Sam Rauf recognized as N.C. Economic Development ‘Emerging Leader of the Year’

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PITTSBORO — Sam Rauf, the former senior project manager for the Chatham EDC, was named the North Carolina Economic Development Association’s “Emerging Leader of the Year” at its annual meeting. The award is presented to the individual who best exemplifies leadership in the state’s economic development efforts.

In his nomination, Economic Development Corporation partners and colleagues highlighted Rauf’s dedication to Chatham County and versatility in his role. In his time with the EDC, Rauf oversaw the business retention and expansion program and helped to lead attraction efforts. He played a crucial role in landing North Carolina’s largest-ever economic development project, VinFast, which will locate at Chatham County’s Triangle Innovation Point.

“In his few years at the EDC he has not only learned but mastered the skill sets and leadership necessary to run an effective economic development operation,” said Katy Parker, senior business recruitment manager for the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina. “He is not afraid to get his hands dirty, serve coffee, and be a go-for, all while commanding a board room of CEOs and investors at key project meetings. His ability to multi-task and manage significant workload for the county is unmatched.”

“Sam did an outstanding job for the Chatham Economic Development Corporation with his hard work and dedication,” said Michael Smith, president of the Chatham EDC. “He helped keep the organization moving forward during a major staff transition, a cyber event, and a global pandemic. We are grateful for his ability to grow into an increased role of responsibility during such a challenging time. He has excellent skills and we wish him well in his new role with our neighbors in Raleigh.”

Rauf recently departed the Chatham EDC to accept a role with his native Wake County. As the senior economic development manager on the Wake County Economic Development team, Rauf will continue to be a key ally and neighbor as Chatham County continues to take a regional approach to development.


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