• Centennial Campus Hires Strategic Partnerships Director

    Rodney L. Carson, the Director of Economic Development for the Central Florida Development Council, has been hired by the Centennial Campus Partnership Office to oversee strategic partnerships for the research campus. Carson started in January.

    The newly created position is part of Centennial Campus’s long-term growth strategy to attract more highly qualified partners that fit well with the university’s major research thrust areas, which include health and well-being, energy and environment, safety and security, and educational innovation. Carson reports to Dennis Kekas, associate vice chancellor of the Centennial Campus Partnership Office.

     “We had a lot of well-qualified candidates for this position,” said Kekas, “but Rodney’s background and experience were the ideal fit for what we want going forward. This is an exciting time for Centennial Campus and Rodney’s skills are going to be invaluable to us as we seek new partnerships and develop new collaborations across a broad range of industries.”

     As head of the economic development activities for Polk County in Florida, Carson managed a budget of $4.4 million and a staff of 11 full-time employees. In addition to managing the county’s economic development incentive fund and negotiating incentive offerings with prospective businesses, he was also responsible for managing the county’s Small Business Development Center the development council’s private sector board.  Carson was responsible for attracting nearly $1.8 billion in capital investment in 15 years, which resulted in more than 9,800 initial jobs.

     Prior to his position in Florida, Carson was the Vice President of Economic Development with the Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce and was a Senior Economic Development Executive with the Progress Energy Service Company in Florida. He was also Director of International Development for the Wake County Economic Development Program and was the business manager and owner of O.S. Management, Inc.

     “I am very excited to be joining the Centennial Campus Partnership Office at NC State,” said Carson. “Not only is Centennial a world-class campus, but this is an incredibly exciting time to be building relationships with corporate, governmental and non-profit partners. Companies and government agencies are realizing that they can maximize their resources in research and development by partnering with NC State, and Centennial Campus is the perfect place to strengthen those relationships. I can’t wait to get started.”

    Carson holds an MBA from UNC-Chapel Hill and he received his Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

    January 7, 2013


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