Veteran business analyst and economist Alfie Meek has been named director of Community Innovation Services (CIS) at Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2). Meek, who received his undergraduate degree from Georgia Tech in business economics, will lead Georgia Tech’s initiatives in community economic development, overseeing a team of experts advising economic development and government leaders on how to be competitive in the ever-changing global economy.
Prior to joining EI2, Meek worked as the economic analysis director for Gwinnett County where he oversaw the county’s economic development program as well as its forecasting and research efforts. Two years ago, Meek played a significant role in one of Georgia’s largest economic development successes — the move of Fortune 500 corporation NCR to Georgia – and also was key to the relocation of the Gwinnett Braves and to the attraction of high-tech companies such as Hewlett-Packard and Advanced Micro Devices.
“The opportunity to take my previous research experience with the University System, combine it with the applied knowledge that comes from doing economic development at the local level, and use that unique combination to help other communities was a very attractive prospect,” Meek said of his decision to join EI2. “And as a huge bonus, I get to do all this at a place that is very dear to my heart, my alma mater, Georgia Tech.”
In his new role, Meek will manage the CIS team, which supports communities with economic and community development research, analysis and planning. Projects range from strategic planning to workforce analysis, from fiscal impact analysis of new or expanding firms to sustainable development strategies for communities of all sizes.
“Our Community Innovation Services group provides unique and valuable economic development services to Georgia communities and organizations,” said Stephen Fleming, a Georgia Tech vice president and executive director of EI2. “We are fortunate to have Alfie Meek on board, as he is an experienced economic development practitioner, economist and consultant. We now have further enhanced our capabilities around fiscal impact, strategic planning, economic development research and training.”
In addition to his position with Gwinnett County, Meek has previously worked as the director of applied research at the University of Georgia’s Small Business Development Center, as an economist and project director with Georgia Tech’s former Center for Economic Development Services, as a research economist for SunTrust Banks, Inc., and as a budget and expense/revenue analyst for International Business Machines Corp.
He earned his doctoral degree in agricultural economics from The University of Georgia, a master’s degree in business economics from Georgia State University and a bachelor’s degree in business economics from Georgia Tech. He is a Certified Community Researcher (CCR) and a member of the National Association for Business Economics and the Georgia Economic Developers Association.
“The CIS group already has an experienced staff with a deep skill set. I hope to add to that skill set by bringing some of the tools I developed at Gwinnett – service cost and fiscal analysis, forecasting models, local economic analysis, etc. – along with an emphasis on rigorous research and project implementation,” Meek said. “Research and planning is great, but it isn’t enough. My experience in Gwinnett reinforced the importance of partnerships and implementation and I hope that is something I can help other communities put into action.”
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Writer: Nancy Fullbright