People In The Spotlight

North Port hires new economic development manager

Mel Thomas

The city of North Port recently announced the hiring of Mel Thomas as Economic Development Manager.

Thomas has spent more than 25 years in a variety of public, private and nonprofit economic development efforts.

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Most recently she served as the director of business development services for the Economic Development Corporation of Sarasota County.

Thomas previously worked for major health care providers, the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, Georgia Power, Georgia Institute of Technology, and Nonprofit Know-How Inc.

Her focus in North Port is helping to bring in new business and retain a solid business community.

“We want to help the current businesses here in North Port with the workforce they need while bringing in more well-paying and long-lasting career opportunities,” Thomas said in a prepared statement.

She replaces Ruth Buchanan, who left North Port in October 2018 to become the business development manager for the Lee County Economic Development Office.

Buchanan worked for North Port for more than eight years.


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