WASHINGTON, July 30, 2014—Scott T. Hamilton, president and CEO of AdvantageWest Economic Development Group, has been appointed executive director of the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), a partnership of federal, state, and local government working for sustainable community and economic development in Appalachia. Hamilton begins his appointment in September.
Scott T. Hamilton has been appointed executive director of the Appalachian Regional Commission. Hamilton has been with the AdvantageWest Economic Development Group for nearly a decade, serving as its president and CEO since 2009. (Photo courtesy of AdvantageWest)
AdvantageWest is a nonprofit regional economic development organization that has served the western region of North Carolina, an area of about 10,000 square miles, since 1994. Each year ARC provides funding for economic development projects in the 13-state Appalachian Region, including western North Carolina, in areas such as business development, education and job training, telecommunications, infrastructure, community development, housing, and transportation. During Hamilton's nine-year tenure at AdvantageWest—the past five years as head of the organization—ARC grants have helped support AdvantageWest programs such as Blue Ridge Food Ventures.
ARC Federal Co-Chair Earl F. Gohl said he was "very pleased that Scott is joining the Commission as its executive director. He is a longtime resident of the Region whose career has focused on creating stronger economies in rural North Carolina. His history of leadership in working collaboratively and building partnerships to attract investment fits nicely with the mission of the Appalachian Regional Commission."
The 2014 states' co-chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley, said that "on behalf of the Appalachian Regional Commission, I welcome Scott Hamilton as the new executive director. Having lived and worked in Appalachia for decades, Scott understands the Region and its assets and challenges. He has the experience, leadership skills, and vision to develop and advance programs that respond to the needs of Appalachian residents."
W. Thomas (Tom) Alexander, chair of the AdvantageWest board of directors, said that "we are extremely proud that one of western North Carolina's own was selected to take the helm at the Appalachian Regional Commission. This appointment certainly recognizes his years of successfully leading economic development efforts across our broad geographic region. We offer our heartfelt congratulations to Scott and appreciate his commitment to job creation in our area."
Hamilton stated that he was "humbled about the confidence the Appalachian Regional Commission has put in me. It will be an exciting challenge to go from the leadership of a 23-county organization to one covering 13 states, and I am grateful for the opportunity."