SteelFab, Charlotte

Manufacturing

The backbone of the state’s economy since the 1880s, manufacturing makes up about a fifth of North Carolina’s total output. The industry also employs more than 10% of the state workforce — and would hire more if it could attract skilled staffers, many executives say. Honeywell, Nucor and Parkdale Mills are among the state’s marquee manufacturers.

DARIUS ADAMCZYK

chairman, CEO | Honeywell International

Charlotte

The native of Poland became an N.C. hero when he moved the company’s headquarters from New Jersey in 2018, two years after he became CEO. Adamczyk earned a Harvard MBA and engineering degrees from Michigan State and Syracuse. He oversees 113,000 employees worldwide.

LYNN BAMFORD

CEO | Curtiss-Wright

Davidson

In January, Bamford succeeded David Adams to lead the 8,200-employee company, which has annual revenue of $2.5 billion. With a master’s in electrical engineering from George Mason University, she joined C-W in 2004 and has 30 years of experience in aerospace, commercial and defense industries.     

MICHAEL BELL

vice president | Corning Optical Communications

Charlotte

Bell, who earned an MBA from UNC Chapel Hill, succeeded Clark Kinlin last year as general manager of a key division. Bell joined Corning in 1991 in Hickory and was named cable manufacturing manager for Corning Cable Systems America in 2004. He served as a U.S. Navy submarine officer.

ALEX BERNHARDT JR.

president, CEO | Bernhardt Furniture

Lenoir

The UNC Chapel Hill graduate is the fourth generation to run the famous furniture company formed in 1889. It has eight North Carolina factories and employs 1,540 people. He became president in 2009 and CEO in 2012.

KEVIN BOWMAN

president | Hickory Chair

Hickory

Formerly with the Stanley and Avalon furniture companies, the Florida State University graduate has led Hickory Chair since 2018. The 450-employee manufacturer formed in 2011 was part of Heritage Home Group, which filed for bankruptcy in 2018. Its owner is Rock House Farm Investments.

STEPHEN BRATSPIES

CEO | HanesBrands

Winston-Salem

Last summer, Bratspies succeeded Gerald Evans Jr. as CEO of the apparel company that has $6.6 billion in sales and 68,000 employees. A former Walmart chief merchandising officer, he is a graduate of Franklin & Marshall College and has a Wharton MBA.

JIM BRYAN

president | Fairystone Fabrics

Greensboro

A Florida Southern College graduate, Bryan, 68, spent 17 years with Burlington Industries. He managed Fairystone for more than a decade before buying the business in 2011. Nearly half of its staff has tenure topping a decade.

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WES CARTER

president | Atlantic Packaging

Wilmington

Carter, 42, started as a floor-sweeper when he was 14. He went on the payroll as a sales manager after graduating from UNC Chapel Hill. Atlantic, founded by his grandfather 75 years ago, employs 1,000 employees at 18 locations in the United States and Caribbean.

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TED DOHENY

president, CEO | Sealed Air

Charlotte

Named to his post in 2018, Doheny leads the company best known for Bubble Wrap. Its many products include equipment that helps automate packaging. The Cornell University and Purdue University graduate previously worked for Joy Global, a mining machinery company, and Ingersoll Rand.

FRANK DOWD IV

chairman | Charlotte Pipe and Foundry

Charlotte

A UNC Chapel Hill graduate, Dowd is part of the fourth generation to lead one of the biggest U.S. manufacturers of pipes and fittings. The company, founded in 1901, is moving its foundry from Charlotte to Stanly County with an investment topping $325 million. 

GEOFF FOSTER

CEO, president | Core Technology Molding

Greensboro

The New Jersey native came to the South to study at N.C. A&T State University. He worked for some large companies before starting his business in 2006. It molds electronic connectors, syringe components and other products for clients including BMW and Merck. He has earned honors such as Southeast Entrepreneur of the Year from Ernst & Young.

MICHIMASA FUJINO

president, CEO | Honda Aircraft

Greensboro

Fujino turned a youthful dream sketched on an envelope into HondaJet, an innovative jet that retails for about $4.5 million and achieves 450 miles per hour. A University of Tokyo graduate who once had dreams of playing professional pingpong, he leads 1,500 workers in Greensboro.

