Richard serves as the Vice President of Development for the Southeast Region. His focus is providing both development and acquisition solutions on the industrial real estate front for both companies and communities.
Blackwell earned both his Master’s in Public Administration and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of South Carolina. He has completed the ‘Basic Economic Development Course’ through Georgia Tech, earned a Certificate in Non-Profit Management from Duke University, earned a Certificate in Leadership from Clemson University and is a graduate of the Economic Development Institute at the University of Oklahoma (OU EDI).
Richard has earned the “South Carolina Certified Economic Developer” (SCCED) certification through the South Carolina Economic Developers Association and the South Carolina Department of Commerce. He also earned a “Master Practitioner” (EcDMP) credential in 2018 as a member of the inaugural class of the Advanced Economic Development Leadership (AEDL) program administered by five partner universities: the University of Alabama, Clemson University, Texas Christian University, University of New Mexico, and the University of Southern Mississippi. In 2015, Blackwell was named the “local/regional economic development director of the year” by the Upstate South Carolina Alliance. He is the 2016 recipient of the Novogradac Journal of Tax Credits Community Development Individual Achievement Award – “Public Executive of the Year”. In 2018, he was named one of North America’s Top 50 Economic Developers by Consultant Connect.
Blackwell’s professional affiliations include NAIOP, SIOR, the Georgia Economic Developers Association (GEDA), the Virginia Economic Developers Association (VEDA), South Carolina Economic Developers’ Association (SCEDA), and the Southern Economic Development Council (SEDC). He is currently serving on the board of directors of SEDC and as the 2020-2021 President of SCEDA.