Statewide: Charlotte region, October 2015

 In 2015-10

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Power surge

In the 1980s, a small, informal band of CEOs made things happen in Charlotte. “The Group” included bankers Ed Crutchfield and Hugh McColl Jr., Lance CEO Pete Sloan, newspaper publisher Rolfe Neill and a few others. They promoted ambitious projects such as the city’s transit center and convention hall, using behind-the-scenes influence to often wield as much power as any city councilor. The new 25-member Charlotte Executive Leadership Council looks a little different, but Charlotte civic and business leaders are hoping to recapture a bit of the same spark. The group includes mostly businesspeople along with two university presidents and two lawyers. Their intent is to present a united front on the most pressing issues facing Charlotte, though there’s little urgency, based on the meeting schedule thus far. The group met once in March, then a subcommittee met in September.

There’s no desire to duplicate others’ work, including the Charlotte Chamber and Carolinas Regional Partnership, says Tom Williams, a spokesman for Duke Energy, whose CEO, Lynn Good, will chair the group for two years. She was a key organizer along with Piedmont Natural Gas CEO Tom Skains and Carolinas Healthcare System CEO Michael Tarwater, who is retiring next year. Michael Marsicano, the Foundation for the Carolinas president who shows up in virtually every major Charlotte endeavor, isn’t a formal member, but is providing administrative support. Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan made the cut, though he lives in Boston. Notable absences include developer Johnny Harris and auto magnate Rick Hendrick.

Unlike the almost exclusively white-male group from the ‘80s, this one counts six minorities and four women. There are also some small business representatives, including State Farm Insurance agent Wil Brooks and contractor Francisco Alvarado. The council will retain most of its privacy by meeting without the public or pesky reporters in the room — no media executive is involved. Organizers also purposely excluded elected officials and government executives, noting that the lack of a purely private-sector voice has led to a “gap in the community,” according to the group’s mission statement. If you aspire to hang with the honchos, there’s hope: The group expects some membership changes after about two years, Williams says.


Charlotte Executive Leadership Council

Francisco Alvarado, Marand Builders
Carl Armato, Novant Health
Tim Belk, Belk
Wil Brooks, State Farm Insurance
David Carroll, Wells Fargo
Ron Carter, Johnson C. Smith University
Ned Curran, Bissell
Susan DeVore, Premier
Frank Dowd, Charlotte Pipe and Foundry
Philip Dubois, UNC Charlotte
Frank Emory, Hunton & Williams
Lynn Good, Duke Energy
Frank Harrison, Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated
Chris Kearney, SPX
Michael Lamach, Ingersoll Rand
Brian Moynihan, Bank of America
Tom Nelson, National Gypsum
Peter Pappas, Pappas Properties
Ernie Reigel, Moore & Van Allen
Pat Riley, Allen Tate
Pat Rodgers, Rodgers Builders
Tom Skains, Piedmont Natural Gas
Michael Tarwater, Carolinas HealthCare System
Fred Whitfield, Charlotte Hornets
Lucia Zapata Griffith, Metro Landmarks


Briefs

CHARLOTTEBelk will be bought by New York-based Sycamore Partners in a deal valued at about $3 billion. The nation’s largest privately owned department-store chain operates about 300 stores in 16 states. Sycamore specializes in retail investments and has more than $3.5 billion under management. The private-equity firm’s portfolio includes Aeropostale, Coldwater Creek and Talbots. Belk’s headquarters will remain in Charlotte and no layoffs are immediately planned.

CHARLOTTEAlbemarle Corporation will move its headquarters from Baton Rouge, La., adding 120 jobs and investing $12.9 million by 2016. The new jobs will pay an average annual salary of $169,425, more than triple Mecklenburg County’s $52,611. The chemical manufacturer employs 6,900 worldwide, including 137 at a lithium production plant in Kings Mountain. Albemarle could receive a state grant of up to $2 million if it meets job-creation targets.

CHARLOTTE TTI Floor Care, a division of Hong Kong-based TTI, will create 200 jobs over two years and invest up to $5 million in a marketing and technology center. The company designs and sells vacuum cleaners under the Hoover, Dirt Devil and Oreck brands. Average annual salary for the jobs will be $103,618. TTI will receive a state grant of up to $3.7 million if it meets hiring goals.

CORNELIUSMichael Waltrip Racing Management will cease operations and 217 employees will lose their jobs. The layoffs will occur between Nov. 1 and April 15. The company’s NASCAR team, which includes drivers Clint Bowyer and David Ragan, hasn’t won a race since 2013.

CHARLOTTE — Essentra plans to add 100 employees to its 130 at its local manufacturing plant by year-end. Salaries were not disclosed. The United Kingdom-based company bought the plant as it acquired Netherlands-based Clondalkin Specialist Packaging Division in January for $455 million. Essentra employs 9,000 people in 33 countries and makes packaging products including cartons, labels and foils.

CHARLOTTE — Rentokil North America, part of United Kingdom-based Rentokil Initial, will pay $425 million for Steritech Group, a pest-control company started here in 1986. The deal will make Rentokil the third-largest exterminator in the country.

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