MATT GREGORY

president | Burt’s Bees

Durham

Clorox spent nearly $1 billion for the maker of personal care products it calls “Earth friendly” in 2007 and put longtime staffer Gregory in charge in 2017. The University of Tennessee graduate oversees about 500 employees at its Durham headquarters and Morrisville factory.

FRANK HARRISON III

chairman, CEO | Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated

Charlotte

Harrison started at the nation’s largest Coca-Cola bottler in 1977. A UNC Chapel Hill and Duke University MBA graduate, he has been CEO since 1996. His great-grandfather founded the public company, which has 13 factories and distributes in 14 states. Annual revenue tops $5 billion.

STAN JEWELL

president, CEO | Renfro Brands

Mount Airy

Jewell leads one of the world’s largest sock manufacturers, selling brands such as Polo and Fruit of the Loom. The Georgia Tech graduate was named president in 2017 after serving as VF Corp.’s Central and South America president. He oversees more than 2,000 employees.

KEVIN KELLY

president | Genpak

Charlotte

The University of Vermont graduate was named president of the maker of foam takeout boxes, trays, plastic utensils, cups and food-service products in 2015. Two years later, he moved its headquarters, research and development, and a factory to Charlotte from Glen Falls, N.Y. Genpak is owned by Vancouver, British Columbia-based Jim Pattison Group, Canada’s second-largest private company.

EUGENE LOWE III

president, CEO | SPX

Charlotte

Lowe has led the maker of cooling towers, boilers and other heating and air conditioning necessities since 2015, overseeing about 4,500 employees in 17 countries. A former Milliken & Co. executive, he has a bachelor’s degree from Virginia Tech and a Dartmouth MBA.

GREGG LOWE

president, CEO | Cree

Durham

Lowe joined the company in 2017 after serving as president of Freescale Semiconductor. The Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and Stanford School of Business graduate has focused Cree on semiconductors after selling its better-known light-emitting diode business for $300 million last year.

ROBERT LUDDY

president | CaptiveAire Systems

Raleigh

Luddy, 75, oversees six factories and 90 sales offices nationwide. He’s a LaSalle University graduate and Army veteran who is responsible for starting several charter and private schools in North Carolina. The company, which makes commercial kitchen ventilation and fire-control gear, was founded in 1976 and has annual sales topping $400 million.

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BRIAN MARAGNO

vice president, large generator product line & Siemens Energy Charlotte Hub | Siemens Energy

Charlotte

The German multinational company makes gas and steam turbines in Charlotte with about 1,300 employees, down from 1,700 as utilities shift to renewables. The Mohawk College graduate has been with Siemens for about 15 years. He succeeded Kevin Poet as the local general manager last year.

JERRY MASTERS

chairman, CEO | Albemarle Corp.

Charlotte

Masters, 59, leads this specialty chemical maker, whose lithium, bromine and other materials are crucial to communications equipment and other products. With degrees from Georgia Institute of Technology and New York University, he leads about 5,400 employees and has customers in 100 countries. He was CEO of global contractor Foster Wheeler from 2011 to 2015.

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GUY MELDRUM

president, CEO | Reynolds American

Winston-Salem

Meldrum has worked for Reynolds’ parent, British American Tobacco, for 16 years. He moved here last year after stints in Hong Kong and Australia. The Macquarie University graduate oversees 5,400 employees at what Fortune rates as one of the nation’s best workplaces.

GARY MICHEL

president, CEO | Jeld-Wen

Charlotte

The Virginia Tech graduate, 58, joined Jeld-Wen, a $4 billion annual seller of windows and doors, in 2018, after 32 years at Ingersoll Rand. He oversees 117 plants in more than 20 countries, about 23,000 employees and $4 billion in annual revenue.

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THOMAS NELSON

chairman, CEO | National Gypsum

Charlotte

Named National Gypsum’s vice chairman and chief financial officer in 1995 and CEO in 1999, Nelson, 57, has an MBA from Harvard and a bachelor’s from Stanford University. The building products manufacturer, best known for its wallboard, has annual revenue topping $1.5 billion. He’s a former director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.

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WARD NYE

chairman, CEO | Martin Marietta Materials

Raleigh

A Duke University and Wake Forest University School of Law graduate, Nye, 58, has chaired the 9,000-employee construction-aggregate company since 2014. He has been its CEO since 2010. He previously worked at Hanson Aggregates and as a construction-industry lawyer. He chairs the NC Chamber.

