“I first met Gary 30 years ago while evaluating locations for Biogen’s US manufacturing site. Gary was working at the Research Triangle Foundation at the time. He quickly distinguished himself and the RTF as the most responsive, thoughtful, and connected economic development organization that I encountered. Gary immediately assembled a team of advisors that allowed Biogen to evaluate Research Triangle Park options from site selection, timelines, regulatory process with state and local officials, and workforce development. The initial project was completed in record time with great public-private collaboration. That first project led to many expansions on that site and today is one of the largest biotech manufacturing sites in the US and is one of my proudest accomplishments as CEO of Biogen. Shortly after I met Gary I was introduced to Kim Shope and I came to understand that they are a powerful combination in introducing me to the people and officials that can make or break a project.
Gary and I reconnected in 2011 when he joined me at Patheon shortly after I was appointed as CEO. Among his many duties, this time Gary represented Patheon in a myriad of negotiations with economic and workforce development agencies at the many state-wide locations where we operated. Gary is an expert at understanding the process and the levers and successful negotiating win-win arrangements that proved to be very successful for Patheon and the communities where we were located. In North Carolina alone, we had several thousand employees and a rapidly growing business.
Starting a new site selection project or evaluating expansions to current sites is a complex undertaking. Hiring Gary saved precious project time and brought millions of dollars of economic development incentives – time and money!
Partnering with expert advisors is critical for the success of your project and I can think of no-one better to hire as your quarterback with From The Ground Up, Inc.”
James “Jim” Mullen, Chairman, President & CEO, Editas Medicine, Needham, MA
“Kim initially reached out to the Town of Williamston regarding any downtown revitalization and ongoing projects. Since it is her hometown, she was interested in seeing a revitalization of downtown Williamston and help the Town come back from a period of property abandonment and general lack of interest in our downtown core. She attended a couple of our downtown’s nonprofit group meetings and began to collect information about what was going on.
Kim introduced us to her team and from there it led to a Branding Workshop that included community leaders, elected officials, and business owners. This workshop, led by her team, was held at Martin Community College. During this session, From The Ground Up team members managed and presented information during the workshop allowing participants to provide feedback and ideas about what changes they would like to see in Williamston.
From The Ground Up collected the information and returned, via Zoom due to Covid, to present the results by revealing our strengths, weaknesses, and the “Next Steps” to begin the process of revitalization of downtown Williamston. With the experience of their staff, connections to local and state government employees and officials and expert knowledge of marketing, communications and economic development, From The Ground Up has put us on a path of improvement.”
Cameron Braddy, Town Planner, Williamston, NC
Kim Shope has a proven, extraordinary professional capability to plan, promote and execute an incredible array of special events with efficiency, panache and charm. The creative, catchy , From The Ground Up name she & husband Gary devised and attached to her dynamic, bold start-up enterprise 25 years, ago reflects and captures her innovative spirit perfectly.
During my tenure as President of the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce, I was contacted by Kim regarding an upcoming fundraising event to address the challenges of the ALS Association and its efforts to raise awareness and funds for people living with ALS. Working directly with Helen Hunter, widow of Hertford, NC native and MLB Hall of Fame legend Jim “Catfish” Hunter, who tragically succumbed to ALS, Kim organized, managed and raised money for an amazing Inaugural Black Tie fundraising multi-faceted event in Downtown Durham’s civic center/hotel complex. Attended by 500 leaders from business, government, medicine and academia with speakers such as Cal Ripken Jr. and Curt Schilling, this inaugural event was the beginning of the Annual Field of Dreams Gala, organized and managed by Kim and From The Ground Up!
It has also been my good fortune to attend a multitude of events, organized & managed by Kim, in the economic development field over the years. Her professionalism and expertise are off the charts.
Kim’s co-founder, husband Gary, who has accumulated decades worth of leadership experience in economic development are now turning their focus to Downtown Revitalization across North Carolina. Gary’s expertise in economic development has proven time and again in effectively marketing the region and the state to new and expanding industry. His considerable interpersonal skill sets, complemented by his abundant knowledge of corporate recruitment from inception to conclusion have immense value and application in today’s highly competitive economic development arena.
