|Raleigh, N.C. – North Carolina Commerce Secretary Anthony M. Copeland has appointed Kenny Flowers, an economic and community development professional, as the department’s Assistant Secretary for Rural Economic Development.
Flowers will guide the department’s support for North Carolina’s rural communities. He will lead a team of specialists that help communities make the preparations and infrastructure investments needed to attract companies and spur economic growth.
Before accepting his new appointment, Flowers served as Assistant Vice Chancellor for Community and Regional Development at East Carolina University. At ECU, he created and implemented program and policy initiatives to address regional issues. He developed the Municipal Management and Innovation initiative that delivers administrative, management and project assistance to small municipalities with limited capacity. He also created the ECU Rural Community Consortium. The Consortium engages faculty, staff and students in partnership with statewide organizations and rural community leaders.
Earlier in his career, Flowers served as Director of Rural Development at N.C. Commerce and Executive Director at the N.C. Rural Development Council. As Director of Rural Development at N.C. Commerce, Flowers partnered with local governments and statewide partners to identify and secure resources that addressed critical needs in rural communities, including directing more than $80 million to local governments.
Flowers has also worked at the N.C. General Assembly as a fiscal analyst for the House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Education and as a policy analyst for the City of Jacksonville, Florida.
A native of Anson County, Flowers received his bachelor’s degree in public policy and political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He earned a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.
Kenneth Flowers’ appointment is effective Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017.