Nexsen Pruet attorney appointed as 2015-16 NCEDA leader

Earnest pearson

The North Carolina Economic Developers Association (NCEDA) has elected its 2015-2016 board of directors.

The 2015-2016 officers are:

  • President – Ernest C. Pearson, member, Nexsen Pruet, PLLC
  • Vice-President – Andrew Tate, president and CEO, Henderson County Partnership for Economic Development
  • Secretary/Treasurer – Steve Yost, president, North Carolina’s Southeast
  • Immediate Past President – C. Michael Smith, executive director, Statesville Regional Development

Before being recruited as an attorney for Nexsen Pruet PLLC, NCEDA’s incoming president Ernest “Ernie” Pearson was a former North Carolina Commerce Department assistant secretary. In addition to practicing law as a member at Nexsen Pruet, he is also a founding partner in the Sanford Holshouser Economic Development Consulting firm.

Best Lawyers in America listed Pearson as one of only 28 lawyers in the country in the category of economic development in 2013, and one of 33 in 2014. He also has been named one of Southern Business and Development Magazine’s top economic development lawyers in 18 Southern states for several years.

Ernie is no novice to the field of economic development, a NCEDA news release said. He has worked with more than 100 companies on site selection and expansion projects in multiple states and local, regional and state economic development organizations on matters dealing with strategic action planning, structuring industrial park and shell building deals, incorporating and organizing nonprofit corporation, and executive searches, the NCEDA news release reported.

“Ernie’s previous work in a broad range of legal disciplines includes corporate, real estate, employment and labor law, environmental, litigation and regulatory matters. His broad experience, coupled with his focus on economic development, allows him to understand and coordinate all legal matters for facility site selections,” the news release said.
“Outside his professional life Ernie enjoys spending time with his family, traveling and allocating his time on the Board of Directors of Disciple Bible Outreach Ministries. Ernie has also led Bible study at Harnett Correctional Institute since 2001.”

NCEDA also elected three new board members, who will serve until 2018:

  • Maureen Little, Associate Vice President in Customized Training, NC Community College System
  • John Nelms, Economic Development Manager, Duke Energy
  • Raul Peralta, Senior Vice President, ECS Carolinas, LLP

“This accomplished group is a very welcomed addition to our Board of Directors,” said Michael Smith, NCEDA immediate past president. “Each contributes valuable insight and innovative ideas from their communities throughout our state. We look forward to working with them and watching them lead NCEDA’s mission of advancing economic development across North Carolina.”

The new officers and board members officially assumed their positions on July 1.


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