Member Spotlight: Andrew Cooke

May 31, 2020
Written by: Amy Wang
A belated welcome to Cape Fear CREW, Andrew Cooke! Andrew joined us several months ago and we want you to know more about him.
Andrew is a Business Development Officer for McKinley Building Corporation. He had been a commercial banker for 12 years, and the last two of those years he was a commercial real estate finance specialist. A few years ago, he graduated with distinction from Banking School, a two-year program at Wake Forest University. While a commercial real estate finance specialist, Andrew got to know Ken Dull with McKinley Building over several years and financed a few projects for him. He respected and admired Ken because of the success he achieved while maintaining his integrity and disposition as just a nice, down to earth, great guy. In December 2018, Andrew called Ken for some information on a loan and Ken asked Andrew if he would consider coming to work for him at McKinley. They spoke during the week and Andrew spent the holidays thinking and talking about it with his then fiancĂ©, now wife, Mary Jane, his family, and a few close friends. Finally, on January 4, 2019, Ken and Andrew shook on it and Andrew has never looked back. It has been a fantastic decision and experience. Andrew loves working at McKinley because of its culture and the people.  His biggest goal is to be the best Business Development Officer he can be to help McKinley be the best commercial construction firm in southeastern North Carolina. Every day is exciting with a lot going on!
CREW fits into Andrew's field well as a solid network of industry peers from whom he can network and learn. In a market like Wilmington, it is hard to be a specialist in any one type of project, so McKinley does a little bit of everything except for single family housing. Andrew finds they are at their best and bring the most value when they can meet an owner very early in the project process and work with the design team to achieve the greatest value at the lowest possible price on a project. McKinley has utilized this method on Class A office and industrial projects; asset classes with which they have a lot of experience, and where CREW members can provide referral opportunities for Andrew. 
On the personal front, in his early years Andrew achieved Eagle Scout, was defensive captain of the New Hanover High School football team and Wallace West Award recipient. Andrew and Mary Jane wed last October and they have a fur-baby, their five-month-old dog, Elvis. Andrew enjoys running, golf, cooking, hanging out with Mary Jane and Elvis, hitting the beach and boating, and going to concerts. He has run numerous half marathons and two full marathons, about which he says, "I did well on one and bonked on the other".
Andrew is also a big believer in being involved in his community and has served on several boards, including Lower Cape Fear Hospice, Wilmington Downtown, StepUp Wilmington and the Airlie Gardens Foundation. His biggest inspiration is his brother, Matthew, who has excelled in his career in Raleigh with a strong work ethic.  Andrew's biggest passion is to try to make a positive difference in someone's day every day, whether it's his wife, his co-workers or others in the community. He follows the Golden Rule by treating other people as he would like to be treated. You never know when someone needs a laugh or a helping hand, especially in the world's current condition.