Corporate Site Selection and Economic Development:
A 30-Year Perspective

With a focus on the post COVID-19 environment, this book is a must read for corporate executives, economic developers and elected leaders who want enlightened, direct and real-world perspectives on facility site selection and the pursuit of economic development.

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About the Book

Mark Williams provides a truly informed and unique perspective based on his 30 years in corporate site selection and state level economic development.

The book not only highlights the best site selection and economic development practices but also describes the high cost of mistakes, particularly when the wrong choice is made for corporate facility locations. A particular focus is the future of site selection moving out of the COVID-19 pandemic.

About The Author 

Mark Williams is a nationally recognized site selector and economic development expert with over 30-years of experience working with corporations locating facilities from a variety of business sectors. He has also advised Governors, mayors, utilities and development agencies on site readiness and economic development strategies.

In the early stages of his career at the South Carolina Department of Commerce, he was Chief Development Officer charged with developing the state’s U.S. and foreign investments and directing offices in Tokyo, Japan, and Frankfurt, Germany. During his service under two governors, Mark established statewide economic development strategies for existing industry and business recruitment, directing capital investment projects valued at over $5 billion.

In 1999, Mark founded the professional site selection firm, Strategic Development Group, Inc. (SDG). The firm is nationally recognized and has an extensive record of working on major projects in the automotive, chemical, steel and life science sectors. After 22 years, he is currently SDG’s President, with continuing fascination with the complexities of business decision making and site selection.

About Strategic Development Group

Founded in 1999, SDG is a highly specialized site selection consulting firm focused on identifying optimum locations in a timely manner, maximizing the value of incentives, and minimizing risk for corporations from across the globe. SDG has managed projects with capital investment from $15 million to over $1 billion for companies in a wide range of industries including automotive, chemical, steel and life science.

Mark is a recognized expert in corporate site selection and economic development. In his first book, he leverages his vast U.S. and global experience to explain the complex interactions between government, the economic development community, and corporations in the site selection process.

David M. Beasley
Executive Director | UN World Food Programme/Former South Carolina Governor

This book is essential reading for corporate executives considering expansion of existing capacity or the location of a new facility. Mark’s description of the inner workings of the site selection business and how to find optimal sites and negotiate effectively is unmatched.

Bob Handlos
Retired CEO and President | Bridgestone Americas’ Firestone Polymers Division

This book is impressive. It will be well received and useful to many and should be mandatory reading for anyone involved in economic development and site selection. Mark’s stories from the field make the book informative, easy to read, and very interesting.

Tim Haffner
Corporate Attorney | Faegre Baker Daniels

The tremendous breadth and depth of Mark Williams’ expertise as one of the world’s most respected site selection consultants is on full display in this book, bringing clarity and focus to the oft misunderstood world of corporate recruitment. The lessons he offers in these chapters make this a must-read for anyone seeking a better understanding of how to maximize their community’s long term job growth potential.

Matt Kisber
Co-Founder and Chairman | Silicone Ranch / Former Commissioner Economic and Community Development | State of Tennessee

Mark gives the novice and the expert real-life advice about all aspects of the economic development process, including strategy for site selection and workforce and business incentives. He explains that economic development embraces the intersection of law and politics.

I feel the book reflects what I realized shortly after first working with Mark, that he is very skilled at what he does and he has the passion and integrity to do it well.

A must read for anyone interested in the world of economic development.

Tony Copeland
Attorney | Brooks and Pierce / Former Secretary of Commerce | State of North Carolina

Conference and Retreat Speaking

With extensive U.S. and global site location and economic development experience, Mark is a popular speaker at a variety of conference and event venues in the U.S. and abroad related to the following:

  • Site location trends
  • Corporate site location issues
  • Case studies in corporate site selection
  • The role of utilities in the site selection process
  • The value and purpose of economic development
  • Economic development strategy
  • Consulting firm operations strategy

Please contact Mark at or for speaking availability and rates.



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