This newly formed organization has been created by business leaders in the Charlotte region by combining the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce and the Charlotte Regional Partnership. The combined organization will provide the foundation to launch a new economic development effort that is charged with building a bold, vibrant and forward-thinking approach to economic development that benefits all residents of this 16-county region.
The Charlotte Chamber is a membership, volunteer-led 501(C)(6). The Chamber’s vision is to make Charlotte the best place to run a business and to live. Its mission is to create competitive advantage by growing the economy, advocating pro-business public policies, and delivering innovative programs and services. The organization is supported solely through membership, sponsorships and advertising. It does not utilize public dollars.
A nonprofit, public/private economic development organization, the Charlotte Regional Partnership, with engagement and input from its economic development partners from the 16-county area, leverages regional resources to market the Charlotte USA region. The Partnership’s business development activities position Charlotte USA for sustained, long-term growth, job creation and investment opportunities. The CRP is supported by both public and private dollars.
In late September, the Executive Committee of the Charlotte Chamber and the Board of Directors for the Charlotte Regional Partnership voted unanimously to authorize their CEOs and staff to engage in the steps necessary to formally combine the organizations. It is anticipated that the new enterprise will begin operations on January 1, 2019.
The decision to combine the two organizations is rooted in a belief that the vision and mission of the two organizations naturally align with one another and combining the two will sustain and enhance the economic growth, prosperity and global competitiveness of the Charlotte region.
The intent of the combined enterprise will be to build on the experience and passion of both organizations to galvanize the 16-county Charlotte region through a shared vision and coordinated efforts.
The business leaders in the community are committed to building the best enterprise in the country in order to drive long-term growth and a vibrant economy. A unified enterprise provides a clear path and single development team for site selectors and business leaders and owners who are considering a corporate re-location or business expansion.
The leaders are confident a new combined organization is the right strategic decision for the region’s future. Through ONE mission and vision, ONE team, ONE agenda, and ONE office, there is an opportunity to create the most robust, collaborative and effective economic development enterprise in the country.
The new CEO will be a creative, collaborative, inclusive, innovative and strategic leader with a passion for having significant impact on the future economic growth of this already very successful region. A description of the areas of focus for this CEO follows.
We are seeking a visionary leader with the ability to develop a comprehensive strategy and drive execution while collaborating with stakeholders across the region. This strategy should include:
1) One bold vision for the region.
2) The creation of a coalition of recruitment partners with a clear and compelling strategy to produce a win-win impact throughout the region.
3) A marketing strategy for a new way of promoting regional assets.
4) A plan to address gaps in regional assets.
5) An approach that balances disparities in economic prosperity.
6) An innovative refresh of current activities of the merging organizations to determine the best programs to support retention and growth of member companies, a robust talent pipeline, and an effective ecosystem for entrepreneurs.
7) An inclusive focus that leverages the rich diversity of the region and is inclusive of emerging leaders, Latinx, Asian and African American business leaders.
This plan will be designed to support economic opportunity for all residents in the 16-county region and provide transparency and accountability to all stakeholders.
The CEO will lead an internal economic development team and support the efforts of economic development professionals working across the region. As a key promoter for the Charlotte region to attract new business investment and job creation, the CEO will be expected to understand the assets of the region and influence key decision makers to make the region their home. This work will also include:
1) Creating a new financial model to support regionalism and provide a clear ROI to investors.
2) Understanding regional assets and the nuances of the benefits offered in each county.
3) Aligning strategies that support retention and job growth for current businesses in the region.
4) Incorporating an equity lens that creates upward mobility for all through jobs that provide opportunity for workers of all skill levels.
5) Leveraging the international nature of the Charlotte region.
6) Providing a transparent and easily navigated process for businesses considering relocation.
Leading a newly merged organization and compelling former competitors to become collaborators requires a special leader and that is a key requirement for the new CEO.
In addition, the ability to work effectively with the CEOs of Fortune 500 companies and authentically relate to business leaders of smaller enterprises is essential for success. A genuine passion for inclusion and engaging with all members of the region’s diverse business leaders is expected. This aspect of the position also requires:
1) Passion for the community, effective trust building across the region and ability to influence stakeholders to support the new approach to economic development for the region.
2) Establishing a meaningful presence with all counties and their elected officials and giving them a voice.
3) Experience leading transformation in an organization and a community.
4) Excellent communication skills, at the podium and in smaller settings.
5) Ability to relate to many different types of people and successfully sell the region to prospects.
6) Strategically leveraging new and existing relationships to drive outcomes that benefit the region.
As a team builder and effective leader of talent who values diversity and inclusion, the new CEO must have experience leading significant organizational change and building outstanding teams. Other elements of this area of work are:
1) Designing a new financial model that supports the strategy and growth of the organization and demonstrates outstanding financial stewardship of donor resources and regional assets.
2) Building a senior team that can execute the new vision.
3) Developing and leveraging the board to elevate the organization’s influence and success in the region and beyond.
4) Assessing the current programs for effectiveness, determining the ROI for investors and managing changes that are needed to improve their impact.
5) Establishing metrics and milestones to measure success and communicate progress to all stakeholders.
6) Providing economic research and data for the region.
The new vision and strategy should be designed to excite current members and community leaders and generate the funding necessary to grow the organization and accomplish the stated goals. The new CEO needs to create and implement a fundraising strategy that:
1) Aligns with the organization’s strategic plan.
2) Provides a compelling ROI for investors.
3) Increases organizational capacity to do more and achieve the aspirational goals the community expects.
The region includes counties in North and South Carolina, so the new CEO must be adept at working with elected officials in both states as well as at the county and city levels. Public policy positions will also be impacted by the diversity in the region, with a need to support and navigate the needs of both rural and urban areas. This work will include:
1) Developing relationships with multiple and diverse bodies of elected officials within the two-state region.
2) Creating a regional public policy strategy that includes issues related to transportation, water, and the airport, with clear benefits to all counties in the region.
3) Building consensus, operating as an “honest broker,” working as a unifier and focusing on finding “win-win” solutions.
Candidates for this position may have gained the experience needed to be successful in this role from a variety of professional paths. We are seeking a compelling and inspiring leader who understands business, is passionate about this work, and knows how to bring people together around a bold and exciting vision.
Elinvar has been retained to conduct the search for the CEO of the new organization. For more information and to express confidential interest in the position, please contact Patti Gillenwater at 919-622-5141 or firstname.lastname@example.org.