Executive Vice President of Business Development
Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance
Eric Miller joined the Alliance in January 2017 as Executive Vice President of Business Development. Under his leadership, the Business Development team works in various capacities within research and marketing to successfully assist domestic and international companies with their expansion plans to Hampton Roads.
Eric is a native of Columbia, South Carolina with approximately sixteen (16) years of progressive, professional economic development experience, at the State, Regional and Local levels. He began his economic development career as a Project Manager for the South Carolina Department of Commerce (SCDOC). During his seven year tenure at SCDOC, culminating in his promotion to Senior Project Manager, Eric worked with dozens of domestic and international companies considering new investment and/or job creation, in any of South Carolina’s forty-six (46) counties. While at SCDOC, Eric lead a team of regional and local stakeholders responsible for announcing over 50 new companies… totaling more than $800m in new investment and creating over 8,000 new jobs. In 2003, Eric was recognized by Southern Business & Development Magazine for announcing one of the top five projects for new job creation, in the southeast.
When SCDOC decided to ramp up its efforts to recruit the life sciences industry to South Carolina, Eric was selected to be the point person for that initiative. In that role, Eric actively led the recruitment process of numerous life sciences related projects, with a cumulative value exceeding $3B and 3000 new jobs. Most noteworthy was Eric’s contributions to the promulgation of legislation designed to foster an attractive and competitive business climate for the life sciences industry, in South Carolina. The South Carolina Life Sciences Act, and its progeny, resulted from this effort. As a result of Eric’s role in this effort, he was invited to Tokyo, Japan, to present the competitive elements South Carolina’s Life Sciences Act to a contingent of Japanese life sciences executives, attending Japan BIO.
At the regional level, Eric served as Director of Business Development for the Upstate SC Alliance. In this role, Eric was responsible for both the development and execution of the business development strategy for a regional economic development marketing organization, encompassing ten (10) counties and five (5) cities, located in the northwest region (Greenville/Spartanburg) of South Carolina. Eric traveled across the United States, Canada and Europe, meeting with “C” level executives and/or site location consultants, for the sole purpose of generating foreign and domestic industrial investment opportunities for the Upstate South Carolina region. The highlight of Eric’s tenure at the Upstate South Carolina Alliance occurred in 2010, when the upstate region was recognized as accounting for one-half of the State’s total capital investment ($3.5B/$7B) and one-third of the new announced jobs (7000/21,000), for the year… a record that stood until 2014!
At the local level, Eric currently served as the Director of the Industrial Development Office, for the Muskogee City-County Port Authority, in Muskogee, Oklahoma. In this role, Eric is charged with the responsibility of managing his staff and leading all facets of industrial development…expansions, attraction, marketing and research, industrial site development incentives development and negotiation and his office’s role in any workforce development efforts, impacting Muskogee County, Oklahoma.
Eric earned both his Bachelor of Science and his Juris Doctorate degrees, from The University of South Carolina and The University Of South Carolina-School of Law, respectively. He is also a graduate the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Basic Economic Development School, The University of Oklahoma-Economic Development Institute and a Charter Graduate of the South Carolina Advanced Economic Development Symposium.