Mayor Rick Danner

Rick Danner may have started out as the mayor of a small town when he took office in 2000, but today, he leads one of South Carolina’s fastest-growing cities. Greer still has room to grow, and Mayor Danner has a vision for how to do it the right way. The mayor says becoming a “City of Choice” requires investing, planning, and making a concerted effort to meet the needs of Greer’s increasingly diverse community.

Mayor Danner was born in Tennessee and lived in several southern cities before attending high school in Florence, South Carolina. He met his wife Rita, a Greer native, at Clemson University where they both earned degrees. Danner moved to Greer after graduating from college, and it’s been his home ever since.

Rick and Rita Danner have been actively involved in the Greer community for decades. The Danners raised two sons, grew a business, and built a life based on service. Rick Danner coached his sons’ sports teams, remained active in his church, and served on the City of Greer Recreation Board before voters elected him mayor. When Mayor Danner took office, the city faced a lot of challenges – many related to budget constraints, growth, and facility needs.

Since the 1990s, Greer has quadrupled in size, and the population has tripled. Mayor Danner has served on the Local Leaders Council for Smart Growth America, as a board member and president of the board of the Municipal Association of South Carolina, and as a founding board member of Ten at the Top, an organization designed to strengthen Upstate South Carolina through collaboration. Danner has also been active in the Greater Greer Chamber of Commerce.

Danner has fostered a business-friendly environment in Greer and has been a champion for economic development. Under his leadership, the city has seen a rise in industrial and commercial investment. During his tenure, SC Ports constructed Inland Port Greer. When it opened, the inland port primarily served BMW, but it has since expanded into a hub of global commerce improving supply chain efficiency for advanced manufacturers, tire producers, and major retailers. Mayor Danner is a graduate of the SC Port Ambassadors Program which is designed to educate leaders about the vital role our ports play in the global supply chain and economic development in South Carolina.

BMW has had an enormous economic impact on the Upstate over the past 30 years. The automotive giant has recently invested millions of dollars in new logistics and vehicle accessory centers in the City of Greer. In 2024, BMW announced a $1 billion investment in Plant Spartanburg in the Greer area to meet the growing demand for electric vehicles.

At least 35 foreign-owned companies are operating within the city and almost double that have a Greer address. While supporting the influx of international business, Mayor Danner has never lost his focus on supporting small, local companies.

Mayor Danner led a major community planning initiative in 2008. As a result of those efforts, a new City of Greer Municipal Complex including City Hall, a new Police and Courts Complex, and the 12-acre Greer City Park have greatly improved the quality of life and services in the community.

In 2019, the City of Greer continued its efforts to support downtown merchants. The $25 million “CenterG” initiative included an ambitious streetscape project, renovations to the Center for the Arts, and construction of the city’s first downtown parking garage.

In 2024, Mayor Danner and City Administrator Andy Merriman unveiled four proposed projects totaling $100 million to serve the public safety and recreation needs of the Greer community. The ForGreer projects include a new fire and police training facility, a new fire station, a 500+ space parking garage, and a $60 million sports and event complex.

As city leaders plan to add services and amenities to support the rapidly growing population, Mayor Danner places a priority on preserving Greer’s strong sense of community identity and small-town feel. Mayor Danner believes with support from the entire community, Greer can become an ideal place to live, work, play, raise a family, or retire!