Attachment: The Sanford Holshouser Business Development Group, LLC

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Attachment 1 - The Sanford Holshouser Business Development Group, LLC


The Sanford Holshouser Business Development Group (Sanford Holshouser), affiliated with Sanford Holshouser LLP the law firm of former Senator Terry Sanford and former Governor Jim Holshouser, brings together six experienced economic developers to offer a broad spectrum of planning, policy guidance and operational services to municipalities, counties, economic development organizations and companies.

Sanford Holshouser’s six partners’ direct economic development experience includes:

  • marketing and business recruitment
  • existing industry retention and expansion
  • small business development
  • infrastructure development
  • workforce development
  • industrial park development
  • shell building development
  • site certification
  • utility related economic development programs
  • entrepreneurial initiatives
  • structuring economic development organizations
  • operational strategies for EDOs
  • incentive negotiations
  • incentive policy development
  • and a range of other economic development tools

Sanford Holshouser Services

Site Selection

  • Selection Criteria – assisting companies in developing location importance factors
  • Search – comprehensive searching for sites and/or buildings that meet client needs.
  • Comparisons – developing a standardized cost/benefit comparison of communities.
  • Incentive Negotiating – negotiating the best deal for the company’s long term goals.

Operations and Management

Strategic Planning – development of specialized short and long term plans designed to provide guidance and measurable results.

Board Development – assist ED boards to enhance their leadership roles; retreat facilitation.

Executive Search and Bridge Management - assistance in recruiting a qualified professional for the program; professional management of the economic development program during the executive search.

Fundraising - through association with one of the nation’s best professional economic development fundraising group.

Program Development

Local Program Development - assist communities in broadening their ED program by developing strategies in Existing Industry Assistance, Workforce Development, Small Business Assistance, Entrepreneurship and Agribusiness.

Marketing – reaching the “gatekeepers” who deliver clients; target-market analysis to enable the recruitment of companies that are compatible with the community.

Client Handling - providing professional treatment to prospects.

Product Development

Product Development – industrial park development; shell building programs; consortium financing; NC DOC site certification; brokerage; land banking; dual county industrial parks.

Incentives and Financing

Incentives Negotiations - making sure it’s the right deal for the client.

Incentive Policies – helping communities develop policies that protect investment.

Financing - strategies for financing product development and program operation.

Managing Partners

Governor Holshouser participates in the Business Development Group’s consulting projects involving economic development policy.

Ernie Pearson is North Carolina’s leading expert on incentives, incentive policies and structuring product development initiatives.

Bob Comer has specific experience restructuring economic development organizations.

Crystal Morphis specializes in existing business, product development and comprehensive economic development planning.

Rocky Lane’s specialties include workforce development, training and existing business retention and expansion.

Mike Geouge has extensive experience in city planning and utility related economic development issues.

Gary Shope has sixteen years’ experience recruiting companies to the world’s leading technology park, the Research Triangle Park.

Governor James E. Holshouser, Jr. has been involved in public service throughout his career as a lawyer dedicated to his clientele, a state representative, Governor from 1973 to 1977, and by service in numerous public and private sector boards, such as the UNC Board of Governors. During his tenure as Governor, North Carolina saw a number of economic development “firsts”, to include the first North Carolina overseas recruitment office in Germany and the first time this state had total new investment to surpass one billion dollars. He has guided and participated in policy matters related to economic development initiatives from local to the state level.

Ernest C. Pearson has served both in the private practice of law and in public policy positions. He served as Assistant Secretary for Economic Development of the NC Department of Commerce. He managed economic development programs, including industrial recruitment, international trade, small business development, tourism, film industry recruitment, and finance programs for industry. Since returning to the private sector in 1993, his law practice has focused on economic development matters, representing numerous local jurisdictions in economic development projects and companies in site selection projects.

Robert F. Comer has developed strategic action plans, organizational restructuring and privatization, marketing plans, personnel policies and funding campaigns for several local and regional economic development organizations in North Carolina. A local developer for 15 years and a pioneer in regional economic development, Bob currently serves as chairman of Piedmont Triad’s regional economic development Foundation. A retired US Navy Captain, Bob graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill and has a master’s degree equivalent from the US Naval War College.