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LEIB OEHMIG

president, CEO | Glen Raven

Burlington

Oehmig, 54, succeeded the company founder’s grandson Allen Gant Jr. as CEO in 2017. The Clemson University graduate joined the company in 1989 and became chief operating officer in 2013. Its fabrics are used in many applications including outdoor furniture and the American flag planted on the moon in 1969.

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MARVIN RILEY

president, CEO | EnPro Industries

Charlotte

Riley has led the 5,300-employee conglomerate that makes industrial products, from engine bearings to semiconductors, since 2019. A former General Motors executive, he is a graduate of Howard University, Johns Hopkins University and Harvard University’s advanced management program.

JEFF SCHEFFER

president, CEO | Universal Furniture

High Point

Scheffer has led the company since 2008. A furniture industry executive for 30 years, he arrived at Universal from Stanley Furniture, where he was president and CEO. He holds a business degree from Miami University. Hong Kong-based Samson Holding owns Universal.

R. GLENN SHERRILL JR.

chairman, CEO | SteelFab

Charlotte

Many well-known buildings have backbones supplied by the family-owned company, including Charlotte’s NASCAR Hall of Fame and Washington, D.C.’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. Sherrill, 50, is an N.C. State University graduate. Started in 1955, SteelFab has 1,200 employees and 15 locations.

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ALEX SHUFORD III

CEO | RHF Investments

Hickory

The Pomona College graduate is the third generation of his family to lead Rock House Farm, whose furniture brands include Century and Highland House. More than 1,300 employees work for the business, which dates to 1947.

JIM SHUFORD

CEO | STM Industries

Hickory

Shuford joined the family’s Shurtape division in 1994, two years after completing a UNC MBA. LIke his brother, Stephen, he followed the company rule of working outside the business for five years before joining its staff. He’s helped expand its brands,  including Duck and Painter’s Mate. 

STEPHEN SHUFORD

vice chairman | STM Industries

Hickory

STM is the holding company of the world’s second-largest maker of tape. Shuford, 52, shares leadership with brother Jim and other family members. He is a Princeton University and UNC Chapel Hill MBA graduate. He is a director of the Catawba County Economic Development Corp. and the county’s K-64 career development project.

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EDDIE SMITH

owner, CEO | Grady-White Boats

Greenville

The UNC Chapel Hill graduate, 78, bought the boat builder in 1968, nine years after it was founded. Its 450 workers turn out boats from 18 feet to 45 feet that cost as much as $1.6 million. Grady-White is frequently honored for its community contributions. In 2013, he auctioned off his father’s vintage Ferrari for $27.5 million and gave the proceeds to charity.

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LEON TOPALIAN

president, CEO | Nucor

Charlotte

Part of the largest U.S. steel producer since 1996, the Massachusetts Maritime Academy graduate became president in 2019 and CEO in January 2020. Topalian has held company posts in Australia and South Carolina. Annual revenue exceeds $20 billion.

CHARLES TREADWAY

president, CEO | CommScope

Hickory

The former CEO of Accudyne Industries was selected to succeed longtime leader Eddie Edwards at the communications networking company last October. The Harvard MBA and Clemson University master’s graduate oversees about 30,000 employees. CommScope had annual revenue of $8.4 billion in 2020.

ANDERSON WARLICK

chairman, CEO | Parkdale Mills

Gastonia

The Citadel graduate, 63, has invested $800 million in technology to modernize operations and control energy costs over the past 15 years. Privately held Parkdale Mills makes spun yarn at 29 plants in the U.S., Mexico and South America. It is the largest consumer of cotton in the U.S.

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HOWARD WOLTZ III

chairman, president, CEO | Insteel Industries

Mount Airy

Woltz has helped build Insteel into the largest U.S. maker of steel wire reinforcing products. The UNC Chapel Hill graduate started at the public company in 1978 and was named CEO in 1991. Revenue is expected to top $525 million this year. His father, Howard Woltz Jr., started the company in 1953.

JORGE YOUNG

president, CEO | DAK Americas

Waxhaw

Young, who earned an MBA from Wharton, was named CEO in 2012 after working for the largest U.S. maker of polyethylene terephthalate, or PET, since its 2001 founding. A graduate of Tecnológico de Monterrey University, Young oversees 1,300 employees in North Carolina for the company. It is owned by Mexico’s Alfa conglomerate.

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