David Murdock to receive economic development award

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

David Murdock, chief executive of Dole Foods and the man behind the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis, will receive the Charlotte Regional Partnership’s 2009 Jerry Award in May.
The University of North Carolina at Charlotte also will receive a Jerry Award, which recognizes individuals or organizations that have made significant, ongoing contributions to economic development within the 16-county Charlotte region.
The Charlotte Regional Partnership’s 2009 Annual Awards Luncheon will be held at 11:30 a.m. May 28 at the Charlotte Convention Center.
UNC System President Erskine Bowles, who served as former President Bill Clinton’s White House chief of staff, will present the keynote address.
Business and civic leader Ruth Shaw, current chair of UNC-Charlotte’s board of directors and former chief executive officer of Duke Power Company, is serving as honorary chair of the event.
Ronnie Bryant, president and chief executive officer of the Charlotte Regional Partnership, said no one is more deserving of the 2009 private-sector award than David Murdock.
“He not only was instrumental in creating hundreds of jobs in Gaston County at the Dole Fresh Vegetables plant, but his vision for a collaborative, public-private research facility focused on health and wellness has come to fruition in Kannapolis at the North Carolina Research Campus.
“Both endeavors have and will continue to generate thousands of jobs and attract businesses that will help drive our regional economy.”
Tony Almeida, Charlotte Regional Partnership board chairman, said UNC-Charlotte is the ideal choice for the public sector award. The university is one of eight on the N.C. Research Campus and is North Carolina’s only urban research university.
Through its centers and institutes, UNC-Charlotte marries academic research and real-world challenges. The university not only creates solutions, but generates an educated workforce that attracts businesses, according to Almeida.
“The innovation, creativity and intellectual capital that both the NCRC and UNC-Charlotte contribute to our region are key economic drivers that contribute to our global competitiveness,” Almeida said.