Emerging Leader 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 Emerging Leader 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

Sam Rauf
Senior Economic Development Manager
Wake County Economic Development

NCEDA named Sam Rauf it’s 2022 Emerging Leader of the Year.

In a short amount of time, Sam has established himself as a dynamic and knowledgeable professional within the economic development community. He joined the Chatham County Economic Development Corporation in October 2019 and took om increasing responsibilities, graduating from project manager to senior project manager. While in Chatham County, Sam worked on some of the largest projects that have passed through North Carolina. In doing so, he built partnerships throughout the county, region, and state, strengthening economic developments not only in his home base of Chatham, but the Triangle and Triad regions as well. Sam was one of the key players in the VinFast announcement that is slated to bring billions in investment and thousands of jobs to North Carolina.

He is now the Senior Economic Development Manager for Wake County Economic Development. Sam serves as the definition of a leader and has done truly outstanding work for someone still in the beginnings of their career.

Previous Honorees

2021: Alyssa Byrd – Lee & Associates
2020: Dr. Laura Rowley – NC Biotechnology Center
2018: Marvin Price – Charlotte Regional Partnership
2017: Garrett Owens – Winston-Salem Business Inc.