Rising Star of the Week: Kristin Fletcher

May 20, 2013

Kristin Fletcher 40 Under 40Kristin Fletcher, 35, is the executive vice president of the Cleveland County Economic Development Partnership in Shelby, North Carolina. DCI is pleased to honor her as a winner of our 40 Under 40 awards, the first-ever competition to identify the economic development profession’s rising stars.

Over the past ten years, Kristin’s career has spanned politics, finance, marketing, public relations and economic development. For the past seven years, Kristin has been responsible for industrial recruitment and business development for Cleveland County. Under her leadership, the Cleveland County Economic Development Partnership has announced more than 40 successful project locations and expansions, totaling more than $4.7 billion in new capital investment and 2,600 new jobs.

Kristin assisted in developing a 142-acre Foothills Commerce Center, working with local officials with the City of Shelby, Cleveland County and the Golden Leaf Foundation’s Community Assistance Program on collaboratively funding a 100,000-square-foot shell building in the park. In 2012, Kristin and her team recruited a German solar component manufacturer, Schletter, Inc., that purchased the Foothills Commerce Center for its U.S. headquarters. With 305 new jobs, this is one of the largest job-creation projects for Cleveland County that has been announced in the last 15 years.

In 2010, Kristin and her team recruited one of the largest manufacturing projects announced in the State of North Carolina that year: Clearwater Paper Corporation. Clearwater Paper has invested over $280,000,000 into their project which will create 280 new jobs.

What have you learned so far in your career? You’re only as good as the team you have behind you. In economic development, teamwork and collaboration mean everything.

What’s the most overlooked issue facing economic development? Providing great customer service has become a lost art. It should be a priority even in the economic development profession. We serve many ‘customers’ in economic development; whether it be the site selection consultant, the client or existing companies in our own communities, and when we provide that level of care to them it can be very impactful.

Where do you see yourself in five years? I don’t think I can answer that. I can hardly forecast what I’ll be doing five days from now, let alone five years from now!

Kristin graduated from North Carolina State University, receiving her Bachelor’s degree in political science. She is currently the Chair of the Charlotte Regional Partnership’s Economic Advisory Council, which is comprised of economic development leadership from the 16 County Charlotte Region. Kristin has served and continues to serve on a variety of boards and associations including the North Carolina State University Industrial Extension Services Advisory Board of Directors, Cleveland County Manufacturer’s Roundtable, Cleveland County YMCA Board of Directors and United Way Board of Directors. She is actively involved in the North Carolina Economic Developer’s Association, as well as the International Economic Development Council.

Cleveland County Economic Development Partnership

The Cleveland County Economic Development Partnership works to actively recruit new industry and create in Cleveland County a healthy and diverse environment for existing, expanding, and new businesses, as well as increase job opportunities. To this end, the Partnership works to promote the county as a single economic entity, provides information and services to communities and businesses, and works in a complementary manner with local and regional economic development programs. For more information, visit www.ccedp.com

Susan Brake

Written by Susan Brake

Susan Brake is Vice President at DCI overseeing the digital media strategy for all the firm's economic development clients. Since joining the company, she has effectively leveraged traditional and social media tactics to reach target audiences for her clients large and small.

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