Sumter, South Carolina | American Spirit. Global Edge. | 800.888.7926

Our Team

Jay Schwedler
President & CEO

A South Carolina Certified Economic Developer, Jay is a Clemson University graduate with dual degrees in Economics and Agriculture. Since 2006, he has been the leader of Sumter Economic Development and has facilitated the creation of more than 3000 jobs . A distinguished economic developer, Jay has been recognized as the South Carolina Economic Developer of the Year. In addition, he is a graduate of Leadership South Carolina, a Tuomey Fellow and serves on multiple state, regional, and community level boards and organizations. Most recently, Jay was recognized as one of the top 50 Economic Developers in the nation and as a Master Practitioner after completing the Advanced Economic Development Leadership Program.  In his free time, Jay enjoys the outdoors and spending time with friends and family.

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Eliza Buxton
Manager, Operations

Eliza joined the Sumter Development Board in 2011.  Prior to her arrival in Sumter, she gained significant experience in non-profit management as the former Director of Finance for the Gibbes Museum in Charleston, SC and the Director of Operations for a non-profit consulting firm.

With a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University and a Masters in International Business from the University of South Carolina, she brings a vast educational background and a diverse work experience to the job. She has studied in London, and worked in San Francisco and Paris.

As the Manager of Operations, Eliza acts as the chief support personnel to the Board of Directors and the President/CEO with a primary focus on managing day to day office and organizational operations of Sumter Economic Development and the Sumter Smarter Growth Initiative (SSGI). Eliza is a South Carolina Certified Economic Developer. Her interests include antiquing, traveling and spending time with her husband and boy/girl twins.

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Erika Williams
Manager, Communications and Strategic Initiatives

Hailing from Denmark, SC, Erika has more than 15 years of diverse experience in integrated communications and program management. She earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Mass Communications and Theatre from Lander University and a Masters in Public Administration from the University of South Carolina.  As the Communications and Strategic Initiatives Manager, Erika is the primary liaison for community outreach, media relations, and talent development initiatives. She is an AFAA Certified Group Fitness Instructor and is involved in a number of community councils and advisory boards.

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Brian Rauschenbach
Economic Development Project Manager

Brian Rauschenbach, a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, is the economic development project manager.  Prior to this role, Brian served as the youth apprenticeship consultant for Apprenticeship Carolina and was instrumental in the development of youth apprenticeship programs across the state.

A South Carolina Certified Economic Developer, Brian has a B.A. in Business Administration specializing in technology management from Saint Leo University.  He has associate’s degrees in applied sciences from the Community College of the Air Force  specializing in aviation maintenance technology and technology and military sciences.  As Economic Development Project Manager, Brian is responsible for existing industry retention and expansion as well as new business development. He is married to Kimberly Rauschenbach, and they have two children Calla and Brooks.

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Yanet Alvarez
Manager, Research and Multimedia

Yanet Alvarez serves as Manager of Research and Multimedia for Sumter Economic Development and TheLINK Economic Development Alliance between Sumter and Lee Counties. A Cuban native, Yanet came to South Carolina in 2014 to attend the University of South Carolina and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration in December of 2017.

 Yanet provides organizational support by conducting economic research on sites and building certification. She is responsible for managing digital media platforms, graphic design and creating local and global marketing.  Yanet is a certified business analyst and licensed SC Realtor.

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“I’ve spent enough time in Sumter now to know that this is a strong community with great people, and dedicated leaders looking toward the future. Continental Tire is proud to continue to be a part of Sumter’s success story.”
Craig Baartman
Manager, Continental Tires The Americas, Sumter