North Carolina Dept. of Commerce Southeastern Regional Manager Ken Allen is a native of Old Town, Alexandria, Va., not far from the nation’s capital. He later relocated to Columbia, S.C. and graduated from the University of South Carolina with a B.S. in Marketing. The early years of Allen’s career were spent in marketing and business development with Virginia Power and Carolina Power & Light.
In 1998 Allen transitioned into state government at the N.C. Department of Agriculture. From there, he moved to Commerce’s Energy Division and then to the Business & Industry Development Division as an existing industry specialist. In 2006 Allen was promoted to regional manager of economic development where he serves the Southeastern Region from the Fayetteville office.
One of the most recent economic development deals in which Allen worked was “Project 500,” which involved the recruitment of Sykes Enterprises. Based in Tampa, Fla., Sykes is a global leader in providing customer contact management solutions. Sykes has revenues over $1.2 billion dollars, 46,000 employees and 75 global centers. Sykes’ new call center will bring over 500 new jobs to Fayetteville. Its clients are companies that provide a variety of services, including credit cards, utilities and health care. Those clients are outsourcing their customer-care services to Sykes.
As an economic developer who recruits industries, Allen believes the state needs to find ways to assist small companies and ways to be more competitive with other states.
In his spare time, Allen enjoys jogging, antiques, and collecting sports memorabilia.
North Carolina counties served: Bladen, Brunswick, Columbus, Cumberland, Hoke, New Hanover, Pender, Richmond, Robeson, Sampson, Scotland