Kelly Poe started today as a News & Record business reporter covering commercial and residential development and banking.

Poe is a top May graduate of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

Before graduating, she completed internships at The News & Observer in Raleigh, The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in Little Rock, The Herald-Sun in Durham and The StarNews in Wilmington. She also wrote for Carolina's independent student newspaper, The Daily Tar Heel.

Poe impressed us with newsy writing samples from her internships and her poise in connecting with people. The ability to connect with people often sets great reporters apart from good ones.

With the addition of Poe, we've increased our business reporting team to three. Poe, 22, joins Richard Barron, who covers jobs, and Jonnelle Davis, who tackles retailing.

Poe's beat, covering real-estate development, is new for the News & Record. We've added the beat because developers change the face of their communities, for good and bad.

We also see an important watchdog role. Developers frequently seek government assistance in the form of subsidies, tax breaks or other incentives, so reporting their requests and their use of public funds is important. And, developers are among the biggest contributors to local politicians.

Poe will start a blog soon called "Ground Up."

You may reach Poe at 336-373-7003 or by email. On Twitter, follow @kelly_poe.

Jeff Gauger is executive editor of the News & Record and News-Record.com and author of the blog Editor's Sounding Board. Contact him at (336) 373-7051 or jeff.gauger@news-record.com. Follow @jeffreygauger on Twitter.

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