CHRISTENSEN TO LEAD GREENSBORO PARTNERSHIP
"This is an exciting day for our community and for the Greensboro Partnership," said Lee Lloyd, Chairman of the Partnership. "Brent is a dynamic and energetic leader who has led highly successful economic development efforts at the local, regional and state level. He brings an extraordinary level of talent, relationships and experience to our community that will allow us to significantly raise our economic development profile, both nationally and internationally.“
Christensen has ties to North Carolina, having earned undergraduate degrees in economics and public policy from Duke University. He currently leads economic development efforts for the State of Mississippi, having been named to the top position at the Mississippi Development Authority by Governor Phil Bryant in April of 2012.
Previously, Christensen served for ten years as the President and CEO of the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce, where he led the operation of the Chamber, the Council for Economic Outreach (the economic development agency for the Gainesville, FL region) and the Gainesville Technology Enterprise Center, a high-tech business incubator. During Brent’s tenure, the Gainesville Chamber achieved the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's 5-Star Accreditation, placing it among the top one percent of chambers of commerce nationwide.
"I am thrilled to return to North Carolina, especially at a time when the economic development program statewide is being rejuvenated," said Christensen. "Greensboro is a great community with tremendous assets and is very well positioned for business success in the coming years. I look forward to working collaboratively with others in the community to realize our full potential."
The announcement today comes as the culmination of a national search process that was led by executive search firm Jorgenson Consulting Inc. The search committee consisted of community leaders, elected officials and Greensboro Partnership board members. "We were incredibly pleased by the quality of candidates that Jorgenson presented," said Chuck Burns, Chairman of the search committee. "We also worked to ensure that our finalist candidates met with a broad cross-section of leaders across our region, including business leaders and developers from both Greensboro and High Point, and government officials at the city and county level. We were impressed and pleased with the widespread support to hire Brent as our new President and CEO."
Nancy Vaughan, Mayor of Greensboro and a member of the search committee, said, "I am so pleased that Brent has chosen to lead the Partnership. I had the pleasure of meeting him while serving on the search committee, and I was impressed with his experience and passion for economic development. I know he will serve our city well."
"I commend the Partnership for being so inclusive in its process to find a new CEO,” said Jeff Phillips, Guilford County Commissioner and a member of the search committee. “I am very confident that Brent’s experience and accomplishments will prove to be extremely beneficial for our region, and I'm really looking forward to working with him to advance our economic development efforts in Guilford County."
"Brent has experience in working with colleges and universities, having formed a great partnership with the University of Florida while in Gainesville,” said Dr. Harold Martin, Chancellor of NC A&T State University and a member of the search committee. “We look forward to working with him to leverage our community's higher education assets while exploring new strategies for creating job opportunities for our graduates and new entrepreneurial enterprises through our technology transfer and commercialization efforts."
Chris Chung, CEO of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina and responsible for overseeing the state’s efforts in business recruitment and retention, said, “Brent is a wellrespected professional economic developer who has served at the helm of a formidable competitor state in the industrial recruitment business. Rather than having to compete with him for the same employers that North Carolina is pursuing, I’m glad we can welcome him as the newest member of the North Carolina team, and I congratulate the Greensboro Partnership on an excellent decision. We look forward to an even stronger working relationship with the Partnership in the coming months and years."
Christensen holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of South Florida. He and his wife, Holly, have three children: Connor (17), Will (14) and Annabeth (10). He will assume his new role at the Greensboro Partnership no later than June 1, 2015.
About the Greensboro Partnership The Greensboro Partnership is the principal economic and community development organization in Greensboro, North Carolina. Through the work of its four business units – Action Greensboro, Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development, and Entrepreneur Connection – the Partnership works to develop a vibrant community that creates, expands, and attracts business while advancing the quality of life for all. For more information on the mission of the Greensboro Partnership, visit www.greensboropartnership.com."
- A Press Release