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Greenville Business Magazine

Upstate Alliance Honors Nancy Whitworth

Aug 31, 2018 04:07PM ● By Kathleen Maris

Photo: Upstate SC Alliance President & CEO John Lummus (left) and Chairman Steve Cooper (right) present the 2018 Local Economic Developer of the Year award to Greenville Deputy City Manager Nancy Whitworth (center) on Aug. 29.

The City of Greenville’s longtime economic developer, Nancy Whitworth, was recognized as Local Economic Developer of the Year by the Upstate SC Alliance.

The regional economic development organization bestowed the award at its 2018 Mid-Year Meeting, which drew more than 240 leaders from across the Upstate to the Crowne Plaza Greenville.

Whitworth’s accomplishments as director of economic development and most recently deputy city manager include implementing an award-winning downtown revitalization strategy, managing the Greenville Local Development Corporation, creating public/private partnerships that have attracted more than $980 million in capital investment, and streamlining the city’s business permitting process.

Under Whitworth’s economic development leadership, city-wide sales within Greenville have increased 50 percent in the last 10 years, and in 2017, total downtown sales exceeded $2 billion for the first time ever.

“Nancy is a driving force in Greenville’s economic development, and her hard work and dedication are evident in the numerous successful public-private partnerships throughout the city,” said John Castile, outgoing Greenville city manager who has worked with Whitworth a number of years. “Greenville’s revitalization and growth did not happen by chance. Rather, they are the result of the commitment and leadership of public servants like Nancy. She is a role model and a consummate professional, and I cannot think of anyone more deserving of this award.”

"We are thrilled Nancy is being recognized for her work growing businesses and recruiting new industries to our vibrant city,” said Greenville City Council Member Amy Ryberg Doyle, who also serves on the Upstate SC Alliance Executive Committee. “What Nancy understands best is that, at the core of every great deal, there is an opportunity to provide jobs for the people of Greenville."  

During the event, the group also continued its #TeamUpstate storytelling initiative through a video story and panel discussion focused on GE Renewable Energy in Clinton, Lonza in Greenwood, the Pickens Scholar Technician® Program, the Clemson University Vehicle Assembly Center, and Destination Oconee.

Panelists included: Paul Cain, Oconee County Council; Jonathan Coleman, Laurens County Development Corporation; Ray Farley, Alliance Pickens; Mark Farris, Greenville Area Development Corporation; and Heather Jones, Greenwood Partnership Alliance.

“We’re excited to share stories from across the Upstate that raise awareness for high-caliber career opportunities within our region, the collaborative initiatives in place to make sure we’re connecting students with real-world opportunities, maximizing academic partnerships to meet industry needs, and fostering quality of life to ensure our region is a community of choice for all,” said John Lummus, president & CEO of the Upstate SC Alliance.

As part of a series that will span the 10-county Upstate region, these video stories will also be used as tools to market the region to companies considering doing business within the Upstate.