Kyle Touchstone

Jamie Vaughn
Vice President

Ben Townsend
Business Services Manager

Michele Kisthardt
Communications Specialist

Kyle joined the Chatham EDC as its president in March 2016. He leads the organization’s implementation of a comprehensive economic development plan for Chatham County, which includes three program areas of business attraction, business retention and expansion, and entrepreneurship.

Kyle's economic development career includes two years as the executive director for Pontotoc County Chamber of Commerce and five years as the economic development project manager for the Knoxville, Tennessee Chamber. He most recently served as the executive vice president for the Economic Development Council of Tallahassee/Leon County.

A graduate of Mississippi State University, Kyle holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Communication. In 2011, he completed the University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institute certificate program.

Kyle is active in several business and civic organizations, including the Siler City Rotary Club, Siler City Development Organization, Chatham Chamber of Commerce, Research Triangle Regional Partnership, and the North Carolina Economic Developers Association.

As Vice President, Jamie oversees the EDC’s efforts for retention and expansion of Chatham County’s existing industries.

Jamie has a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of North Carolina at Asheville and a Master of Business Administration from Florida State University.

Before joining the EDC in 2014, Jamie worked with the North Carolina Department of Commerce, Jacksonville-Onslow Sports Commission and Special Olympics North Carolina.

As a former collegiate track and field athlete and coach, Jamie stays busy coaching youth basketball and track and field. He is a USA Track and Field Certified Official and works youth, high school and college meets throughout the state.

Ben joined the EDC in November 2009 as its Business Services Manager. In this role, Ben keeps the EDC running by maintaining records and finances, providing support to staff and serving as the inital contact for most EDC clients.

A Chatham County native, Ben previously worked for United Way of Chatham County as its Finance Officer and in public accounting.

Ben is a graduate of North Carolina State University where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting.

Michele joined the EDC as a Communications Specialist in January 2017. She manages the organization's communications and marketing efforts.

Michele earned a marketing degree from John Carroll University, where she is a member of the Alumni Board and Triangle Chapter president, and holds an MBA from Case Western Reserve University.  

She spent 10 years in retail banking in Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Milwaukee, before founding her own business in Hudson, Ohio, where she helped small businesses create and implement their marketing and communication strategies.

Michele relocated to Chatham County in late 2015 and serves as the marketing chairperson for Relay Fore Life, a Chapel Ridge golf fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, and Alzheimer’s NC Walk and 5k, held annually at Galloway Ridge at Fearrington.