Robert F. Comer, Captain, US Navy (Ret.)



Bob Comer was instrumental in the formation of Creative EDC. Bob retired in 2015, but he continues to inspire our work. His positive attitude, generous spirit, and attention to customer service shaped the firm’s philosophy and will always influence our work.

Bob Comer joined Creative EDC in 2012 after 32 years involvement in economic development including President of a local ED partnership and 12 years as a managing partner at Sanford Holshouser Economic Development Consulting. Bob’s specialty is action planning and organizational structure.

Bob Comer retired after 24 years in the US Navy as a Captain, having been awarded 15 medals and ribbons including the Bronze Star Medal for combat action in command of a destroyer in Vietnam. He has worked in economic development since 1981, first as Town Manager of Dobson, NC, serving as Chair of the Surry County NC Economic Development Commission, subsequently leading the privatization of that group and serving as President, Surry County Economic Development Partnership, Inc.

Noted for regional cooperation, marketing, and promotion, he was a charter member and first Chair of the Piedmont Triad (NC) Partnership Economic Developers Advisory Council and served in several leadership roles with the Partnership. He helped found Sanford Holshouser Economic Development Consulting in 1999 and was a managing partner in the firm for twelve years. He has been Team Leader for developing economic development strategic plans for 20 municipalities and counties and has participated in over 60 other consulting projects.

Educational Background:

  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Bachelors Degree
  • Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, VA
  • Naval War College, Newport, RI, Master Degree Equivalent with Distinction
  • Economic Development Courses, University of North Carolina and University of Oklahoma

Professional Registrations and Memberships:

  • Southern Economic Developers Association
  • Virginia Economic Developers Association
  • North Carolina Economic Developers Association
  • Chairman of the NC Association of Community College Trustees
  • Town Commissioner, Town of Dobson
  • North Carolina Real Estate Broker