Gov. Pat McCrory named some high-powered individuals Monday to the North Carolina Economic Development Board that will be chaired by his long-time friend and political ally John Lassiter of Charlotte.
Lassiter, president of Carolina Legal Staffing, has been an advisor to McCrory, and is also involved in the governor's 5-1 c4 political committee.
The vice chair is Jim Whitehurst, the president and chief executive officer of Red Hat, the Raleigh-based software company.
Others on the board are Jack Cecil of Asheville, president of Biltmore Farms, Vimal Kolappa of Bueafort County, a principal of East Coast Builder's Group and manager of Ayyappan LLC., Charles Creighton of Chowan County, CEO of Colony Tire Col, Terry Hutchens of Fayetteville, an attorney and former aide to Sen. John East; Jeff Turner of Duplin County, executive vice president of Murphy Family Ventures LLC; Chuck Swoboda, of Durham County, president of Cree Inc.
Also appointed was Eric Pike of Forsyth, chairman and CEO of Pike Electric Corp., Madhu Beriwal of Durham County, president band CEO of IEM Inc, a homeland security and emergency management company; Bob Singer, of Guilford, an attorney; Melanie McNamara of Guilford County, owner of Absolute Style Furniture; Bill Shumaker of Iredell County, CEO and chairman of Kewaunee Scientific Corp., Fred Smith, a former state senator and former gubernatorial candidate who founder of Fred Smith Co. and CEO of C.C. Mangum, a road building company.; Glenn Sherrill of Mecklenburg, president and COO of SteelFAb Inc, a steel fabrication company; Pat Corso of Moore County, a franchisee/partner for Pinehurst Donuts; Thomas Skains of Mecklenburg County, chairman and president of Piedmont Natural Gas; Harry Smith Jr. of Pitt County chairman and CEO of Flanders Corp.
Also appointed was Bill Graham, a Salisbury attorney and former gubernatorial candidate; John Kane, CEO of Kane Realty in Raleigh; Kelly King, CEO and president of BB&T in Winston-Salem, and Thomas Looney of Wake County, vice president and general manager for Lenovo North America.
The group includes two people who serve on McCrory political committee, Lassiter and Graham. They also include two people he defeated in 2008 in the GOP primary for governor, Smith and Graham.
As is traditional with such boards, McCrory has included many major political contributors. His appointees contributed at least $73,642 to his campaign last year, according to the State Board of Elections.