ATLANTA – Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. (ABI) is pleased to announce the hiring of Clyde Higgs as their new Vice President & Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Higgs joins ABI from his most recent position as Executive Vice President of Operations Development for the North Carolina Research Campus, a multi-faceted initiative of real estate developer Castle & Cooke using science and technology as the platform to redevelop and reinvigorate Kannapolis, North Carolina, a former textile town. Higgs replaces Lisa Gordon who was recently appointed as President and CEO of Habitat for Humanity Atlanta.
Over the past 9 years, as a top executive at the Kannapolis Project, Mr. Higgs helped steer the day-to-day operations of a multi-billion dollar revitalization effort involving economic revitalization of the local economy. His work entailed ground and facility leasing over vast tracks of industrial lands and facilities; oversight of a complex multi-million annual operating budget; supervision of 60+ employees and consultants; and organizational direction of the capital improvements program. Higgs also provided strategic guidance for broad-based community advocacy and engagement, partnership development with state and local governments, universities, construction and design vendors, and real estate brokers and investors to ensure the project’s success. He brings nearly 20 years’ experience in economic development, real estate, intellectual property, technology, strategic planning, design, real estate development, grant and donor funding, and government relations, with a diversity of projects including those that specialize in urban innovation, science and technology.
“Clyde was the best strategic choice to serve as our next Vice President & Chief Operating Officer,” said Paul Morris, President and CEO of ABI. “His extensive experience leading day-to-day operations of the internationally recognized Kannapolis Project, along with his unique expertise in consensus building, grants, economic development and technology innovation will be an invaluable asset as we continue to advance the Atlanta BeltLine to fruition.”
Mr. Higgs will work closely with the Mr. Morris and the ABI executive team, providing oversight of the Economic Development, Design & Construction, Program Management, Housing, Procurement, and Human Resources activities of ABI, and lending additional breadth and capability to establishing and expanding our strong working relationships with private and public partners across the region, state and nation.
Clyde is a graduate of the University of South Alabama and also holds a graduate degree in Public Administration from East Carolina University. He has served on numerous boards and professional organizations, including two gubernatorial appointments: by Texas Governor Rick Perry to the Texas Emerging Technology Venture Fund for early stage companies working on innovations in the fields of biotechnology, healthcare, energy and information technology; and by North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue to the State Board of Community Colleges.