Site Selection Firm Strategic Development Group Merges with Goldsmith Strategy, Goldsmith and Williams Partner as Firm Principals

Friday, January 19th, 2018

Two site selection firms, Strategic Development Group and Goldsmith Strategy, both based in South Carolina, have completed a merger. Strategic Development Group President and CEO Mark Williams will serve as the President of the combined firm, while Jeannette Goldsmith will serve as Vice President. Both Williams and Goldsmith bring storied careers in the industry to the firm, with a combined experience of more than fifty years and a seasoned professional staff. The firm, which will continue to be known as Strategic Development Group, provides complete site search and analysis, location recommendations, and incentive negotiation and analysis for mid-sized to large US-based and multi-national companies.  SDG also provides site evaluation, strategic planning and marketing consulting services to state and regional economic development organizations, cities, counties and utilities.

Williams is currently the chair of the Site Selectors Guild, the only association of the world's foremost professional site selection consultants, and served as the Chief Development Officer and the Director of Existing Industry, both positions with the SC Department of Commerce, before founding Strategic Development Group in 1999. Along with an MBA from the University of South Carolina, he has earned the Certified Economic Developer designation and chaired the International Economic Development Council’s certification board. Goldsmith served with Fluor's Global Location Strategies as project manager and as principal with McCallum Sweeney Consulting prior to founding Goldsmith Strategy. She received a masters degree in Public Policy from Duke University and is a member of the South Carolina Economic Developers Association and the International Economic Development Council.

"I feel very privileged to be working with Jeannette, who has built an outstanding reputation as a site-selection consultant, and who brings other specialized strengths in helping economic development organizations position their regions for competitive growth," said Mark Williams, President of SDG. "Our firm's independence allows us to meet corporate client objectives and provide conflict-free guidance; the depth and experience of our firm allows us to provide a nationally recognized principal for each and every project, along with support from a seasoned and innovative staff. Finally, our work with the public sector and economic development community provides us with an extensive network of contacts throughout the country, as well as detailed insight on the strengths and offerings of each community to every business client."

"Mark and I share a similar mindset in our strategic focus, our methodical and careful project execution, our interest in intensive client service, and in our ethical values of transparency and integrity," said Jeannette Goldsmith, Vice President of SDG. "Those similarities gave me a great comfort level in combining our firms. At the same time, we have different experiences and strengths in the industry and I'm looking forward to offering that combination of our expertise to our clients. Together we are able to provide deep experience in core services like site selection for headquarters location and distribution and manufacturing facilities, as well as experience in a variety of industry verticals, including automotive, nutraceutical, aerospace, advanced materials, chemical, manufacturing, steel, plastics, and carbon fiber.  Our client list has included projects for Boeing, BP Chemical, Nutramax, Tupperware, Nissan and BMW, Bridgestone, JTEKT, Commercial Metals Company, TVA, Duke Energy, and the South Carolina Power Team. But we're equally as proud of and work as conscientiously for companies whose names may not be as readily recognized, but whose products and services are valuable additions to any region's economy."

SDG's site selection services include a full array of project analysis processes including assessment and analysis of site attributes, logistics and transportation, labor availability and workforce demographics, costs of conducting business including tax rates, utility rates and construction, training and infrastructure installation, and cost of living and overall quality of life. The firm's services to public sector and economic development organizations include identifying new sites with high potential through specialized databases and GIS tools, evaluation of existing sites, identifying peer cities and regions for competitive comparisons, and engaging in a holistic strategic planning process to assess and strengthen the competitive advantages of different regions.