Can We Help?

For more information about the Carolinas Gateway region, please contact:

Tracy Crenshaw


Click to Contact

About Us

We are a public-private industrial recruitment agency dedicated to the economic development of the Eastern North Carolina counties of Nash and Edgecombe. A collaborative effort of two counties and 18 cities, towns and municipalities, this region offers an exceptional opportunity for companies experiencing growth and expansion or desiring relocation. To learn more, click the various links on this page.


  • Promote economic development throughout the region in a manner which makes the overall welfare of the citizens of the region its highest priority.
  • Bring new business and industry to each county and municipality in the region.
  • Work for the retention and growth of existing business and industry in each county and municipality in the region.
  • Promote business and industrial growth that will provide jobs for the citizens in the region's counties and municipalities.
  • Provide public/private leadership to coordinate and direct economic development in the region.
  • Increase awareness and knowledge of the region.
  • Develop standby capabilities for unanticipated economic development opportunities.


  • Increase contacts and referrals to the counties in the region from all sources and increase cooperation within and among the members of the economic development community in the region and state.
  • Generate, through aggressive, first-class regional marketing and promotion, increased direct contacts to the counties in the region for business/industrial development.
  • Provide compelling presentations of the region, each county and municipality to business prospects through the North Carolina Department of Commerce and regional marketing.
  • Devise and implement an economic development strategy for the region, including targeting growth prospects and active business retention, expansion and development programs.
  • Involve county and municipal governmental entities and private business groups in economic development activities in each county of the region.
  • Promote development of business/industrial parks and readily available shell buildings in the region.
  • Create a fund from private business groups or otherwise for the provision of incentives to new and existing business prospects in the region where appropriate.
  • Assist economic development efforts that may exist within each county and/or municipality in the region.
  • Utilize effectively and efficiently all local, state and regional resources, including the Department of Commerce, the Research Triangle Park, to deliver first-quality economic development services in the region.
  • Be recognized as the regional development entity, or perform the role of such an entity if recognition cannot be obtained, in either case representing the region in dealings with the Department of Commerce or, in the alternative, assisting the counties in the region in their dealings with the Department of Commerce and the economic development community and prospects.



CEO & President
Norris Tolson


Vice President
Oppie N. Jordan


Vice President
Krista Ikirt


Office Manager
Tracy Crenshaw


Director of Research & Special Projects
Josh Tatum





*E Norris Tolson, CEO/President
*Donald H. Williams, Jr., Chairman
* David W. Combs, Vice Chairman
*Robert E. Barnhill, III, Treasurer
* Robbie B. Davis, Secretary

Public Directors

*Gerald Batts, Town of Dortches

*Fred Belfield, Nash County Commissioners
T. Lee Bissett, F.D. Bissett & Sons, Inc.
*W.B. Bullock, Rocky Mount City Council
*Eric Evans, Edgecombe County Manager
*William S. Carver, III., Nash Community College
Dewey Clark, North Carolina Wesleyan College
Joyce Dickens, Edgecombe County Appointee
John High Jr., Nash County Appointee
Dan Grisley, Edgecombe County Appointee
Jerry Harris, Nash County BDA
*Zee Lamb, Nash County Manager
*Dr. Gregory McLeod, Edgecombe Community College
*Valeria Lee
*Troy Lewis, Town of Tarboro Manager
*Chris Miller, Rocky Mount City Council
*Wayne Outlaw, Nash County Commissioner
*Pete Connet, Town of Nashville Manager
Larry Talor, Town of Nashville
*Rochelle Small-Toney, City of Rocky Mount Manager
Linda Williams, Nash County Appointee
Stephen Williams, Nash County Appointee
*Leonard Wiggins, Edgecombe County Commissioners
Barden Winstead, Jr., Stifel, Nicolaus & Co., Inc.
*William B. Wooten, Edgecombe County Commissioner
Richard Joyner, Town of Tarboro Council
Luther H. Lewis, Jr., Town of Middlesex, Mayor
Valerie Bridges, Edgecombe County Public Schools

Private Directors


Randall Adams, Poyner & Spruill, LLP

John Judd, Cummins Engine, Rocky Mount Plant

*Vince Andracchio,II, Guardian Holdings, Inc.

Patrick Hein, Vidant Edgecombe Hospital

Michael Bryant, Southern Bank

*Lee Isley, Nash Health Care Systems

Evan Covington-Chavez, Capital Broadcasting Company

*Lige Daughtridge, Daughtridge Sales Company, Inc.

Sonny Foster, Smithson, Inc
*Mike Hancock, Boddie-Noell Enterprise, Inc.

*Justin Kurkiewicz, PNC Bank

Sterrett Lloyd, Draka Elevator Products

John Jones, Rocky Mount Association of Realtors

Marty Nealey, Pfizer

Walter Stallings, BB&T  Bank

William Stanulis, QVC, Inc.

*Jeff Tobias, Providence Bank

Gus Tulloss, Gus Tulloss Insurance

*Jeremy Whitehurst, Barnhill Contracting Company

Mark Wilson

*David Farris,  Rocky Mount Chamber

*Susan Freeman, Tarboro-Edgecombe Chamber

Frank Harrison, Harrison & Harrison, Inc.


*Denotes Executive Committee Member  

Office Manager
Tracy Crenshaw

252-442-0114 x4

Can We Help?

For more information about the Carolinas Gateway region, please contact:

Tracy Crenshaw


Click to Contact