North Carolina counties served: Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Caldwell, Watauga, Wilkes
Native North Carolinian Joe Holbrook was born and raised in Statesville. He graduated from Wake Forest with a BBA with a marketing concentration. In 1974 Holbrook joined state government as an economic developer at what was then the N.C. Department of Economic and Natural Resources. He left state government in 1977 to work for five years as an industrial real estate broker. In 1985 Holbrook returned to state government as an economic developer and now has worked for the N.C. Department of Commerce and its predecessor for a total of 31 years. Based in Boone, he is now the department's senior developer in rural northwestern North Carolina.
One example of a company thriving in Holbrook's territory is Lubrimetal Corporation, a member of the Lubrimetal family of companies. Lubrimetal, an Italian-owned family company founded in 1959, is a leading producer of lubricants for the wire drawing industry. In January of this year, the company announced plans to develop a manufacturing facility for the production of wet and dry lubricants for the drawing of steel and non-ferrous wires in Granite Falls in Caldwell County. The new facility will allow Lubrimetal to meet growing market demand in North America. At the time of the announcement, Lubrimetal said that the decision to locate in northwest North Carolina was made due to very strong work ethic at the region's existing industries, the very high degree of service from Holbrook and the Caldwell County EDC, and the available local and state incentives, including the One North Carolina Fund.
When not working, Holbrook says he loves to spend time with his family and especially to spoil his two year-old granddaughter. In addition Holbrook explains, "When I can get time after work, I like to race-walk on an all-weather indoor track. I have been a National Senior Olympic Athlete for the only three national events for which I tried to qualify. One year I finished seventh in the National Senior Olympics for the 1,500 meter race-walk." Holbrook also has been practicing yoga for over 10 years, likes Celtic "contra dancing", hiking, white water canoeing, and watching Wake Forest football and basketball.