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Press Release

Hilton Head Island Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors

Release Date: August 6, 2013

Contact Information:
Shawn Colin email icon , Deputy Director of Community Development , (843)341-4696, Fax: (843)842-8587


Town Council has authorized the creation of a nonprofit Economic Development Corporation to establish a formal presence and point of contact for economic development activity on Hilton Head Island. This Economic Development Corporation will be used as a resource to help advise, cultivate, recommend and implement Town goals and objective related to economic development. Town Council has approved the appointment of seven (7) charter members to serve as the Board of Directors. Each member has specific skills and capabilities that are suitable to advance economic development efforts and are consistent with Town Council policy goals and the Mission of the Corporation. These charter members are listed below along with a brief description of their credentials.

Maryann Bastnagel has experience as a business executive, technology professional and as an entrepreneur. This combination of corporate, consulting and entrepreneurial experience provides Maryann with a basis for understanding the challenges and obstacles that business face.

Steve Carb has experience in business development and more specifically in the areas of marketing, real estate and hospitality. He has owned over a dozen businesses on Hilton Head Island since 1983 and can relate to challenges and opportunities businesses face on a day to day basis.

Carlton Dallas has experience in international business, specializing in knowledge arbitrage, business turnaround and leadership development. He has experience applying metrics and societal elements to support investment decisions. He has lead projects to relocate offices, place new offices, call centers or distributions centers. He has a unique perspective that can help explain the virtues of visiting, buying, or investing here in Hilton Head Island.

Diana McKenzie lives on Hilton Head Island has a background in technology law. She grew a firm in Chicago from 12 to nearly 50. She founded and ran a technology law group Chicago and is doing the same at Hunter Maclean in Savannah. Diana has experience in growing organizations and connections into the technology marketplace.

John Joseph has diverse experience in the business arena in the areas of business strategy, planning, operations, human resources, finance and marketing. He has indicated the importance of maintaining the viability of Hilton Head Island's current businesses and to encourage new business to locate here while both preserving and grow the Island’s unique culture and lifestyle.

Tom Upshaw serves as President and CEO of Palmetto Electric Cooperative. He has experience in managing and leading business development efforts and which has allowed him to understand how prospects analyze needs to decide where to locate, relocate, or expand. He currently serves as the Chair of the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce and has developed a network of local, regional and national contacts.

Raymond Wenig has a background in economic development and more specifically in entrepreneurship and knowledge-based startups. He has experience in growing startups and mid-sized companies. He has also served as a business mentor/coach, trainer, angel investor, problem solver and advisor to multiple businesses. He has additional experience in developing sustainable operations and has secured grants for both economic development and company projects.

The terms of appointment for these individuals are as follows:

  • One year term - G. Thomas Upshaw,  Raymond Wenig,  John Joseph
  • Two year term - Diana McKenzie, Steven Carb
  • Three year term - Carlton Dallas, Maryann Bastnagel