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

Bob Joyce
Economic Development Executive Director
Sanford Area Growth Alliance

NCEDA named Sanford Area Growth Alliance Economic Development Executive Director, Bob Joyce, its 2020 Economic Developer of the Year.

“Bob Joyce is one of the most thorough, hardworking and meticulous economic developers I have ever seen,” said Mike Smith, Bob’s co-worker and nominator.  “His level of detail and knowledge of Sanford and Lee County allowed the community to win several exceptionally competitive projects.”

Bob has had a long career in economic development and is responsible for large wins and projects for his community. His career in the private and public sector included: banking, insurance, economic development, non-profits, and more. Bob is a lifelong Sanford resident.

Previous Honorees

2019: Michael Haley – Wake County Economic Development
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