Improving Business in the Wilmington Region
2014 Annual Meeting Highlights
Over 200 WBD members and guests attended the organization’s annual meeting on October 9th at UNC Wilmington’s Burney Center. The gathering included valuable networking among attendees, as well as an engaging line-up of speakers addressing a variety of important subjects.
After watching a video that featured key business leaders, participants were welcomed by Dickson McLean, chairman of WBD. “The past year has been a very successful one,” he said, reviewing economic impact data from recent announcements. “Both private-sector and local government investors alike achieve a measurable, meaningful and reliable rate-of-return on their financial commitment to WBD and its work,” McLean told the gathering.
WBD Chief Executive Office Scott Satterfield offered details on marketing and business retention programs. “We’re staying on track with our unmatched commitment to customer service and support for companies considering Greater Wilmington for expansions and relocations,” Satterfield said. The organization’s project portfolio included 31 clients encompassing the potential creation of nearly 5,000 jobs and the possible capital investment of more than $1 billion, he said.
The arrival of Acme Smoked Fish to Pender County was rippling benefits in the form of new infrastructure that will boost the county’s long-range potential. Additional efforts were underway with CSX Corp. and the N.C. DOT’s Rail Division to improve the region’s rail connectivity, while collaboration with Duke Energy’s Site Readiness Program was enhancing the appeal of Pender Commerce Park and the BASF industrial property. “The leadership support of our government partners, the technical assistance we rely on from our allies, the critical financial participation of our Legacy Investors, and the business savvy we count on from all WBD members and supporters – all these things are the building blocks for sustaining regional economic vitality,” Satterfield said.
North Carolina business legends Mac Everett and Bobby Long shared their insights about what the region can expect in May 2017 when the Wells Fargo Championship is held at Wilmington’s Eagle Point Country Club. It will be the first time in 47 years that the city has been a part of the PGA tour. “Millions of eyes from all over the world will be focused on Wilmington,” said Long. WBD is working closely with tournament organizers and other local organizations to ensure the event showcases the region as a destination both for golfers and businesses.
“As you can see, WBD has plenty of great things going on and even more excitement we can look forward to,” Chairman Dickson McLean told the gathering. Staying globally competitive requires strong, sustained leadership from a capable and committed economic development organization,” McLean said. “In our region, WBD is that organization.”