Katherine O’Neill has been named the Executive Vice President of the Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce’s Economic Futures Group. O’Neill will replace Carter Smith who announced his retirement earlier this year yet remains with the organization as the part-time Director of Special Projects.
Currently the Chief Operations Officer of The Palladian Group, O’Neill brings three decades of executive, human resources, economic development, and leadership experience to the Spartanburg Chamber and Economic Futures Group teams.
From 2012 to 2018, O’Neill served as the Spartanburg County Administrator. During her tenure, she was responsible for a budget in excess of $200 million. While in this role, O’Neill facilitated negotiations for more than $5 billion in new economic development announcements including the recruitment and expansion of multiple international and domestic companies such as Toray, Keurig-Dr. Pepper, BMW, Auriga, Michelin, Albis Plastics, Plastic Omnium, Ritrama and Kobelco.
David Britt, Economic Development Committee Chair, Spartanburg County Council said, “Spartanburg has already benefitted immensely from Katherine’s leadership. I can’t think of a more capable and proven leader to take our efforts to the next level and bring more jobs and economic opportunity to the people of Spartanburg.”
City of Spartanburg Mayor, Junie White, said, “Katherine understands the importance of the county’s largest city and will bring a unique and beneficial perspective to the position. While serving as County Administrator, she was a key ally, and we know, under her leadership, the relationship between the Chamber, EFG and City will grow to a new level.”
“Since 2012, Katherine’s leadership has guided almost every economic development announcement in Spartanburg County. She has established local, state and national relationships in the public and private sector which will serve us well, as we work with our partners to strengthen our reputation as a national leader in manufacturing and broaden our scope to capitalize on white collar recruitment opportunities,” said Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce & Economic Futures Group President and CEO Allen Smith.
O’Neill said, “Economic wins happen in dynamic communities with stakeholders who work closely together. With the strength of our public and private partnerships, our success will continue. I look forward to collaborating with all of our allies, investors and staff to continue the momentum.”
Before coming to Spartanburg County, O’Neill was with Lexington County for 16 years. For six of those years, she served as the County Administrator and helped recruit Amazon, Nephron, and Home Depot’s distribution center. Additionally, she was instrumental in facilitating the relocation of SCANA headquarters from Columbia to Lexington County. O’Neill also assisted with Michelin, Nucor, US Foods and Prysmian expansions.