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Three Rivers’ Kelley named top 50 developer


PONTOTOC – Three Rivers Planning and Development District Executive Director Vernon R. “Randy” Kelley III has been named one of North America’s top 50 economic developers for 2015.

Kelley was named to the list by Consultant Connect, a Kalamazoo, Michigan-based consulting agency that links economic developers and site consultants. The economic developers selected were nominated by their colleagues in both the economic development industry and the site consultant community for excellent practices, innovation and success in building the communities they serve.

“I am very humbled and honored to be in the same recognition with economic developers with the quality of Gray Swoope and Neal Wade,” Kelley said. “However this award should be shared by my outstanding local elected officials and my tremendous team of co-workers at Three Rivers PDD.

“It is about the work of the Three Rivers team and all of our partners who have constantly identified and removed obstacles to economic development in our eight county footprint. In addition to my local city and county officials, we work with the Mississippi Development Authority, North Mississippi Industrial Development Association, Tennessee Valley Authority, Community Colleges and fellow economic developers and site selection specialists to bring jobs to the area we serve. This designation is a team honor to all who serve.”

Kelley, who joined Three Rivers on Oct. 1, 1976, and the others named to the top 50 list will also be featured on the podcast, “From The Ground Up: North America’s Top 50 Economic Developers.” Each of these industry leaders will be interviewed to share insights gained from their experiences in the field of economic development, what makes their communities unique and their perspectives on the most important industry and leadership trends of the future.

“The list of North America’s top 50 economic developers was developed as a way to acknowledge the work of these 50 economic development leaders and elevate the conversation around best practices in the industry,” said Ron Kitchens, managing partner of Consultant Connect. “Each leader named is absolutely deserving of this recognition for the work they do every day to build their communities. The insights they share on the podcast are invaluable and worth every minute of your time to listen in.”

Consultant Connect is a joint venture,between New York-based Development Counsellors International and Kalamazoo, Michigan-based Southwest Michigan First.

Kelley, a Missouri native, attended the University of Mississippi on a partial athletic scholarship. He has degrees in both banking and finance and urban and regional planning.

He joined the Tennessee Valley Regional Housing Authority in 1972 as regional planner for this 10-county authority. He moved to the Northeast Mississippi Planning and Development District as planning director, working with federal project applications with ARC, HUD, EDA, Governor’s Highway Safety Program, Summer Youth Recreation Program and Council on Aging.


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About Ross Reily

Ross Reily is editor of the Mississippi Business Journal. He is a husband to an amazing wife, dad to 3 crazy kids and 2 dogs. He is also a fan of the Delta State Fighting Okra and the Boston Red Sox.

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