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After nine months serving as Interim Director, Sarah Edwards has been named Executive Director of the Downtown Smithfield Development Corporation.  From July 2009 until September 2013, Edwards had served as Assistant to former Executive Director, Chris Johnson, who left the organization after thirteen years to become Johnston County's Economic Development Director.
 
A native of Smithfield and graduate of Smithfield-Selma High School, Edwards' passion for downtown development grew during her time in college and graduate school.  Edwards graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in May 2007 with a B.A. in Public Policy Analysis, and completed coursework toward a Master of Public Administration degree at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.  She plans to complete her MPA in the near future.

During her time in Chapel Hill and Wilmington, Edwards developed an appreciation for the sense of place a downtown offers that is unique to each community, the mix of people brought together by community events, and the entrepreneurial opportunities available.

"Downtown Smithfield has undergone a tremendous transformation since I went to Creech's after school for an orangeade in third grade," states Edwards.  "It is important that we continue to evolve with the needs of Smithfield's residents, workers, and visitors.  The DSDC staff and board members have laid a great foundation over the past thirty years, and I am excited to have the opportunity to continue the progress."
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