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Sarasota County leader among top 50 economic developers of 2024

Erin Silk was named president and CEO of the Economic Development Corp. of Sarasota County in June.
Erin Silk was named president and CEO of the Economic Development Corp. of Sarasota County in June.
Photo by Andrew Warfield
  • Manatee-Sarasota
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A Sarasota County business leader has landed on an international list of top economic developers.

Erin Silk, CEO and president of the Economic Development Corp. of Sarasota County, was named among North America's Top 50 Economic Developers of 2024 by Consultant Connect, an agency linking economic development professionals with site consultants.

“At Consultant Connect, we see economic development as more than just changing communities — it's about creating jobs that touch lives,” Consultant Connect President Carla Sones says in a statement. “It's an honor for us to spotlight North America's top economic developers and the impact they make on the communities they serve."

Under Silk's leadership, the EDC has managed 75 company expansions and relocations, officials say. During 2023 alone, businesses supported by the EDC made $13.4 million in new capital investments. Projects that will come to fruition through 2027 are projected to exceed $50 million in the years ahead, an EDC spokesperson says in a statement.

Silk and the others on the list were nominated by their colleagues in economic development and site location consulting industries, according to Consultant Connect.

While Silk has been the president and CEO of the EDC of Sarasota County for less than a year — assuming the role in June 2023 — she has worked there for the last five years in various roles, including as vice president and COO.

In that time, local business leaders have credited her with helping to make connections that have fueled their growth, such as FleetForce Truck Driver Training President Tra Williams, who said conversations with Silk provided the "tipping point" that drove his business model forward.

This is not the first accolade for the economic development leader either. Silk was named to the Business Observer’s 40 Under 40 in 2022.

Before working for the EDC, Silk was the CEO of Venice MainStreet for four years. She has a bachelor’s degree in business management from Towson University in Maryland and has earned the Certified Economic Developer designation.

She will be among the Top 50 Economic Developers honored at Consultant Connect’s ECONOMIX event Nov. 21 in Salt Lake City, Utah.



Elizabeth King

Elizabeth is a business news reporter with the Business Observer, covering primarily Sarasota-Bradenton, in addition to other parts of the region. A graduate of Johns Hopkins University, she previously covered hyperlocal news in Maryland for Patch for 12 years. Now she lives in Sarasota County.

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