Meet Our Team


Ryan McDaniels, Executive Director

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Ryan McDaniels joined LNED in April 2013, after serving for more than a decade with Cabarrus Economic Development.

Ryan is a graduate of UNC Charlotte, and completed the Economic Development Institute at the University of Oklahoma. Ryan is one of the youngest recipients to receive the prestigious Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) certification. He presently serves on the Accreditation Economic Development Committee of the International Economic Development Council. Ryan is also Past Chair of the Economic Development Advisory Council for the Charlotte Regional Partnership. 

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Leslie Hardwick, Economic Development Coordinator

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Leslie joined LNED in August 2013. Prior to joining the organization she was the VP of Communications for United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley in Columbus, Ga. While at United Way she was instrumental in the implementation of the organization’s strategic and relationship management plans. Leslie served as the co-chair of the Servant Leadership Committee for the Columbus Young Professionals.

Leslie graduated from the University of South Carolina with a BA in Journalism and Mass Communications with a focus on Public Relations.