William S. “Bill” Early, an experienced economic development leader with 29 years of experience in North Carolina, has been tapped as the executive director of Brunswick Business & Industry Development (BBID). Earlier this year, Brunswick County Commissioners voted to contract with BBID to handle the county’s industry recruitment efforts following the announcement by Mike Hargett, the county’s director of economic development and planning, that he would retire at the end of 2017.
“The other foundation board members and I were excited when Brunswick County chose to contract with our organization,” says Jason McLeod, Chairman of Brunswick Business & Industry Development. “Our goal from the outset was to bring in a proven economic development professional with the leadership skills, track record, connections and gravitas to jump-start Brunswick County’s economic development efforts. We were fortunate that a number of highly qualified, extremely capable men and women expressed interest. After two rounds of interviews, Bill Early emerged as the clear choice for Brunswick County, and we are excited that he will be leading our efforts.”
“First, I would like to thank Jason McLeod and the other private sector leaders on the foundation board for stepping up to the plate and leading this charge,” said Frank Williams, Chairman of the Brunswick County Board of Commissioners. “We value the input and perspective of those who lead businesses in our community, and we are grateful for their commitment to our economic development efforts. As a member of the interview committee, I had the opportunity to hear from Bill Early and the other candidates who expressed interest in coming to Brunswick County. Bill demonstrated the skills, traits and leadership ability needed to take our economic development efforts to the next level, and I look forward to him taking the helm.”
“For the past 29 years, I have worked in a very rural county with limited infrastructure and resources,” said Early. “During that time, we had a great deal of success in spite of those obstacles. I’ve studied Brunswick County, and am extremely impressed with what we have to offer. Brunswick County is accessible by rail and air, sits in close proximity to the Port of Wilmington, is easily accessible from Interstates 40 and 95, and has great quality of life. We have a great product to sell, and I look forward to getting to work.”
About William S. “Bill” Early
Bill Early is a proven leader with 29 years of economic development experience in Hertford County, North Carolina. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Business Management from N.C. State University in 1982. Early joined the Hertford County Economic Development Commission in December 1988 and served as executive director until December 2017. During his tenure he led 64 business recruitment or expansion projects resulting in $1,164,653,305 in investment and 1,993 jobs. He also served as the county’s zoning and planning administrator from November 1996 until December 2017. Early received the N.C. Economic Developers Association’s Jack Ervin/Area Development Magazine Scholarship in 1991 and was recognized as the association’s “Practitioner of the Year” in 1999. In 2001 he was named the “Economic Development Leader of the Year” by the Eastern Center for Regional Development.
About Brunswick Business & Industry Development
The Brunswick County Economic Development Foundation, Inc., dba Brunswick Business & Industry Development (BBID), is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to promoting economic development in Brunswick County, North Carolina. The foundation is governed by a fifteen-member board of directors.