Blackwell Named Top Industry Leader

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Blackwell Named Top Industry Leader

By Daja Dial

When you think of the word leader, what do you think? When you think of economic development leadership, who do you think of?

While the definition of a leader varies and while we definitely have standout leadership on the state and local level, a name that is being recognized nationally for leadership in economic development, is our very own executive director of the Oconee Economic Alliance, Richard Blackwell.

Blackwell has been named a top economic development leader by Trade & Industry Magazine, landing a spot amongst leaders from states like New York and Texas. The magazine, in their December 2017 issue, named nine individuals from across the country who they consider “elite [insiders] in the economic development world.”

It is no surprise that Blackwell, who joined the Oconee Economic Alliance in April 2012, is amongst the country’s top “movers and shakers in economic development agencies…” Since his arrival, Blackwell has helped land 32 economic development projects within Oconee County that yielded over $400 million in new taxable capital investment and over 1,400 new jobs. The University of South Carolina graduate has definitely stayed true to his goal of, “[strengthening] Oconee’s economy and [enhancing] its global competitiveness by myriad activities.”

Trade & Industry Magazine recognizes the impressive background and work of Richard Blackwell and so do we. We are lucky to have one of the country’s best and brightest insiders leading the economic development front right here in Oconee County.

Read the Trade & Industry Development article HERE.

Daja B. Dial is the Marketing and Communications Manager of Oconee Economic Alliance, which is a public-private nonprofit effort to accelerate job creation and capital investment, increase per capita income, diversify the local tax base and generate awareness of Oconee County as a business location. To learn more visit

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