Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Strayhorn elected to lead Golden LEAF board

Charlotte banker Ralph Strayhorn was elected chair of the Golden LEAF Foundation’s board Thursday.

The New Republic Bank executive succeeds Winston-Salem auto dealership owner Don Flow as leader of the Rocky Mount-based foundation, which oversees a $1.2 billion investment fund. Flow had served the maximum two terms as chair.

Others elected to board leadership positions include Vice Chair Brian Raynor of Cumberland County; Treasurer Johnathan Rhyne Jr. of Lincoln County and Secretary Bobbie Richardson of Franklin County.

Strayhorn is CEO and chair of New Republic Partners, which provides investment and banking services. He previously was CEO of Cape Fear Bank, chief administrative officer of BNC Bancorp and CEO of Sterling South Bank & Trust. He has been on the Golden LEAF board since 2020 after also serving from 2013 to 2017.

At the group’s board meeting, officials approved $5.5 million for 50 projects in 37 counties  though the Food Distribution Assistance Program; $3 million for five projects in its SITE Program and $650,000 to support two projects through the Open Grants Program.

The N.C. General Assembly appropriated $10 million to Golden LEAF for the food assistance program, using federal fiscal recovery funds.

Golden LEAF’s 15-member board is appointed by the governor, the president pro tempore of the senate, and the speaker of the House. Since its formation in 1999, the group has funded more than 2,200 projects totaling $1.2 billion.

The nonprofit receives a portion of North Carolina’s funding from the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement with cigarette manufacturers. Its mission is to improve economic conditions tobacco-dependent, distressed, and rural areas

David Mildenberg
David Mildenberg
David Mildenberg is editor of Business North Carolina. Reach him at

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