Former N.C. Commerce Secretary Joins Brooks Pierce

Tony Copeland

GREENSBORO, NC—Tony Copeland, who served as North Carolina’s Secretary of Commerce from January 2017 to January 2021, has joined Brooks Pierce as Senior Economic Development & Corporate Strategist to launch the firm’s new economic development practice area.

Brooks Pierce’s economic development practice will help businesses considering expansions or additional operations evaluate a wide range of needs including real estate, incentives and regulatory requirements.

Copeland has a rich background in economic development with real-world international experience as a corporate executive. During his tenure as the state’s commerce secretary, North Carolina recruited $18.4 billion in capital investment and created nearly 81,000 jobs through the use of incentives. Among his top achievements were negotiating $400 million in incentives to secure Centene Corp.’s $1 billion, 3,200-employee campus in Charlotte, the single largest job creation project in North Carolina history, and securing the largest global headquarters incentive agreement in the state on behalf of Red Hat Inc., now a division of IBM. He also led the recruitment of high-profile corporate announcements involving Honeywell, Lowe’s, Eli Lilly, Corning, Merck, Nestle Purina, Lenovo and Honda Aviation.

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