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This essay explains how the globalisation of Spartanburg, South Carolina was enabled by an entrepreneurial chamber of commerce executive who made connections with state political leaders. Utilising archival research, interviews with some players, and scholarship from several fields, this essay shows how Richard Tukey, Spartanburg chamber executive from 1951-1979, used his political skills and interpersonal relationships to benefit Spartanburg. Although never holdingpublic office, Tukey guided South Carolina's political elite, particularly Governors Robert McNair and John West, in preparing South Carolina fo r the global economy. Tukey's partnership with West extended his influence such that his methods shaped the state's economic development strategies fo r decades, and his role at Spartanburg's chamber ensured that it remains a key agent in globalisation today. This story is one of outsiders becoming members of the local elite and, because of the deference to elites in traditionalist political culture, forging personal relationships that shaped the future.

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