North Carolina’s Southeast Welcomes Barnhill, SynTerra as Investors

ELIZABETHTOWN, N.C. — Two leading business names are making significant commitments to regional economic development as North Carolina’s Southeast welcomes Barnhill Contracting and SynTerra Corporation to its roster of private investors. The addition of the two companies brings technical expertise, seasoned leadership and financial resources to the organization’s mission of attracting new jobs and businesses to Southeastern North Carolina.  

“Since the very beginnings of our organization more than 25 years ago, partnerships have been the fuel driving our results,” said NC’s Southeast Chairman Jeff Etheridge. “We’re proud to add Barnhill Contracting and SynTerra Corporation — two storied North Carolina business names — to our growing list of private investors.” 

Based in Rocky Mount, Barnhill Contracting Company is a third-generation family-owned construction management company whose presence across the state includes full-service offices in Lumberton, Kinston, Jacksonville and Wilmington. Founded in 1949, the firm specializes in site infrastructure, commercial building and transportation projects for a wide range of business, government, industrial and educational clients. Barnhill is one of North Carolina’s largest suppliers of asphalt, operating 15 different asphalt plants. The company employs a workforce of 1,100 — about 600 of which are located east of I-95. For the last two years, the Triangle Business Journal has ranked Barnhill the #1 Largest North Carolina’s General Contractor as measured by revenues.  

“We want to be an advocate for the business community, support recruitment and leverage opportunities for businesses to invest in Southeastern North Carolina,” says Matt Turner, director of business development for the Eastern Division at Barnhill Contracting Company. Among the company’s many clients are municipalities, manufacturers, developers, colleges and universities in the Southeast Region, and its expertise includes development of large industrial and commercial properties. Barnhill’s unique command of planning, engineering and construction economics will add value to regional economic development strategies. “Barnhill intends to be an instrumental resource for economic development in the region, and we look forward to supporting the Southeast’s team any way we can,” Turner says. 

SynTerra, founded in 1993, is a science and engineering consulting firm with nine offices across five U.S. states. The employee-owned firm provides innovation-based technical and business solutions for clients in industry, government, business and economic development. SynTerra – whose name is a blend of “synergy” and “earth” – strives to build impactful, collaborative solutions while serving as responsible stewards of the environment and client resources. The firm’s expertise includes civil engineering, environmental permitting and remediation, water and wastewater design, industrial hygiene, regulatory compliance, natural resources and drone applications.   

“Since I come from eastern North Carolina, the Southeast is a region I’ve wanted to see us grow into for a while,” says Dan Warrick, Charlotte-based civil engineering market leader at SynTerra. Warrick and his team began working with NC’s Southeast on its drone video marketing project, which enhances regional marketing and site promotion through the production of high-quality virtual tours. “We wanted to grow our relationship and find other ways to help,” he says. The firm’s technical expertise in engineering, geology and environmental compliance will help support the region’s product development strategy, for example. “I continue to see us growing in that direction,” says Warrick. 

Both Turner and Warwick will serve on NC’s Southeast’s board of directors.

A public-private partnership headquartered in Elizabethtown, N.C., North Carolina’s Southeast links business leaders with county governments in seeking to “provide strong economic development leadership in southeastern North Carolina through innovative marketing and collaborative regional initiatives that will support the creation of new jobs, generate capital investment and secure new business locations.” Member counties include Anson, Bladen, Brunswick, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Duplin, Hoke, Lenoir, Montgomery, New Hanover, Moore, Onslow, Pender, Robeson, Sampson, Scotland and Wayne. For additional information, visit

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