Hunter Receives FUED Educational Scholarship
Each year Friends Underwriting Economic Development (FUED) seeks to identify outstanding practitioners and to recognize and support their educational and professional development. The organization looks to honor individuals who have contributed to the profession, had a strong commitment to high professional and personal standards, and were highly successful in achieving their goals while earning the respect of their peers and associates. FUED has awarded one of this year’s annual scholarships to Rhonda Hunter, Operations Director at Lincoln Economic Development Association (LEDA).
Friends Underwriting Economic Development (FUED) was started in 2007 as a group of individuals interested in supporting economic development initiatives in the Charlotte region. One of their main objectives is to support the educational and professional advancement of the economic development professionals in the 16-county region.
Rhonda celebrated her 10th Anniversary with LEDA in January 2010. Rhonda said “Educational opportunities allow us to grow our skill-set knowledge to provide us with the tool box of resources that we need to help make our community grow and prosper. I am deeply appreciative of FUED awarding me yet another opportunity to give back to the community.”
Rhonda has completed Basic Economic Development and Economic Development Marketing & Attraction at Georgia Tech. With the scholarship Rhonda plans to return to Georgia Tech in Atlanta to take an IEDC International Economic Development Council sponsored training the “Entrepreneurial & Small Business Development” and “Is Your Community ready for a business incubator?”
These trainings will assist LEDA as it explores the idea of “Economic Gardening” a concept that offers ways to grow more jobs through entrepreneurial activity rather than recruiting. LEDA’s focus will be the stage-two companies, which have $1 million worth of sales and 10-99 employees, wanting to expand. Lincoln County has 283 companies in stage two. Economic Gardening identifies those companies in the local community and then tries to assist them in being able to grow. Some business owners want to grow, but are not sure how to start the process or where to get their information. That is where LEDA could step in.
Lincoln Economic Development Association is a private, 501c(3) non-profit corporation charged with facilitating industrial and office development in Lincolnton and Lincoln County. LEDA’s mission is to foster an economic environment that promotes an enhancement of the standard of living by creating more and better jobs for the citizens of Lincolnton and Lincoln County and an increased and diversified tax base to provide needed community services. The organization’s goals include retention and expansion of existing business; attraction of diversified base industries and improvement of the overall business climate within Lincolnton and Lincoln County.