North Star Hires Economic Development Branding Vice President

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Community branding leader North Star Destination Strategies has hired veteran economic development professional, Lori Odom, to further advance the expertise and insights of the company’s economic development research and branding service line.

Lori Odom - VP/Economic Development Branding, North Star Ideas

Ensuring that economic development-driven brands are not only compelling and competitive but that they are grounded in strategies that forge relationships with key business audiences.

Community branding leader North Star Destination Strategies has hired veteran economic development professional, Lori Odom, to further advance the expertise and insights of the company’s economic development research and branding service line.

Lori spent the last decade guiding the State of Tennessee’s domestic and international business recruitment efforts. Her tenure with the state spanned two administrations and highlights from include assisting Volkswagen, Nissan, Amazon and others choose locations in Tennessee to grow or expand their operations.

According to North Star CEO, Don McEachern, Lori offers a unique mix of business development acumen and strategic marketing skills. "She understands community branding, she understands what it takes to attract new business opportunities to a community and she understands how to operate effectively in a political environment. Truly, Lori is a perfect fit for North Star."

In her North Star capacity, Lori will oversee all economic development branding projects, ensuring that economic development-driven brands are not only compelling and competitive but that they are grounded in strategies that forge relationships with key business audiences including CEOs, site selectors, recruiters, individual talent and media. Lori will also oversee North Star’s research department with an emphasis on developing and refining research tools that help communities dig down to the information they need to make positive change; whether that data is public opinion regarding reputation or a matrix of top business prospects based on criteria specific to the community.

Prior to coming to North Star, Lori traveled the world in the pursuit of business development. She led multi-state international events in Japan, which included the Governors of seven southeastern states and influential Japanese business leaders. A pro at "herding cats," Lori has taken hundreds of business leaders to Asia, Europe and Canada to develop relationships and promote cooperation. As part of former Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen’s team, she was instrumental in the relocation of the Japanese Consulate from New Orleans to Nashville and the establishment of the Tennessee China Development Center in Beijing, China. During her time as the state’s Director of International Investment (2006-2010), foreign direct investment represented nearly $4 out of every $10 dollars invested in Tennessee encompassing over 35% of all investments made in Tennessee during that time.

When not traveling the world, Lori traveled the state assisting large and small communities as they developed strategies to compete in the global market.

A graduate of the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Lori earned a Master of Science in Human Resource Development and a Bachelor of Science in Communications. She and her husband live in Nashville where they spend their free time enjoying the city’s great restaurants and vibrant music scene. Nashville-based North Star is a full-service marketing and branding agency working exclusively with communities. Having partnered with more than 160 places in 39 states nationwide, North Star is considered an industry leader in the field of community, economic development and destination research and branding.

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Anthony Domine
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