Kim and Gary have time and again produced truly superlative results on all their clients/customer interaction, urban/large market, regional/rural, industrial park or downtown/central business district. Their unique experience and book of business over the years enables them to identify with and relate to their clients, but also capitalize upon their dual affection for North Carolina and their abundant familiarity with the 535 towns and cities and 100 counties that make up the wonderful Old North State. They are indeed best in class.
Thomas J. White, MPA
Director, Economic Development Partnership, Poulton Innovation Center – NCSU
Former President and CEO, Durham Chamber of Commerce
“I met Kim Shope in 2014, when she was organizing a high-profile groundbreaking for the NC Department of Commerce. I was the City Manager of Mebane and we helped recruit Morinaga America to the city. This was the first location of the Japanese candy company in America so the Governor and Commerce wanted a memorable affair. As the host city, I worked closely with Kim on, what I learned, were the many details of putting on such an event.
She began planning four months ahead of the event, ensuring the invitee list was complete and sending out a save-the-date notice. She thought of everything from traffic control, parking, alternative plans for bad weather, the appropriate food and drinks, the program for the event, and what and how much I needed to say as the moderator that day. I remember that she was intent on using local vendors for the event, from the tent rental company to the caterer. She tapped local residents as receptionists to welcome each person to the event by name. The event went off without a hitch and was a great success!
A few years later, I wanted to do a groundbreaking for a new community park that the city was building. I immediately thought of Kim and From the Ground Up and hired them to manage the event. Her attention to detail, ability to hype the event, and her experience in handling vendors again made this event a winner! She also worked one-on-one with the construction company foreman and his team regarding logistics & site preparation before, during and after the event.
Because of her many creative ideas beginning with the theme of “Can You Dig It”, she involved the community and school systems with a “bring your own decorated shovel” to the event. She also engaged the children by having them participate in the actual ground breaking ceremony. Lastly, because of a creative twist on the press release, we had numerous television stations attend and showcase this event on the evening news reports that day! One of the great things about Kim and From the Ground Up is they make the event fun and memorable.
As From The Ground Up adds another important component to their Services menu, downtown revitalization, I heartily recommend Kim and the From The Ground Up team.”
David Cheek, City Manager-retired, City of Mebane, NC
“As Former Vice-President of Manufacturing and General Manager for Biogen’s RTP, NC facility I had the pleasure of working with Kim Shope for an important corporate event, opening of our new administrative building. We hired Kim because of her experience, proven track record, professionalism, and community references. Her creativity, customer service, quality, and collaborative partnership exceeded my expectations. I appreciated that Kim did an outstanding job of taking care of everything to make the event perfect. My primary request to Kim was to make it a “wowing” event that would have a positive, energizing, and lasting impression in the minds employees and guests. Indeed, it was a spectacularly “wowing” event that demonstrated Kim’s exceptional abilities and professionalism as well as Biogen’s commitment to excellence.”
“Gary Shope and I have collaborated on several projects over the past 5 years. Beginning with a global training program for leaders at Patheon/ThermoFisher in 2015, Gary offered his guidance as an advisor to NC State Executive Education. In 2020 Gary joined our Executive Education team as a Program Director, to help design a leadership series for mid-level executives in pharma and architecture/construction industries.
In all projects, Gary brought a wealth of insights on leadership demands, industry requirements and cultural norms to guide our planning process. His ability to form relationships with senior executives and HR leaders guided the creation of several unique models and experiences for developing leaders in today’s fast-paced, demanding work context. We could not have succeeded without Gary’s leadership.
I’d recommend Gary to any leader or team seeking to build new relationships at the highest levels of organizations in RTP and beyond.”
Daniel McGurrin, PhD
Director, Executive Education
Poole College of Management
NC State University
“I have had the privilege of working with Kim since 2019 through her involvement in First Tee – Triangle’s annual gala, A Night FORE Champions. Kim was a natural leader on our Annual Gala Committee – bringing a wealth of experience, fresh ideas, action and results from the very beginning. The 2020 gala, in particular, Kim went above and beyond to help our team succeed. As one can imagine, during a pandemic and with not being able to have an in-person event at the Angus Barn like usual – our gala committee had quite the up-hill climb – but, with Kim’s upbeat and can do attitude on our team – we ended netting the most revenue ever from a gala – only beating our record from the previous year – the first year Kim was on our team!
