Job creation

Columbia gets new business recruiter

cleblanc@thestate.comJuly 31, 2013 

Wayne Gregory Jr.

— Columbia has a new business recruiter who will earn up to $115,500 if he’s successful in attracting new business investment to the Capital City.

Wayne Gregory Jr., 36, will start his job as Columbia’s economic development director Sept. 3 after serving in a similar capacity in Georgetown County since 2005, city manager Teresa Wilson announced Wednesday.

Gregory, a graduate of Furman and Clemson universities, soon will have a new business liaison whose job will be to help the city implement the business-friendly task force goals that City Council adopted last year, city officials said.

“Columbia is such a great city with abundant potential,” Gregory said in a statement on his hiring. “I cannot wait to get started in helping the city of Columbia move forward in creating jobs.”

Gregory replaces former economic development director Jim Gambrell, who served in that post since 1993. Gambrell retired late last year but remains as a consultant who will help Gregory during his transition into the job, said Pam Benjamin, Columbia’s personnel director.

Wilson said Gregory’s hiring fits into the move “toward transforming our city and creating a more business friendly atmosphere for business owners ... .”

Gregory’s base salary will be $110,000, but his incentive package will allow him to earn an extra 5 percent of that sum if he meets standards that include goals spelled out by the business-friendly task force, Benjamin said.

Gregory also worked in Greenville County’s development corporation. His college degrees include one in government and political science from Furman and a master’s in public administration from Clemson, according to Wilson’s announcement.

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