HUNTERSVILLE – The Lake Norman Regional Economic Development Corporation’s search for Jerry Broadway’s replacement is over.

The EDC hired Ryan McDaniels, a former vice president for business recruiting at Cabarrus Economic Development, to replace Broadway, who announced his retirement late last year.

McDaniels, a 33-year-old Statesville native, said he’s excited to get started in his new role.

“The Lake Norman Region has tremendous advantages that appeal to new and expanding businesses,” he said.

“One obstacle for continued growth in the Lake Norman region and the Charlotte region is a lack of viable real estate options. One key focus of my position is to work with stakeholders to provide creative solutions to that obstacle.”

Huntersville Town Manager Greg Ferguson, who served on the EDC’s hiring committee, said McDaniels should be a valuable asset to the EDC’s efforts of adding businesses and strengthening the region’s reach.

The search for Broadway’s successor was a comprehensive one, Ferguson added. Applicants came from in-state EDCs and out of state.

“There was interest across the country,” he said. “The Economic Development Corporation Board is looking to focus its goals on production development and business retention. The chief goal is for (areas) to be site-ready.”

McDaniels got his start with Cabarrus’ EDC in 2001 when he was an intern. He graduated from UNC-Charlotte with a bachelor's degree in business administration and is one of the youngest people in the country to be listed as a Certified Economic Developer by the International Economic Development Council. He’ll start his tenure with the Lake Norman EDC on April 15.

He said he will use the valuable experience he gained with the Cabarrus EDC in the new position.

“In Cabarrus County, we were able to provide multiple mechanisms to encourage speculative industrial development,” he said.

“By thinking creatively and leveraging existing relationships, the Lake Norman region can continue to be successful in economic development.”

Ferguson said McDaniels understands product development, and seeing more shovel-ready sites as important focal points to success.

The lake’s expanding population signals a greater need for business development in the near future, McDaniels said.

“I look forward to evaluating our current real estate options and finding opportunities for growth,” he said.

“By providing options for new business, we can provide an important counterbalance to the expected residential growth.”