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Jeremy Stratton Named New New President & CEO of El Dorado Chamber of Commerce

The El Dorado Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Jeremy Stratton will be the new Chamber President & CEO. Stratton officially begins work at the Chamber on March 1, 2014.
El Dorado -- (El Dorado Chamber of Commerce) The El Dorado Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Jeremy Stratton will be the new Chamber President & CEO. Stratton officially begins work at the Chamber on March 1, 2014.

“Our selection committee looked for talent, integrity and someone with a passion for community and experience in economic development,” said Bill Luther, Chamber of Commerce Board Chair and leader of the search committee. “Union County industries have over a billion dollars of projects underway today. We have an award-winning downtown about to undergo another renaissance on the heels of CNN proclaiming us one of America's best small town comebacks. We now have three companies that are traded on the NYSE and headquartered in El Dorado. We need someone who can take all of this to the next level. We are confident we have found that person in Jeremy.”

Stratton is as a Certified Economic Developer through the International Economic Development Council. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and has a Master of Science in planning with a specialty in economic development from the University of Tennessee.

Admittedly, Stratton wasn’t familiar with El Dorado before researching and visiting the area, but he was immediately impressed with the area, the El Dorado Promise program, the leaders he met and what he learned about future regional projects. Stratton’s first rule of business is to get to know the people and the area.

“Since I am moving from Virginia and a different part of the country, it will be incumbent on me to develop good working relationships with community leaders, elected officials, state economic development officials and real estate site consultants” Stratton said. “This will take time, but is the most important aspect of being successful down the road. Also, I need to get a good handle on what the Chamber Board wants to accomplish and help on economic development projects that may need gentle push. I have some ideas on some programs and projects that may help El Dorado, but want to work in concert with the Board and the community for good alignment.”

Stratton has a proven track record in economic development, most recently as the director of the City of Danville Office of Economic Development in Danville, Va. Since 2007, he recruited 16 new companies and 9 expansions, which resulted in the commitment of 2,500 new jobs and $310,000,000 in new capital investment. Additionally, he helped a Polish company locate a sofa and mattress manufacturing facility in Danville, a project that created 813 jobs and was a $36,300,000 investment. He also worked with developers on the purchase and redevelopment of warehouse building into a $14 million project with 120 apartments and office space for a pharmaceutical company, which resulted in a $7,500,000 investment and 150 jobs.

“He has traveled the globe to attract new investment in his community and has developed extensive relationships with overseas companies and investors,” Luther said. “I spoke with a CEO who stated Jeremy is famous in China and that investors love him.”

Prior to working his work for the City of Danville, Stratton spent seven years as the vice president of the Carolinas Gateway Partnership in Rocky Mount, N.C. There, he recruited 22 new companies and 9 expansions, which resulted in the commitment of 4,247 new jobs and $243,000,000 in new capital investment. He also partnered with NC State, ECU, North Carolina Wesleyan College, City of Rocky Mount, and Nash County on the construction of Gateway Technology Center; formed the GTC, Inc. Board; and helped establish on-site advanced engineering courses at the center. Additionally, Stratton spearheaded efforts to locate a bakery near Rocky Mount, resulting in $17 million and 700 jobs. He led efforts to locate West Corporation and their state-of-the-art customer service center in Rocky Mount that employs 900 people.

He spent time as both the assistant director and research assistant at the Loudon County Economic Development in Loudon County, Tenn. and the development specialist at the Economic Development Partnership in Aiken, S.C.

Stratton has served as secretary of the Dan River Business Development Center Board, chairman of the Southern Virginia Regional Alliance Board, secretary of the Danville Development Council and member of the Danville Community College Workforce Services Board. He is also a member of the Virginia Economic Development Association, the Southern Economic Development Council and the International Economic Development Council.

Stratton anticipates quickly getting involved with and learning from the community.
“I am looking forward to meeting all the good people of the region, working with the Chamber staff and learning from the community what needs to be done to move El Dorado to greater heights,” Stratton said. “I am very impressed with how friendly and genuine the people in the community are, and I am coming to El Dorado to learn from everybody.”


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