'Health of Lee' Gives Annual Assessment and Marks Return of Economic Group

SANFORD, N.C. — Despite the stagnant economy and heated political climate, Lee County continues to make improvements in its overall quality of life. But in such a turbulent environment, it can be difficult to get straight facts and a clear picture of how the area stacks up against other similar locales.

"The Health of Lee County" returns December 14 to take a candid look at the community's health based on the most recent facts, figures and trends. It takes the pulse of the local economy, workforce, education and quality of life — all essential to the county's future success.

This year's ninth-annual edition introduces a new format, but still features CEO Charles Hayes of the Research Triangle Regional Partnership and Director Bob Heuts of Lee County Economic Development.

The two economic leaders have worked extensively with companies around the globe and will draw on their expertise to help community and business leaders understand where Lee County rates on factors important to long-term prosperity.

After providing a quick overview, the two speakers will shift attention to recent media reports focusing on Sanford by CBS News and the BBC before moving on to several initiatives taking place locally. Though the program is still being assembled, Heuts says topics are likely to include the new Shop Sanford website and ongoing developments at The Innovation Center of Lee County.

"Our primary focus is to give a reality check on our community and how we stand compared to our competition, other communities similar to us in size," says Heuts. "But there are a lot of new projects we've been working on for months that people may not know much about, and they're giving us some exciting opportunity — now and well into the future."

"The Health of Lee County" also marks the return of the Lee County Committee of 100, a local organization working to enhance the economic well-being of Lee County and its citizens.

Known best for sponsoring events like "The Health of Lee County" and publishing "Economic Indicators," the county's quarterly economic development newsletter, the Committee of 100 took a hiatus beginning last summer, while several local groups considered options for jointly sponsored campaigns to support industry.

"In the end, those didn't quite come together, so we're back again and going full speed ahead," says Heuts. "The Committee of 100 has always played an critical role locally, so you'll be hearing a lot from the group soon."

Presented by the Committee of 100, "The Health of Lee County 2011" will be held at The Flame Steakhouse in Sanford at 11:45 a.m. and is open to the public. The cost, including lunch, is $12 per person and seating in this new venue is limited.

For reservations or information, contact Jane Wesley at the Lee County Economic Development Corp., 919-774-8439 or

The Committee of 100 is an organization of business leaders committing time, energy and resources to enhance the economic well-being of Lee County and its citizens. Corporate and individual members assist the Lee County Economic Development Corp. by establishing venture capital projects to expand local industry, helping to promote economic growth and enhancing working relationships among government, business and the community.


Media contacts
Bob Heuts, Director
Jane Wesley, Administrative Assistant