The NCEDA Economic Developer of the Year Award

NCEDA presents an annual award to the individual who best exemplifies leadership in the state’s economic development efforts. The North Carolina Economic Developer of the Year award is given in recognition of the winner’s contributions to expansions and projects completed during the previous calendar year.

Our Current Honoree

Michael Haley
Executive Director
Wake County Economic Development

NCEDA named Wake County Economic Development Director Michael Haley its 2019 Economic Developer of the Year. In economic development, leadership matters – there’s just no substitute for it,” said NCEDA Immediate Past President Mark Pope upon announcing the selection. “Michael’s many talents helped Wake County win major relocations and expansions such as Pendo, TrialCard, Arch Capital and Advance Auto Parts, as well as Amazon’s $200 million fulfillment center.” Pope also noted that Consultant Connect, a national consortium of corporate location advisers and business recruiters, had recently named Haley to its list of Top 50 North American Economic Developers.

Haley oversees Wake County Economic Development, a program of the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce that works closely with county and municipal governments as well as local businesses and educational partners in bringing new jobs, companies and economic investment to Wake County. He was previously director of public policy at the NC Department of Commerce. A native of Jacksonville, NC, Haley holds a BA from the UNC Chapel Hill and a MA from East Carolina University. He and his family live in Raleigh.

Previous Honorees

2018: Norris Tolson – Carolinas Gateway Partnership
2017: Wanda Yuhas – Pitt County Development Commission
2016:  Chris Platé – Monroe-Union County Economic Development
2015:  Sandy Dunbeck – High Point Economic Development Corporation
2012:  Sam Powers – City of Asheville
2011:  Tom Johnson – Rutherford County Economic Development Corporation
2011:  Mark Pope – Lenoir County Economic Development Department
2010:  Don Porter – Raeford-Hoke County Economic Development Commission
2010:  Scott Millar – Catawba County Economic Development Corporation
2009:  Donny Hicks – Gaston County Economic Development Commission
2008:  Joanna Thompson – Wayne County Development Alliance
2007:  Ken Atkins – Wake County Economic Development
2006:  Jane Smith – North Carolina Southeast Partnership
2005: Mac Williams – Alamance County Chamber of Commerce