Heather Beard

Research Analyst

“Master Data Miner”

Heather Beard is Creative EDC’s master data miner. Heather joined the firm in 2012 as Research Analyst, and leads all of the firm’s research and analysis that supports strategic planning, product development, and organizational development projects. Heather has also developed the research behind Creative EDC’s in-depth research blogs and papers.

Heather’s practitioner experience includes marketing (domestic and international), recruitment, business retention and expansion, and product development. This broad background ensures that Heather’s research and analysis is practical and developed with implementation in mind. Her consulting experience includes a wide range of strategic planning research for communities ranging from small towns to urban regions, product development assessments, and analysis of survey information.

Heather began her economic development career as Vice President of Sales and Marketing for the Rockingham County Partnership for Economic and Tourism Development. Over a period of two years, Heather helped to create approximately 1,500 new jobs and $101M of new investment for Rockingham County.

Gaining valuable finance, real estate, and economic development experience prepared her for the role of Vice President of New Business Development and Marketing for the Community Development Foundation in Tupelo/Lee County.  While in Tupelo, Heather was responsible for business and industry recruitment and marketing and promotion of the Wellspring project mega-site, which was selected by Toyota in 2007 for a new manufacturing assembly plant.

Returning to North Carolina in 2006, Heather joined the Piedmont Triad Partnership as Vice President of Client Development. She was responsible for marketing and promoting the 12-county Piedmont Triad region domestically and internationally to attract new business investment and job creation.

From 2009 to 2011 Heather served as the Executive Director for Duplin County, a rural community located in southeastern North Carolina. While there her main focus was on product development. She worked diligently with the state Certified Sites Program and developed one of the state’s best large rail-served sites according to McCallum Sweeney Consulting. During this time the county benefited from the creation of 256 new jobs and capital investment totaling $38.4M. A graduate of the Economic Development Institute, Mrs. Beard holds a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

More about Heather:

  1. What is your favorite place to travel? – My happy place is Emerald Isle but my favorite city to visit is Chicago.
  2. When you were in kindergarten, what did you want to grow up to be? – I wanted to be a meteorologist.
  3. Name three things in your refrigerator right now. – Roasted chicken, almond milk, and apples.
  4. What was the first concert you went to? – Michael Bolton with opening act Celine Dion.
  5. What excites you about your work? – The people I work with and the creative ideas I get to participate in.

Creative Economic Development Consulting