Two metro Atlanta economic developers with substantial international experience have been named to a young leaders list by a leading marketing firm and an industry consultancy.
Andrew Carnes, vice president of economic development at Partnership Gwinnett, and Randi Mason, who holds the same position at Decide DeKalb, received the 40-under-40 recognition from Development Counsellors International and Jorgenson Consulting Inc. at the virtual International Economic Development Council meeting this week.
The 40 “rising stars” hailed from across the U.S., Mexico and Canada and were selected out of more than 200 nominees by an independent panel of six economic development professionals and site-selection consultants.
Over the past six years, Mr. Carnes has led the recruitment of 107 projects to Gwinnett County, with 35 percent involving foreign companies in a county that counts 520 foreign facilities from 36 countries. He has traveled on multiple overseas trade missions to thank companies for their job-creating investments and to recruit newcomers. A 2019 trip took Mr. Carnes to Korea for a 10-year anniversary visit to Gangnam, Gwinnett’s partner community in the capital city of Seoul.
“Andrew’s career track record has been a case of continuous upward mobility,” said Nick Masino, president and CEO of the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, in a news release. “From being the executive director at the Dalton-Whitfield County Joint Development Authority to now leading the largest local economic development office in the Southeast at Partnership Gwinnett, he continues to grow as a thought leader within economic development community, and I am proud to have him on my team.”
Prior to joining Decide DeKalb, during a more than five-year stint at Invest Atlanta, she helped recruit international companies like Volantio (Australia originally, but now Atlanta-based), Airbus Aerial (France) and PPRO (United Kingdom) to Atlanta.
And before that, during a previous term at the DeKalb Office of Economic Development, Ms. Mason led two business development missions to a combined 10 cities in China.
“Excellence in leadership is the perfect convergence of clarity of thought, communication, judgment about people, and personal integrity,” said Dorian DeBarr, interim president of Decide DeKalb, in a news release. “Randi exhibits these characteristics, and I have no doubt the future will continue to shine brightly for her. Congratulations on such a prestigious award!”
DCI and Jorgenson said the honorees show a bright future in the economic development, where a more diverse array of professionals is displaying considerable creativity and resilience as well as a growing consciousness of equity in their efforts to build communities.
See the full list at aboutdci.com/40under40.