecting Our Communities” to foster collaboration and engagement between local non-profits, businesses and community members.

Economic development corporations typically promote and facilitate economic development within a specific geographical area.

The organizations are complementary to chambers of commerce. In fact, the LNEDC originally came out of the Lake Norman Chamber more than 20 years ago.

Staff status

Elizabeth Underwood, LNEDC workforce development manager, is taking a new job heading up the Stanly County EDC.

Jaime Lane, LNEDC community relations manager, will continue to oversee the county-funded PIVOT internship program, which connects high school students with internship opportunities.

Meanwhile the LNEDC executive committee “comprehensively reimagine the organization’s direction and future programs” during the strategic pause.


4 Responses to “Economic development agency on ‘strategic pause,’ executive director is out”

  1. Based on my understanding of the board of directors at LKNEDC, I trust they will implement necessary changes that earn our trust and respect. Periodically reviewing and reassessing direction, systems, and processes is a prudent practice for community organizations to adopt.
    I also extend my best wishes to Ryan McDaniels. He is an exceptional individual of integrity who has served our community admirably, deserving of our utmost respect.

    Posted by Joe a vagnone | June 21, 2024, 12:20 pm
  2. The Lake Norman Regional Economic Development organization has played a critical role in shaping our economic development vision and has been a great partner with the chamber of commerce. I have enjoyed working with Ryan as I have with his predecessors Mark Heath and Jerry Broadway. The EDC Board is a very talented group of business and elected leaders and the EDC will no doubt re-emerge stronger in the coming months.

    Posted by Bill Russell | June 21, 2024, 1:05 pm
  3. The Lake Norman IT Professionals & Charlotte IT Professionals have had a great partnership with the LKNEDC. We wish Ryan & the team well! We hope the importance of technology and IT Professionals will be an inclusive focus with the new direction of future LKNEDC and are here to help. We will continue to be a source of mentorship and resources as needed by existing orgs.

    Posted by Joseph Miller | June 21, 2024, 2:27 pm
  4. I wonder if this has anything to do with the fact that there’s not much space remaining in the LKN area for large-scale economic development growth. Ryan has done an outstanding job attracting industrial business growth over the past decade and should be held in high regard.

    Posted by Sonny Lafond | June 23, 2024, 2:26 pm

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