Economic Development Contacts
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The Charlotte Chamber’s economic development team was recognized as the highest performing economic development organization for communities 250,001 – 1,000,000 in population by Atlas Advertising for 2011-2012. The team was also named as one of the Top 10 Economic Development Groups in the nation by Site Selection magazine two years in a row for their work in 2009 and 2010.
Jeff Edge, CEcD
Senior Vice President, Economic Development
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Jeff Edge heads up the Economic Development team at the Charlotte Chamber. The chamber’s Economic Development team has been a national leader in business attraction and expansion activities. Site Selection Magazine named them as one of the top 10 economic development groups in the nation for their work in 2009 and 2010. In 2012 and 2013, they were recognized at the International Economic Development Council annual conference as gold and silver medal winners as one of the highest performing economic development organizations in the world. The department has also received numerous awards for their work in attracting direct foreign investment. In 2006, the department created the award winning BusinessFirst Charlotte retention and expansion program in partnership with the City of Charlotte.
Edge’s primary focus is on the recruitment of corporate headquarters and manufacturing operations. His specialties for recruitment include the motorsports, energy and financial services industries. Several of the higher profile companies that Edge has assisted with locations in Charlotte include Carrier Corporation, General Motors, TJ Maxx, Illinois Tool Works, Stanley Black & Decker, BIC Corporation, Blue Bell Creameries, IKEA, Home Depot, Pactiv Corporation, Chicago Bridge & Iron, Siemens Energy, Time Warner Cable, NASCAR Hall of Fame, Jason’s Deli and Northeastern University.
Edge joined the Charlotte Chamber in November of 1988 as director of industrial development before rising to his current position in 2005.
Vice President, Economic Development
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Kati Hynes’ 14 years of economic development experience have enhanced her work on all types of projects. Her primary industry focuses are corporate headquarters, financial services, energy and health care. Over her economic development career, Hynes has worked with companies that include MetLife, Chiquita, Chobani, JELD-WEN, Kellogg, AREVA, LPL Financial, MSC Industrial Direct Co., SPX, Celgard, Maersk Line, Speed Channel, NASCAR Media Group, US Airways, Westinghouse, Toshiba, GMAC (Ally Financial), Citco Fund Services, Capgemini, American Red Cross, BAE Systems, Compass Group and XPO Logistics.
Hynes joined the Charlotte Chamber in April 2000 as director of economic development. She was promoted to vice president in 2005. Prior to joining the chamber, Hynes served in various roles at Browning Ferris Industries, MGM/UA Movie Production, Mattel, Inc. and the Carolina Panthers (NFL).
Vice President, Economic Development / Asian sector
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Eileen Cai joined the economic development staff to help expand the Chamber’s international reach to China and other parts of Asia.
Cai is involved in the recruitment of all sizes and types of business to Charlotte. She has travelled to China on recruitment trips with former North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue and Charlotte’s former Mayor, Anthony Foxx. Several of the higher profile companies that Eileen has assisted include Time Warner Cable, Mitsubishi (MNES), Pactera, Combi, Greenspring Energy, Jetion Solar, Yu Consulting and Zenta.
She earned a B.S. in Accounting and Business Administration from State University of New York. Her professional experience includes accounting, hospitality management and real estate development.
Prior to joining the Chamber Eileen lived in China, Switzerland, New York and Virginia. She is fluent in English and Mandarin Chinese.
Vice President Economic Development / European sector
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Sven Gerzer joined the Charlotte Chamber Sept. 1, 2012. Before joining the chamber, Gerzer held the post of director of the State of West Virginia European Office in Munich, Germany. He has worked in economic development for nearly 10 years. He also served as vice president of the Council of American States in Europe, representing the interests of all American states in Europe with national, regional and local governments as well as industry associations.
Companies that Gerzer has worked with in Charlotte include: AIG, Convergys, Kübler, Getzner, Octapharma and Flexi.
Gerzer is a native of Munich and holds a B.A. and an M.A. in International Studies from the University of South Carolina. He is bilingual in German and English.
Director, Economic Development Marketing
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Andrea Ware joined the economic development staff in 2008 to extend the chamber’s economic development marketing reach. She supports the economic development and research departments by creating materials and campaigns for economic development outreach, and by maintaining the economic development portion of the chamber’s web site and social media channels.
Prior to joining the chamber, Ware worked at The Charlotte Observer for 14 years as art director in New Ventures and Targeted Publications. She earned a B.A. in Communication Arts and a B.A. in English from East Carolina University. Ware is a graduate of the Basic Economic Development Course from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill School of Government. She also is a D.M.A.-certified marketing professional and has completed the I.E.D.C. Marketing and Attraction course. She is on the marketing and communication committee for Envision Charlotte.