Duke Energy, which sells electricity to 7.4 million customers in six states, is based in Charlotte, N.C.
The executive in charge of economic development for Duke, however, works in downtown Greenville, in office space at the corner of Main and Broad streets right over Rick Erwin’s Nantucket Seafood.
For four years, Clark Gillespy was Duke’s president for South Carolina.
Recently, however, he was promoted to senior vice president of economic development, a company-wide position that Duke just created as part of a greater emphasis on economic development.
In his new role, Gillespy leads a team tasked with recruiting industry to Duke’s service territory. That’s helpful to the power company and its shareholders because, generally speaking, the more industry in the service territory, the more electricity Duke sells.
Duke is the Upstate’s dominant electricity provider, so Gillespy has an interest in recruiting industry to the Upstate.
But his loyalties extend much farther since Duke’s service territory also includes the Pee Dee region of South Carolina, most of North Carolina, huge swaths of Indiana and Florida and a small part of Ohio.
Gillespy is also now responsible for Duke’s efforts to “identify and promote wider adoption of new and emerging grid-enabled technologies, including electric vehicle charging infrastructure,” according to a company news release.
His successor as South Carolina president is Kodwo Ghartey-Tagoe, who was formerly vice president, legal, for Duke’s commercial businesses organization and general counsel for litigation. The 53-year-old native of Ghana has a law degree from Duke University in Durham, N.C.
Ryan Mosier, a Duke spokesman in Greenville, said there’s nothing new about the company’s interest in economic development.
“Duke Energy at its core has been an economic development company since its creation more than 100 years ago,” Mosier said. “This renewed focus on economic development across the enterprise continues and expands that tradition.”