County Hires Economic Leader

Ty Davenport

Ty Davenport

WINNSBORO (June 30, 2016) – When County Council introduced Jason Taylor as their new County Administrator earlier this month, they also filled another long-vacant position by announcing the hire of Ty Davenport as the County’s new Economic Development Director.

Davenport, 52, took office on June 6. The County has been without an Economic Development Director since July 2, 2015, when Tiffany Harrison resigned to take the Executive Director position with the Midlands Education Business Alliance in Columbia. Harrison had been the County’s economic point person since 2006.

Davenport holds a Master’s degree in economic development from the University of Southern Mississippi. He earned an undergraduate degree in business administration from Presbyterian College in Clinton.

Prior to coming to Fairfield County, Davenport spent the last eight years as the owner of Charles T. Davenport Investments, LLC, a commercial real estate company. For 10 years before going out on his own, Davenport was the national accounts manager for Nucor Corp. in Columbia, where he was responsible for promotion and sales of Nucor Building Systems products. He spent 1996-1998 as the Economic Development Representative for the SCANA Corporation, and began his career as the Senior Project Manager with the Central Carolina Economic Development Alliance.

It was while he was with the Alliance that he first became acquainted with Fairfield County, when he helped recruit both Isola and Lang Mekra to the Walter Brown 2 Industrial Park.

“While working for the Central Carolina Alliance, I had some success in Fairfield County with some projects I worked on,” Davenport said. “The people here were great, they wanted to grow and they had the right attitude.”

So when the opportunity to come back to Fairfield County arose, he said, he jumped at it.

“It’s kind of like coming home,” Davenport said.

Nearly 20 years later, Fairfield County is in a great position to grow further, he said.

“There’s tremendous opportunity here,” Davenport said. “The new Commerce Park is up and there’s infrastructure in the ground, which is huge. It makes it really attractive to industry. It’s a great county from an economic development standpoint; where it is located, between Columbia and Charlotte. It’s tough to find property. We have property here.”

Davenport’s job is not without its challenges, however; water being at the top of the list.

“We’ve got infrastructure requirements,” he said. “We need more water and sewer in the ground, but that will come. We have adequate services for moderate users, but if you have a major mega-water user, we’re off the list. Typically, they’re the big investments. That’s an opportunity we don’t want to miss.”

Davenport said since coming to work he’s already had his first visit with an interested company, and there are four or five others, he said, that appear “viable.”

As Harrison said in her final days with Fairfield County last year, “The county is in great position for growth and success. We have the building blocks in place so the next person coming in will be able to continue that success.”

Davenport, it appears, is wasting no time in fitting some of those building blocks together.