The purpose of the Tri-County Entrepreneurial Development Corporation (TCEDC) is to assist local entrepreneurs in taking their ideas from concept to reality, from garage office to Main Street and from relative unknown to a flourishing brand.
TCEDC, working closely with the Oconee Economic Alliance, SCORE, Tri-County Technical College and the South Carolina Small Business Development Centers (SC SBDC) offers educational programs to entrepreneurs and small businesses. We provide reasonable rent office space and manufacturing space for start-ups as well as one-on-one counseling and mentoring services to both new and existing small businesses.
Chairman and CEO
Tri-County Entrepreneurial Development Corporation
David graduated from Western Michigan University and performed his military service in the Army Special Forces. His business career began with BF Goodrich, where he served in diverse executive capacities including labor negotiations, regional plant management and relocating manufacturing facilities around the world. The latter began his interest in Economic Development. While having responsibility for corporate training, he received the highest award from the American Society of Training Directors. After a stint in South Carolina heading up Goodrich’s manufacturing facilities in the Carolinas, Dave decided to settle his young family in Columbia. He was involved in a number of small business ventures, as well as managing highly visible political campaigns. He was recruited by Governor West to work with the Department of Commerce, as the Director of the International Division. He was later named Director of Economic Development, a position responsible for all business recruiting efforts of the State. He retained responsibilities for the International offices as well. Dave served a number of administrations, both Republican and Democratic, during his 10-year tenure and organized all trade missions undertaken during those years. He enjoyed recruiting and working with many of the firms that are now major employers in South Carolina such as Michelin, BMW, Fuji Film and Beneteau. Throughout this time South Carolina’s Economic Development Program regularly ranked #1 in the U.S.
Ultimately he was recruited by the State of North Carolina to serve as Assistant Secretary Of Commerce with responsibility for Economic Development. After a successful tenure, Dave returned to the private sector to lead Marketing and Economic Development for Entergy, a major electric utility serving Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. He most recently retired as CEO of a manufacturing company in Florida.
Dave’s primary volunteer interest is job creation in the Upstate. He is Chairman and CEO of Tri-County Entrepreneurial Development Corporation. Aside from his administrative duties, his focus is developing and coordinating training programs through cooperation with Tri-County Technical College and Clemson University. He is also a counselor for the Senior Corp of Retired Executives. Both entities aid emerging entrepreneurs develop the business skills necessary to be successful. He currently serves on the Boards of the Tri-County Technical College Foundation, the Ten At The Top Strategic Alliance and is a member of the Oconee Economic Alliance. Dave served as Vice Chairman of the Oconee County Economic Development Commission, a predecessor of the Oconee Alliance. He participated with the steering committee that drafted the latest Oconee County Strategic Plan.
During his career, he received numerous honors for his work in Economic Development. In Arkansas, his program received the prestigious Fulbright Award for the highest level of success in International Business Development. In South Carolina he was honored by Governor Riley with the Order of the Palmetto, the highest honor accorded to a South Carolina citizen. Recently, the citizen’s of Oconee County chose him as the first recipient of the Oconee County Chamber of Commerce Education First award. Dave and his wife Margaret, a retired bank executive, reside in Keowee Key near Clemson.
Oconee Business Center
Terry McKenney is the director of the Oconee Business Center. Part of the Oconee Alliance and the Tri County Entrepreneurial Development Corp. He is also the Chair of the Piedmont Chapter of SCORE. Terry was an entrepreneur owning an automobile service business for 36 years. He was also a state legislator and radiohost. In his spare time he was a volunteer EMT and ice hockey coach and referee.
I am interested in assisting others who are desirous of starting or expanding their business. By being a SCORE mentor, it would allow me to pay tribute to all those who were instrumental in helping me grow my business throughout my career.
Areas of Expertise
Architecture, Engineering, & Related Services
Rental & Leasing
I spent 45 years in banking with my primary focus on commercial lending. I have analyzed companies’ performances and structured credit to fit their needs. I have a broad knowledge in alternative/specialized lending products and tax advantaged loan structures. I would like to use this knowledge to help others, especially small, local businesses.
Areas of Expertise
Accounting & Finance
Accounting & Tax Services
I can help improve business performance in operations, training, and marketing.
Areas of Expertise
Management & Operations
Food & Beverage
Tyler James is a South Carolina native, growing up in Laurens SC. He attended Anderson University for his undergraduate degree and Clemson University for his MBA. He started his career working for Congressman Jeff Duncan as his Regional Director here in South Carolina for a number of years before entering the financial sector. After a few years in the industry, Tyler returned to local government in 2021 and begin his career in economic development, something he has always been passionate about.
Tyler is an avid hiker and backpacker and loves spending time in the Oconee mountains and on the Chattooga River. Some of his hobbies include BBQ judging, his is a master judge with the SC Barbeque Association, and martial arts where he has a black belt in karate.
The Oconee Economic Alliance is a senior strategic partner of TCEDC and a vital part of our service to the community. The Oconee Economic Alliance is a public-private nonprofit effort to accelerate job creation and capital investment, increase per capita income, diversify the local tax base and generate awareness of Oconee County as a business location.
OEA works with existing primary employers to help them grow in Oconee County. They also attract new companies to locate here and work with community partners to build upon and improve the area’s desirability to businesses and residents.
Learn more about the Oconee Economic Alliance at http://investoconeesc.com.
SCORE is a nonprofit association dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals through education and mentorship.
Because SCORE is supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and thanks to a network of 10,000 volunteers, SCORE is able to deliver services at no charge or at very low cost.
SCORE can provide:
Volunteer MENTORS who share their expertise across 62 industries
Free, confidential business MENTORING in person, via email or by video
Free business TOOLS, templates and online tips
Inexpensive or free business WORKSHOPS (locally) and webinars (online 24/7)
SCORE is the nation’s largest network of volunteer, expert business mentors, with more than 10,000 volunteers in 300 chapters.
As a resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), SCORE has helped more than 10 million entrepreneurs through mentoring, workshops and educational resources since 1964.
Our local Piedmont chapter has 40 volunteers committed to helping entrepreneurs start a new business or grow an existing business.
Learn more at www.piedmont.score.org.
The TCEDC conducts free entrepreneur training programs on a regular basis at Tri-County Technical College in Pendleton, South Carolina.
The “Small Business Start-Up” workshop addresses the early steps involved in starting a small business and is offered to area individuals interested in beginning the process. The workshop is also available for those who are already in business but need to supplement their skills.
Learn more at https://www.tctc.edu.
For more than forty years, entrepreneurs have turned to South Carolina Small Business Development Centers (SC SBDC) for help expanding an existing business or starting a new enterprise. Through free consulting, low-cost seminars and links to resources, the SC SBDC helps jump-start startups and makes existing businesses thrive.