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City officials mourn loss of local business figure

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Charleston business leaders are mourning the death of former economic development official Caldwell Davis, who died last week at the age of 57.

Davis, who served as president of the Business and Industrial Development Corp. from 1993 to 1997, was instrumental in recruiting businesses to the Southridge Corridor G development in the mid-90s.

"Under Mr. Davis' leadership, BIDCO spearheaded many far-reaching economic development projects, including development of the Southridge Centre on Corridor G," Charleston Area Alliance president Matt Ballard said in a statement Monday. 

BIDCO is one of the organizations that merged to create the Charleston Area Alliance in 2004.

"The Kanawha Valley continues to benefit from the significant job and business opportunities that resulted from these and other major efforts launched during his tenure as BIDCO president," Ballard said.

A Charleston native, Davis was appointed BIDCO president in November 1993 after serving four years as the organization's vice president for business development.

Davis' tenure included the continued development of the Southridge Business Park off on BIDCO-owned land along Corridor G.

The organization also assisted in landing projects from Toyota Motor Manufacturing, NGK Spark Plug Manufacturing and CASCI, among others.

Davis left the organization in 1997 to move with his family to Wilmington, Del., where he lived until his death.

"If I had a parting message, it would be for West Virginians to remember that today West Virginia is world class," Davis said when he announced his departure. "We can do it here, and we are doing it here."

Ballard said the Alliance's success today could be attributed to the visionary work of leaders like Davis.

"We honor his legacy and join with the rest of the community in extending our deepest sympathy to his family at this sorrowful time," he said.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday at the Vicmead Hunt Club, Wilmington, Del, according to Davis' obituary. In lieu of flowers, the family requests individuals make a contribution to the charity of their choice.


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