EDC official Van Geons on ’40 under 40′ list of movers and shakers

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 27, 2009

Robert Van Geons, executive director of the Salisbury-Rowan Economic Development Commission, recently was named to the Charlotte Business Journal’s annual list of “40 under 40.”
The weekly business publication identifies 40 people under the age of 40 “who are making strides in their careers and impacting their communities,” associate Steve Cranford said.
It is the 16th annual “40 under 40.”
Cranford said this year’s class “clearly demonstrates the caliber of professionals who are guiding the area’s development as a major business center.”
Current and past recipients were treated to a June 9 reception at BlackFinn American Saloon, the presenting sponsor.
A profile on Van Geons and the 39 others put on the list appeared in the June 12 edition of the Charlotte Business Journal.
Van Geons, 33, was hired at the EDC in 2008, coming from a similar job in Stanly County. He graduated in 1997 from Catawba College with a degree in political science. He earned a master’s degree in economic development at the University of Southern Mississippi and is a current doctoral candidate in international development.
Some odds and end gleaned from the questionnaire Van Geons filled out for the Business Journal:
– He and his wife, Tara, live with six rescued cats.
– His most valued mentor: Sanford Silverburg, professor of political science at Catawba College.
– Last book read: Mark Bauerlein’s “The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future (Or Don’t Trust Anyone under 30).”
– Last movie seen: The Good Shepherd.
– Favorite Web site: www.theeconomist.com.
– Favorite possession: the bar from the Charlotte City Club’s Stonewall Jackson Lounge.
– Hobbies: guitar, tennis, mixology.
– Heroes: His father, Michael Van Geons; Benjamin Franklin; Thomas Jefferson; Danforth Shattuck (World War II veteran and Scoutmaster).
– Fantasy job: singer in a country-punk band.
– One-word description of self: “Veridical.”
– The most important issue facing the region: “We must embrace the cultural tenets that were catalysts for our rise to international prominence รณ innovation, creativity, tenacity and a passion for outperforming our competitors and detractors.”