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When we set out to rank the 50 most influential people in Charlotte right now, we found a white-collar establishment and ascendant newcomers. During his year stewardship, Foundation For The Carolinas has grown from the 35th largest community foundation in America to the eighth largest. The average age of a person moving to Mecklenburg County from another place in North Carolina is The most powerful woman in Charlotte eschews the spotlight and especially the media. Inside Duke Energy, Good has built a reputation of reassuring calm, a trait that served her well as she clawed through a male-dominated field, emerged from a nasty post-merger leadership fight in , and juggled recent coal ash crises.
More than 20, attend Elevation Church services each week. And even now, at 81 years old, the man who built the bank that built the modern-day Southern city remains one of the most prominent voices in town. He delivered biting and straightforward words about most of the major news events of , leaving politicians and businessmen looking to him not just to understand the historical context around the moments, but also for answers on how to go forward.
The year-old developer plays a central role in real estate, sports, and civic issues. Charlotte likes task forces. In her hands is funding for the jail, library system, courthouse, parks and recreation, and a sizable chunk of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools budget. With , futures at stake, he must get it right.
The Bishop The Rev. Its plans include a acre campus off Providence Road, an office tower and a mixed-use behemoth blocks apart in uptown, and a once-in-a-generation development west of the airport. Despite little official power and a mixed-bag —she looked like a leader on HB2, not so much on Keith Scott—Roberts remains the face of Charlotte city government to the nation, no small role.
His plans for First Ward include apartments, an office tower, and retail space. Levine moves at his own pace, but his projects will transform uptown when they finally get finished. Eschert, though, tells Emily Ethridge he likes to stay neutral. Knight Foundation Thomas first garnered widespread but unseen influence when he founded Queen City Forward in , creating a hub for entrepreneurs who tackle social needs.
His is a quiet leadership—but plenty of people listen. He came home, went to law school, ed the JAG Corps in the Army National Guard, launched a career as a prosecutor, and became a Democratic state senator. All this before he was 32 years old. Marcus is far less bombastic than his father, SMI founder Bruton Smith, who handed over the family business two years ago.
Her trips to New York, London, and Paris for fashion weeks and appointments with deers make her something of an ambassador for Charlotte. Fresh-faced and eager, he did un-United Way things after taking the job a year ago, such as hiring a chief impact officer and investing in mobile technologies. Expect his influence to grow. His Midwood Smokehouse is growing, as is fast casual concept Yafo Kitchen. Check out that episode here. Smith, 43, is chief among them, having represented City Council District 6 in south Charlotte since Newsome, who scaled a flagpole to remove a Confederate flag at the South Carolina statehouse in , is a force within the Black Lives Matter movement, here and beyond.
OMB moved to a bigger location in , and expanded again a year later. The Trailblazer Pat Rodgers CEO, Rodgers Builders Rodgers was one of the first high-profile female business owners in town, and remains a mentor to female executives across a range of industries. Her Tuesday Morning Breakfast Forum is a must-attend meeting for elected officials and nonprofit leaders. Those connections help him and Blumenthal score top-tier touring shows in Charlotte. Subscriptions to the and seasons guaranteed a seat for the production.
And in light of this, Charlotte magazine doth proclaim: Another record awaits. The leaders of those groups trust Riley and seek his counsel often. The Decider Andrew Murray Mecklenburg County District Attorney Murray and, by extension, his office has a say in the fate of thousands of people who pass through the criminal justice system each year. Furman pushes de boundaries and forces his competitors to innovate.
His irreverence makes him likeable; his buildings make him powerful. Together, they crafted a new model for arts venues in Charlotte. Goodyear Arts transforms transitional spaces headed for destruction into temporary artist residencies.
Because of Goodyear Arts, developers such as Crescent Communities and Levine Properties can be involved in the arts community while giving artists autonomy. Chiou likes to push people outside their comfort zones, which is what Charlotte needs. She has bounced around Democratic political circles, but is now part of a new wave of millennial nonprofit leaders in town. The tech company made a splash when it bought naming rights at the Music Factory and started building a campus across the street. Praeger is still making a name for himself in Charlotte, but we expect him to be a player.
Taking over after Tony Zeiss, who grew CPCC from one campus to six during a nearly year presidency, will be no small task. Now, they make up about 15 percent. Governor Pat is the only incumbent governor in North Carolina history to lose a reelection bid.
He lost Mecklenburg County, which he won in , by 29 points this go-round. And his post-election rhetoric—including false allegations of widespread voter fraud—embarrassed our state, especially those of us who voted for him when he was moderate Mayor Pat. Come talk to us when Congress accomplishes something—anything—besides ceremonial resolutions. The school board provides vital oversight of our public schools, and we wish McCray would show sincere leadership on matters of transparency, especially in the firing and hiring of superintendents.
A lack of openness undermines the public trust the board says it wants to foster. Ronald Carter President, Johnson C. Smith University. Current Issue. About Us Advertise . This article appears in the February issue of Charlotte magazine. : In Print , The Buzz. Related Stories. Inside the Fight for Charlotte's Future. The Buzz: Sent on Mondays with everything you know to start the week in Charlotte. Handpicked: Travel deals, event promotions, and more special offers from our partners. Partner Content. Contest of the Month.Real Charlotte guy here seeking a black chick
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