The president and CEO of AdvantageWest Economic Development Group, Scott T. Hamilton, has been appointed executive director of the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC). With its headquarters in Washington, D.C., ARC is a regional economic development agency that represents a partnership of federal, state, and local government working for sustainable community and economic development in Appalachia. Hamilton begins his appointment on September 8.
AdvantageWest is a nonprofit regional economic development organization that has served the western region of North Carolina 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 stated he is "very pleased that Scott is joining the Commission as its executive director. he is a long-time 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 ARC."
The states' co-chair of the ARC, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley, says, "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."
"This is a tremendous opportunity for Scott and we are extremely proud that one of Western North Carolina's own was selected to take the help at the ARC," says W. Thomas (Tom) Alexander, chair of the AdvantageWest board of directors. "This appointment certainly recognizes his years of successfully leading economic development efrforts across our broad geographic region. We offer our heartfelt congratulations to Scott and appreciate his commitment to job creation in our area."