SC State alumnus Kevin Johnson to speak at Executive Speaker Series

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Kevin JohnsonSC State will host executive speaker Kevin Johnson, on Wednesday, Feb.25, 2009 at noon in the Belcher Hall fourth floor auditorium. Johnson’s discussion topic will be "Land Sales and Capital Investments: Marketing Strategies."

Johnson is vice president of Business Development for the Research Triangle Park Foundation (RTPF) of North Carolina. He is also the owner and developer of the renowned Research Triangle Park located in N.C. Established in 1959, the Park enjoys an extraordinary 49-year history as the leading and largest high-technology park development in North America, which covers over 7,000 total acres. Today, the Park has a more than 170 organizations. Approximately 80% of the Park’s 42,000 full-time employees work for multinational corporations.

Johnson joined the Research Triangle Foundation in July 2005. To date, Johnson has played an instrumental role in a record number of projects in the Park, totaling over $500 million in projected capital investment and the projected creation of over 5,000 new jobs. Additionally, Johnson is responsible for leasing RTP-owned incubator Park Research Center, successfully recruiting 17 diverse and innovative university organizations. Johnson came to the Research Triangle Park from Phoenix, Ariz., where he served as vice president of business development with the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) from 2002 until 2005. During his three years in Phoenix, Johnson helped generate $267 million in capital investment which created 2,000 new jobs.

Prior to his position at GPEC, Johnson served as president of the Athens Area Chamber of Commerce in Ga. Under his leadership, the Chamber focused on modernizing operational procedures, improving member services, increasing workforce development activities and raising the profile and significance of the Chamber in the community. The Chamber insistently pursued a fundraising campaign during his tenure, which resulted in pledges of over $1.5 million and was the most successful campaign in the 100 year history of the Chamber.

Johnson served as president of the High Point Economic Development Corporation (EDC) from 1996 to 2000. As president of the High Point EDC, Johnson’s accomplishments included attracting and fostering the development of $605 million in new capital investments and the creation of 5,500 new jobs in the High Point area. Johnson held prior positions as assistant county manager and director of economic development for the Caswell County, N.C., Municipal Government, staff planner and industrial recruiter for the Anderson County, S.C., Municipal Government.

Johnson is actively involved in economic development education and mentoring. Johnson currently serves on the board of directors of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), a 4,600 member organization formed by the merger of the American Economic Development Council (AEDC) and the Council for Urban and Economic Development (CUED) in 2001, and was a key member of the merger team. Johnson has been a frequent guest lecturer for the Basic Economic Development Course at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. N.C., and the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Ga. He also published the award-winning Permitting Process for Business Facilities Guide in 1997.

As an active civic leader throughout his career, Johnson was named as one of “40 Leaders Under 40” by the Triad (Business News in 1999, and has served on the board of directors of The Herberger Theatre and the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl in Phoenix, Ariz. He also served as chair of the Guilford Technical Community College (High Point, N.C. Campus) Board, and is a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.

Johnson a native of Myrtle Beach, S.C., received a bachelor of science degree in Political Science/Pre Law from SC State University. He resides in Cary, N.C. with his wife, Jacqueline, who is a manager of process quality at GlaxoSmithKline, and their two children, Nile (11) and Pierce (9).