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"North Carolina Economic Developers Association (NCEDA) Announces 2015-2016 Board of Directors"

June 22, 2015

The NCEDA issued the following press release regarding NP attorney Ernie Pearson's election to President of the organization:

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Raleigh, N.C. - 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 & 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

Prior to 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 Ernie 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. In addition to being Assistant Secretary for Economic Development, he worked with over 100 companies on site selection and expansion projects in multiple states. Also he has worked with numerous 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.

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.

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 assume their positions July 1, 2015.


NCEDA is the leading statewide association of professional economic developers and their allies in North Carolina. NCEDA members work to promote the state and its communities as places for new economic activity. They are on the front line of economic development in North Carolina. Based in Raleigh, NCEDA provides professional development, advocacy and information services for its members.

For more information, visit NCEDA’s website,

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June 22, 2015

CONTACT: John Peterson