Crystal P. Morphis, CEcD, has seven years of direct local economic development experience. She has experience in developing industrial parks, site certification, marketing, existing industry program development, strategic planning, private sector fundraising, executive searches and research for economic development. She serves on the Advisory Board for NC State University’s Industrial Extension Service and is an instructor at the UNC-Chapel Hill Basic ED Course. Crystal holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics from Salem College and a Master of Science Degree in Economics from UNC-Charlotte.

L. Calvin “Rocky” Lane, Jr., has over 13 years experience as an economic developer and 15 years in workforce development. During that tenure, he was responsible for developing a fully serviced industrial park, a shell building, two NCDOC Certified Sites, an award winning marketing program, and the successful recruitment of 17 new companies and numerous expansions representing over $1.5 billion in new investment and over 2000 new jobs. Lane served in various positions with Halifax Community College for over 13 years, the last three as Dean of Continuing Education. He holds Bachelors and Masters Degrees from N.C. State University.

Michael K. Geouge, CEcD, has over 37-years of economic development and city planning experience. He has been the Manager of Economic Development for Duke Power/ Nantahala Power, manager of the western regional office of the North Carolina Department of Commerce and spent 15-years experience as a city planner and/or planning director with the states of North Carolina, Tennessee and Mississippi. He has participated in over 300 industrial client visits and in nearly 100 industrial client announced locations. He earned a BS degree from East Tennessee State University in urban geography.

Gary L. Shope has direct experience in prospect identification, targeted marketing and recruiting technology companies. Prior to joining Sanford Holshouser, Shope was Vice President of the Research Triangle Park Foundation for sixteen years and was involved in the recruitment of: Credit Suisse First Boston, Cisco Systems, Biogen Idec, Motorola, Sony Ericsson, Bayer Biologics, Network Appliance, Synthon Pharmaceuticals and many others. Shope also has held several positions in the NC Department of Commerce. Shope holds a BA degree from West Virginia Wesleyan College and a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Current and Previous Clients of The Sanford Holshouser Business Development Group and Sanford Holshouser LLP

Advantage West Regional Partnership

Albert Lea, Minnesota

Alleghany County

Ashe County

Avery County

Carteret County

Catawba County

City of Albemarle, on behalf of ElectriCities, Inc.

City of Cherryville, on behalf of ElectriCities, Inc.

City of Gastonia, on behalf of ElectriCities, Inc.

City of High Point, on behalf of ElectriCities, Inc.

City of Kinston, on behalf of ElectriCities, Inc.

City of Laurinburg, on behalf of ElectriCities, Inc.

City of Lexington, on behalf of ElectriCities, Inc.

City of Lumberton, on behalf of ElectriCities, Inc.

City of Monroe, on behalf of ElectriCities, Inc.

City of Morganton, on behalf of ElectriCities, Inc.

City of Newton, on behalf of ElectriCities, Inc.

City of Shelby, on behalf of ElectriCities, Inc.

City of Statesville, on behalf of ElectriCities, Inc.

Clay County

Craven County

Cumberland County

Davidson County

Gates County

Halifax County

Harnett County

Henderson County

Hertford County

Hoke County EDC

Hyde County

Iredell County

Jones County

Kerr-Tar Council of Governments

Lee County

Martin County

New Hanover County

North Carolina Department of Commerce

North Carolina Motorsports Association

North Carolina’s Southeast

Northampton County

Pamlico County

Pender County

Research Triangle Regional Partnership

Rockingham County Partnership for Economic and Tourism Development

Rutherford County

Sampson County

Stanly County

Surry County

Town of Apex, on behalf of ElectriCities, Inc.

Town of Benson, on behalf of ElectriCities, Inc.

Town of Cary

Town of Clayton, on behalf of ElectriCities, Inc.

Town of Clinton

Town of Cornelius, on behalf of ElectriCities, Inc.

Town of Drexel, on behalf of ElectriCities, Inc.

Town of Farmville, on behalf of ElectriCities, Inc.

Town of Granite Falls, on behalf of ElectriCities, Inc.

Town of Elkin

Town of Holly Springs

Town of Huntersville, on behalf of ElectriCities, Inc.

Town of Landis, on behalf of ElectriCities, Inc.

Town of Maiden, on behalf of ElectriCities, Inc.

Town of Navassa

Town of Selma, on behalf of ElectriCities, Inc.

Town of Smithfield, on behalf of ElectriCities, Inc.

Town of Wake Forest, on behalf of ElectriCities, Inc.

Wayne County EDC

Yadkin County Chamber of Commerce

Yancey County

Yancey County EDC