About The Oconee Economic Alliance
The Oconee Economic Alliance (OEA) is a public-private nonprofit dedicated to bringing jobs and capital investment to Oconee County. Serving as the Economic Development arm of Oconee County, the OEA focuses on increasing per capita income, diversifying the local tax base and generating awareness of Oconee County as a business location. Going beyond the stereotypical role of recruitment and retention of industry, the OEA also assists with downtown revitalization of our municipalities. This additional focus on quality of life and sense of place gives the OEA a unique perspective to analyze economic development from multiple angles. With workforce becoming such an important part of economic development, the OEA understands the importance of creating a community that people of all ages will want to call home today and in the future.
Meet the OEA Staff
Over his career, Gilbert has facilitated the recruitment and expansion of hundreds of global businesses in a variety of sectors including advanced manufacturing, aerospace, customer and financial services, food processing, headquarters operations, information technology, life sciences and metal fabrication. In 2019, Gilbert was named one of the Top 50 Economic Developers in North America by Consultant Connect.
Gilbert has a lifelong passion for economic development as his Father was a city planner, economic developer and private developer. Growing up around economic development he saw first-hand the positive impact it made on communities and chose to make it his career path. He holds a Master’s Degree in City and Regional Planning from Clemson University and a Bachelor’s Degree in political science from the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC). He is a South Carolina Certified Economic Developer (SCCED) and a designated Economic Development Master Practitioner by the Advanced Economic Development Leadership Program.
Tyler James is a South Carolina native, growing up in Laurens SC. He attended Anderson University for his undergrad 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 finance world in 2019. After 2 years in the industry, Tyler decided to return to the world of government work and begin his career in economic development, something he has always been passionate about.
Tyler married his wife Katelin in October of last year and now lives in Seneca. He 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 BBQ Association, and martial arts where he is a black belt in karate.