From hosting a virtual gala viewing party – to single handedly obtaining one of our top Live Auction Packages – to locking down a ton of silent auction items – to owning the logistics of our Presenting Sponsor’s Party – regular mentor meetings with our Staff, Kim always goes above and beyond of our organization and event. As a result of Kim’s impact on our annual Gala the past two years, Kim was awarded our 2020 Volunteer of the Year Award.
For anyone that is looking for a hands-on, creative, knowledgeable, motivated, and trustworthy event, marketing and development professional – I strongly recommend teaming with Kim – you will not regret it – she brings the results and the passion every day!!”
Director of Philanthropy
First Tee – Triangle
“I have known Gary for 30 years and consider him a “get the job done” person. We first met when he was recruiting Honda to North Carolina in the 1980’s as an economic development officer for the state. Over the years I continued to interface with him in his role as the chief investment recruitment officer at the Research Triangle Foundation and watched him recruit hundreds of millions of dollars of quality investment to the Research Triangle Park. Gary listens to his “clients” and keenly understands what their needs and objectives are. He then works diligently to meet their requirements; that is the key to his success. He is savvy in navigating the political/governmental regulatory side of things for his clients having worked closely with both Democratic and Republican administrations, including governors, in North Carolina. I have been privileged to travel with Gary on economic development missions to Europe and Japan. He does his homework and is focused on his clients; but this does not interfere with him having an enjoyable time. Gary is very personable, fun and an avid golfer. Simply put; he is a terrific guy to be your friend, business colleague; or both.”
John L. Atkins, III, FAIA, LEED AP, Chairman & CEO
“For a little over 30 years, I was fortunate to be a member of North Carolina’s premier government agency, the North Carolina Department of Commerce. Fifteen of those years, I was pleased to head, what was then, the nation’s leading industrial development organization, the Division of Business and Industry.
During that time, Gary Shope was a senior member of our team and was largely responsible for the location of such national/international firms as Honda Power Equipment, Inc., Konica Minolta, Ciba Geigy (now Syngenta), and Panasonic, to name a few.
Gary was clearly one of the outstanding members of the division. His dedication to each individual assigned project was exceptional. His intellect and determination to bring each company to finalize their location decision was also exceptional, especially in light of the fierce competition for each project. His performance always brought favorable comment from the executives involved and his reputation as a developer was well known among his peers.
I highly recommend Gary and his team at From The Ground Up as consultants for active members of any economic development-related effort.”
Alvah Ward, Retired
Director, Department of Business & Industry
NC Department of Commerce
“I am a tremendous fan of Kim Shope and From The Ground Up, Inc. Over the past several years we have utilized her services and expertise for several industrial announcements and expansions, namely Person County Solar park (100 guests) and Force Protection (450 guests). She does a great job no matter the size of the event. I value her wealth of experience, her thorough preparation, her attention to detail and her professionalism. I highly recommend her to you.”
“We were incredibly satisfied with the new branding, logo and website development by From The Ground Up! The process from start to finish was collaborative, energizing, on time and on budget. Kim Shope was skilled in bringing our work team together and securing outside assistance from area professionals that saved us thousands of dollars. Bottom line, Kim was a delight to work with and the resulting products are not only beautiful, but impactful marketing tools for our organization. Thanks to From The Ground Up! we were able to position ourselves for success in a down economy, while staying within our non-profit budget.”
“Having known Kim Shope for several years and having worked with her as a fellow volunteer member of the State Capitol Foundation, I can say without reservation that she can be counted on to give 100% plus dedication and energy on any given responsibility. In 2006 and 2008 she organized The Society Ball, the major fund raising Gala for the State Capitol. We will never know how many hours of hard work she generously gave to the foundation to make these events the most successful and enjoyable events the Capitol has ever had.”