Name: Ralph Strayhorn
City of Residence: Charlotte
County of Residence: Mecklenburg
Employment: Chairman and CEO – New Republic Partners
Appointed by: Speaker of the House (previously by Governor McCrory)
Appointment Date: March 2020 (previously served December 2013 to December 2017)
Golden LEAF Board Leadership Roles: Former Chair Investment Committee (2015-2017)
What are activities or leadership roles you provide for the community?
I am the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board at New Republic Partners. I bring insights and experience from a longstanding career in financial services, including Chief Executive Officer of Cape Fear Bank Corporation, Chief Administrative Officer and member of the Board of Directors at BNC Bancorp and President and Chief Executive Officer of Sterling South Bank & Trust Company.
What is your connection to rural, tobacco-dependent or economically distressed areas?
As a native of Durham, I was very familiar with the tobacco business.
How does your personal and/or professional life complement Golden LEAF’s mission and priorities?
I love the Golden LEAF mission of providing grants and other assistance to local governments and nonprofits to support economic growth. These projects help respond to the needs of businesses and individuals in the formerly tobacco-dependent areas of our state. I am proud to have my public service participation centered in Golden LEAF board activities.
What are you most excited about seeing happen in economic development in rural NC in the next 5-10 years?
Two items: 1) the continued technological advances in agricultural production and 2) the growth in importance of the community college system preparing our fellow North Carolinians for fulfilling opportunities and careers for the new economy.
What do you want people to know about the Golden LEAF Foundation?
Golden LEAF has a great staff and board, both of which are dedicated to the mission. Making grants is hard work if done properly!