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Published on April 02, 2024
Lori Funderwhite Chosen as Fayetteville's New Economic Development Director for Major Redevelopment ProjectSource: City of Fayetteville Government Website

The City of Fayetteville has made their choice for a new Economic Development Director, and she's looking to quickly start making a mark. Lori Funderwhite, who comes with a Certified Economic Development professional title, is slated to start her new role on April 15. She leaves behind her current post as the Economic Development Manager for the City of Tamarac in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale Metro Region of Florida, ready to face new challenges up in Georgia.

City Manager Ray Gibson was keen to share that the search for the ideal candidate was extensive, and he believes Funderwhite has what it takes to "help us to dramatically improve the local community's economy," according to a statement obtained by the City of Fayetteville's website. One major project on the table is the redevelopment of the Highway 85 North corridor, a task Gibson is confident Funderwhite can handle given her successful track record in Tamarac.

The search for Fayetteville's next Economic Development leader was orchestrated by Sumter Local Government Consulting, which matched the city with a list of highly-qualified candidates. "Not only did they match us up with highly-qualified candidates, but they also helped us to identify the individuals who would provide the best fit with our City culture and our existing team," Gibson explained. He added with enthusiasm, "We are excited that Lori accepted our offer to join us here at the City of Fayetteville," according to the City of Fayetteville's website.

Funderwhite seemed just as excited about the transition, seeing a personal connection with Fayetteville's historic ambiance. She reminisced about her hometown's similar Main Street vibe and expressed an affinity for Fayetteville's charm and allure. Her first aim will be to "reach out to key stakeholders in Fayetteville and work with them to develop an updated Economic Development Strategy," Funderwhite told the City of Fayetteville's website. This strategy is a crucial part of the City’s overarching Strategic Plan.

Drawing a playful parallel with the classic tale of "Goldilocks and the Three Bears," Funderwhite described her journey from Chicago to Fort Lauderdale and finally settling in Fayetteville. "Chicago was too cold, Fort Lauderdale was too hot, but Fayetteville will be just right," she quipped. With this lighthearted sentiment, Funderwhite aims to bring her expertise and warm approach to economic development to the City of Fayetteville.