01/08/09 — Carroll tapped for post in Perdue's Cabinet

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Carroll tapped for post in Perdue's Cabinet

By Catharin Shepard
Published in News on January 8, 2009 1:46 PM

Dale Carroll

When Gov.-elect Bev Perdue takes office at the inauguration ceremony on Saturday, Wayne County native Dale Carroll will be watching closely along with the rest of the state.

It will be the official introduction of North Carolina's first female governor -- his new boss, and longtime acquaintance.

"I grew up near the Wayne County fairgrounds," said Carroll, tapped Monday to join Perdue's Cabinet as deputy secretary of the state Department of Commerce.

Carroll will have his hands full with a state suffering the loss of thousands of jobs in the past year and struggling with a 7.9 percent unemployment rate.

But he sees the tumultuous time as a chance to rebuild the state's economy.

"If you think about challenge in a positive way, it can actually become an opportunity," Carroll said.

Carroll will work as deputy and chief operating officer under incoming North Carolina Secretary of Commerce Keith Crisco, a city councilman from Asheboro and president of an elastics manufacturing company.

When Carroll was contacted by Perdue's transition team, he was happy to become more involved with the state's economic development.

"It was a very pleasant surprise," he said.

Perdue wants her Cabinet to hit the ground running.

"We have been asked to identify for her during the first 60 days, what are the most pressing needs," Carroll said.

The Cabinet members will be sworn in on Monday. They plan on getting down to work immediately.

"We'll do a lot of listening," said Carroll.

Carroll will bring to Raleigh 12 years' experience as president and chief executive officer of AdvantageWest, a regional economic development agency, and a special dedication to "green-collar" businesses that strive to be environmentally friendly. An entire division of the company, called AdvantageGreen, reaches out to "green" ventures.

"AdvantageGreen has been very successful identifying environment-related companies," he said. "We have had tremendous success with solar companies."

While at AdvantageWest, Carroll also supported a venture to design a kit that could make the Ford Focus automobile run on compressed natural gas.

He hopes to continue his work with environmentally forward-thinking companies in his new position.

"We're very excited about the possibilities," he said.

Besides working for Advan-tageWest for the past 12 years, Carroll also led the N.C. Economic Developers Associa-tion and served on the state Economic Development Board.

He worked for Progress Energy for 18 years before he moved to western North Carolina. While with Progress Energy, Carroll served in roles ranging from engineer to business manager, and at one time was the company's manager of economic development at the company's headquarters in Raleigh.