by Aaron Burns

HUNTERSVILLE – Jerry Broadway never thought he’d end up in economic development when he graduated from Old Dominion University in 1972 with a degree in English.

The industry wound up becoming a passion for Broadway, a Troy, N.C.-native who has served as the executive director of the Lake Norman Regional Economic Development Corporation since July 2006.

He expects to retire at the end of January, but said he would stay to help the transition.

That said, Broadway is eager to begin the next phase of his life.

“I’ve reached the ripe age of 65 and it seemed like everything lined up (for retirement),” he said. “My wife (Linda) and I talked it over and we decided it was the right time to do it. Everyone has told me the only question I’ll ask myself is, ‘Why didn’t I do it earlier?’”

During his tenure, Broadway has left an impact on the region.

“Jerry has been invaluable to our community and our economy,” Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce President Bill Russell said. “We’ve been able to grow a lot in the time he’s served as executive director of the Regional Economic Development Corporation.”

Broadway said part of the growth the region has enjoyed is courtesy of the area boards working to attract new businesses.

Huntersville Commissioner Ron Julian praised Broadway.

“Jerry has been instrumental in bringing in companies to balance our taxes,” Julian said in a November meeting.

One of the biggest feathers in Broadway’s cap is ABB, a world-renowned automation and power technology corporation that built a plant in Huntersville..

“The most satisfying part is knowing I’ve been able to impact people’s lives in a positive way,” Bradbury said. “Helping people find jobs who may have been unemployed for a while is the most satisfying part.”

Even in retirement, Broadway may be involved in economic development.

“I wouldn’t mind still being involved in some way, whether that’s with economic planning, on a project-by-project basis or however I’m needed,” he said.

“It’s been good to get knowledge of the corporate and public sides of the economic development sector. It’s been a lot of fun.”