HILTON HEAD — The South Carolina Economic Developers’ Association (SCEDA) awarded Director of Newberry County Economic Development Rick Farmer the Local Developer of the Year award during the 2018 SCEDA Annual Conference, held in May at the Sonesta Resort in Hilton Head.
Farmer is 20-year veteran of economic development and longtime member of SCEDA. Farmer began his career as a journalist working for three newspapers in South Carolina. He then entered the economic development field in 1998 as a research analyst for the Sumter County Development Board. In 2015, Farmer transitioned to his current position as the director of Newberry County Economic Development. His experience includes navigating expansions and economic development announcements with companies including Falcon Boats, Thermaflo and MM Technics, among others. Most recently, Farmer was instrumental in the $380 million investment in Newberry County by South Korean-based Samsung Home Appliances.
“It’s always great to win the praise of others, but when that praise comes from your peers, it’s even sweeter. I’m honored and humbled to receive this recognition,” Farmer said of receiving the SCEDA Local Developer of the Year award.
Farmer is a graduate of the South Carolina Economic Developer’s School, the Economic Development Institute at the University of Oklahoma, and is a South Carolina Certified Economic Developer (SCCED). Farmer was nominated for the award by S&ME, Inc.’s Marty Baltzegar.
“I’ve known Rick Farmer for his entire 20-year career in economic development,” said Baltzegar. “As business allies, we’ve worked together on numerous projects throughout the years. Through it all, I’ve always found Rick to be dedicated, smart, respected and reliable. I think the key characteristic that makes Rick successful in economic development is his ability to creatively tackle challenges. Like he did with MM Technics and Samsung, Rick took dramatically different approaches to these projects based on the needs of the companies.”
Since 2005, the SCEDA Local Developer of the Year Award has been earned by hard working and dedicated developers in the Palmetto State. The award criteria include leading innovative programs, overcoming obstacles, impactful efforts in the community, consistent involvement with SCEDA, professional development and personal traits.