The Rockingham County Center for Economic Development, Small Business and Tourism
“The Rockingham County Center for Economic Development, Small Business and Tourism is the lead organization unifying the community to foster a business climate that creates jobs and opportunities for citizens leading to investment in our county.”
“To provide the best quality of life educationally, economically, and environmentally.”
Meet Our Team
Leigh Cockram, director of economic development and tourism
Leigh joined the Rockingham County team in February 2019. She brings extensive experience in economic development from the State of Virginia in addition to entrepreneurial success. She is the founder and chief executive officer of RaesWear, LLC, where she invented and patented the 360 degree waistband pocket for leggings and other athleisure wear clothing. Since the company’s founding in 2013, Leigh increased sales by 178 percent through the development and implementation of an independent workforce of women across the United States. She led the business to win the Under Armour Future Show Innovation Challenge in 2015, with mentions in Good Housekeeping, Women’s Running, WWD, Women’s World, Runner’s World, NBC News, and others.
Prior to that, Leigh served as director of Research and Business Development for the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research in Virginia. She was also founder and executive director of the Southern Virginia Regional Alliance, where she identified new prospects for the region and led the marketing of the four-county, two-city organization. Her other relevant experiences include: vice president of the Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corporation; sales associate and then sales manager for Commonwealth Laminating & Coating; and marketing assistant with Martinsville Speedway. Leigh has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Virginia-Charlottesville, and she has an Economic Development Institute Certificate from the University of Oklahoma in Norman, OK. She serves as chair of the Henry-Martinsville Dept. of Social Services; advisory board member for the BB&T Local Chapter; member of the Martinsville-Henry County Chamber of Commerce; and adjunct faculty member at Patrick Henry Community College.
Ken Allen, assistant director, business & economic development
Ken joined the Rockingham County Economic Development team in early 2015 and was promoted to assistant director in December 2017. As assistant director, Business & Economic Development, Allen is responsible for product development, recruitment, existing industry and workforce development. He assists with new economic development projects as well as overseeing retention and expansion projects. His duties also include marketing available industrial buildings and sites and promoting Rockingham County at industry trade shows and events. Ken has over 30 years of experience in Economic Development and was previously regional manager/economic developer for the southeast region of NC with the state Department of Commerce’s Business and Industry Division. During his tenure with NC Commerce, he recruited over 3,000 new jobs and more than $1.5 billion investment in southeastern NC. He also worked for the NC Department of Agriculture and Progress Energy. Ken received his B.S. in Business Administration/Marketing from the University of South Carolina. His professional associations include the North Carolina Economic Developers Association (NCEDA), the Southern Economic Development Council (SEDC), and the Madison-Mayodan Rotary Club. Additionally, in 2018 he will serve as an alternate director on the Board of the SEDC.
Robin Yount, tourism manager
Robin has been leading Rockingham County’s tourism initiative since 1999. Since that time she has re-directed the county-wide tourism marketing effort to focus on outdoor recreation, including an emphasis on river recreation and the establishment of public river access across the county. A native of Rockingham County, Robin is responsible for implementing all the initiatives and marketing efforts of the Tourism Development Authority as well as promoting the county’s quality of life in order to attract new business and visitors.
Adam Mark, small business manager
Adam joined the Rockingham County team in July of 2018. In his role as Small Business Manager, he serves as a resource to enhance and support prospective and existing small businesses throughout Rockingham County. He is often the first point of contact for many entrepreneurs and startups, connecting them with other partners in Rockingham County and the state that assist small businesses and strive to make them as successful as possible. In addition, he conducts regular visits to businesses in each area of the county to track their progress and works closely with other partners that assist small businesses and entrepreneurs such as the Small Business Center at Rockingham Community College and the Piedmont Triad SCORE Chapter. A native of Eden, Adam has a B.A. in Public Policy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an M.P.A. in Urban Affairs and Planning from the University of Pittsburgh. He is currently a Captain and serves as the HHC Company Commander in the 463rd Engineer Battalion in the U.S. Army Reserve. Before moving back to Rockingham County, Adam held positions with the South Park Pennsylvania Township, Center for Metropolitan Studies in Pittsburgh, PA, and the planning department for the City of Pittsburgh, PA.
Kerry Taylor-Pinnix, project management specialist
Kerry is responsible for maintaining all the databases and information related to new business recruitment and industry expansions for the Rockingham County Center for Economic Development, Small Business and Tourism. A native and lifelong resident of Rockingham County, Kerry is also responsible for the production of many of the Center’s materials and publications. She joined the Rockingham County staff in 1993 and throughout her years here, Kerry has worked on hundreds of new business or expansion projects.
Jamie Rorrer, public relations & marketing consultant
Jamie grew up in Eden in Rockingham County and has worked with Rockingham County Economic Development and the Tourism Development Authority since 2002. She is responsible for all the public relations and marketing activities for the Center for Economic Development, Small Business and Tourism. She received her B.A. in Communication from Salem College.
Betsy Brame, administrative assistant
Betsy joined the Center for Economic Development, Small Business and Tourism team as Administrative Assistant in 2015. She is responsible for a wide range of administrative functions that support the management and operations of the office. A native of Rockingham County, she has office management experience in the construction, health care and public health sectors.