Friday, May 17, 2024

Summerville named new chair of Charlotte Alliance board

Ali Summerville, the business administrative executive at Ally Financial, will chair the board at Charlotte Regional Business Alliance in 2024.

Summerville, who joined Ally in 2009, succeeds Kieth Cockrell, president of Bank of America Charlotte, who has chaired the business promtion group.

The Charlotte Alliance represents business interests for the city of Charlotte and 14 counties in the Carolinas. Summerville spent 2023 as first vice chair.

Summerville sees the Charlotte Alliance and the region taking a similar path in the coming year.

“This remains a very strong market to attract talent,” Summerville said in a release. “I don’t think there’s anything massively missing. I think what we need to be careful of — we can’t take our eye off the ball. We don’t want things to get too far away from us, where we’re growing in a way that’s unsustainable, or we are concentrating in one kind of market where we need to diversify.”

In 2023, the alliance focused on the campaign for a record $2.5 billion Charlotte-Mecklenburg school bond package, which passed with 63% approval from county voters. Summerville says that a proposed expansion of Charlotte’s transit system — estimated price tag: $13.5 billion — will likely be a focal point in 2024. Recommendations for the transit system expansion were unveiled in 2020, but there isn’t a clear funding source to pay for extended light rail lines, greenways and more city buses.

Norfolk Southern revived hopes in 2023 for part of the plan – a commuter rail line between Charlotte and Lake Norman communities north of the city – by indicating a willingness to re-consider the railroad’s opposition to the project.

Last week, the Charlotte Business Journal reported on the pending departure of Danny Chavez, the group’s chief business recruitment officer. He had joined the Alliance n 2021. No timetable for his replacement has been disclosed.

Thirteen new leaders from the region’s business community will join the Alliance executive committee and trustees:

Executive Committee:

  • Kinneil Coltman, executive vice president, chief community and social impact officer, Atrium Health
  • Bojan Cukic, professor and dean in the College of Computing and Informatics, UNC Charlotte
  • Brett Gray, managing principal, real estate developers Cushman & Wakefield
  • Valerie Kinloch, president, Johnson C. Smith University
  • Abbey Rampy, strategist, Gensler (architects)
  • Carrie Ruddy, senior vice president, chief communications and marketing officer, Trane Technologies (HVAC manufacturer)

Board of Trustees:

County Advisors:

  • Chris Greene, tax administrator, Cleveland County
  • Adam Shumate, owner of The Blythe Co. (industrial parts distributor, services), Lancaster County, South Carolina
  • Brandon Spears, CFO for Wayne Brothers (engineering services), Iredell County.

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