Orlando, Fla. – Jay Schwedler, president and CEO of Sumter Economic Development, has been selected as a winner in the economic development profession’s “40 Under 40” awards, the first-ever awards program recognizing young talent in the economic development profession.
A five-member selection committee chose the winners from a pool of more than 150 candidates based on their exceptional contributions to the economic development industry. The award’s program was managed by Development Counsellors International (DCI), a New York-based firm that specializes in economic development marketing.
Greg A. Thompson, chairman of the Sumter Development Board, said Schwedler’s level of accomplishments merit such an honor.
“Our board recognized when we hired Jay that he had the potential to be an economic development star and a champion for our community,” Thompson said. “We’re always pleased when we get it right, and this time we certainly did. We look forward to many more great new things from Jay in the future.”
Born and raised in Michigan, Schwedler came to South Carolina to attend Clemson’s prestigious economic development program, from which he earned a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural and Applied Economics. His first leadership role was as the executive director of the Lee County Development Board. In 1999, Jay returned to his home state of Michigan where he ran Lapeer County’s economic development efforts, and later became Managing Director of International Business at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. He returned to South Carolina in 2005 as the assistant director of the Florence County Economic Development Partnership. He was hired by Sumter County in 2006 as president and CEO, and in 2011 scored a career best $534 million, 1,700-job announcement when Continental Tire North America chose Sumter for a massive new tire manufacturing plant.
“The people chosen by the selection committee represent a bright future for the economic development world,” said Andy Levine, president of DCI. “They are a new breed of results-driven, place makers. We’re very pleased to see Jay among the winners.”
DCI officially announced the winners last night at an awards reception during the International Economic Development Council Leadership Summit in Orlando and will feature an in-depth profile of each on its website during 2013.
For more information on DCI’s “40 Under 40” winners, visit www.aboutdci.com/40under40.
Considered the leader in marketing places, Development Counsellors International (DCI) specializes in economic development and tourism marketing. The agency has worked for more than 400 cities, regions, states and countries since it was established in New York City in 1960. www.aboutdci.com