The Southern Economic Development Council (SEDC), the oldest and largest regional economic development associations in North America, is pleased to announce Mark Whitley, Executive Director of the Roane / Jackson County Development Authority has been selected to be the state director for West Virginia on the SEDC Board of Directors. The state director will serve a two-year term on SEDC’s board. Whitley is a dedicated long-time SEDC member for over 20 years. He was chosen for this position by his peers in economic development within the state of West Virginia.

“Mark Whitley is a consummate professional, his experience and leadership will not only help us meet our goals but also continue our efforts in raising the bar for SEDC and our membership,” past state director Robbie Morris said.

The Southern Economic Development Council is a 990 member, non-profit organization composed of a broad cross-section of active and influential industrial and economic developers from business and industry, utilities, transportation, financial, and education institutions, chambers of commerce, and local, regional, and state development agencies. Members in the 17-state area share a common interest: the promotion and enhancement of the economic development profession. The SEDC region includes the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland and the District of Columbia, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.

“I’m truly honored to have been selected by my peers for this important position,” Whitley said. “Economic development is facing a difficult year with worldwide COVID-19 and domestic civil unrest. I believe with the challenges facing us that there exist new and exciting opportunities as well. I believe there will be a renewed interest in locating manufacturing, distribution, warehousing, and production in more rural communities in the South, and I believe West Virginia will benefit greatly from new investment.”