Kluttz named to alliance for economic development

Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 16, 2012

SALISBURY — Former Salisbury Mayor Susan Kluttz has been named to a new statewide group of civic and business leaders who will promote economic growth and development in North Carolina’s cities and towns.
The N.C. Communities and Business Alliance is a new nonprofit organization including former governors and current and former state lawmakers.
The alliance will serve as a voice for public policy issues affecting the economic viability of North Carolina’s cities and towns, the success of its businesses and the quality of life of its residents.
The organization will work in partnership with the state to assist with the development of strategies that allow all businesses and communities to prosper. Its initial focus will be to share information and engage in discussion with various stakeholders on the issues challenging cities and towns, therefore impacting businesses and residents.
The alliance will be governed by a board of directors that met for the first time Dec. 7.
 “The formation of the alliance stems from the need to establish long-term policies that allow for continued economic growth in North Carolina’s cities and towns,” said former Gov. James B. Hunt Jr., an alliance founding member.
The key issues the alliance will address are balanced growth, transportation infrastructure, water and wastewater infrastructure, education and tax fairness.
“We recognize that our communities are major economic engines for our state,” said alliance founding member Louis Bissette Jr., former mayor of Asheville and former president of the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce. “If they are thriving, North Carolina’s economy is also strong and healthy.”
In addition to Kluttz, Hunt and Bissette, members of the board include Latimer Alexander, former mayor pro tem of High Point; Robert Brown, CEO of B&C Associates in High Point; Pearl Burris-Floyd, former member of the N.C. House of Representatives; Keith Crisco, state commerce secretary; Lyons Gray, former member of the N.C. House of Representatives; James Holshouser Jr., former governor of North Carolina; Philip R. Isley, former Raleigh City Council member; Leroy Lail, owner of Hickory Furniture; Daniel F. McComas, member of the N.C. House of Representatives; Roger Perry, chairman and president of East West Partners Management Company Inc. in Chapel Hill; Michael Philbeck, former mayor of Shelby; James Speed Jr., CEO, president and director of N.C. Mutual Life Insurance Company in Durham; Nicholas Tennyson, former mayor of Durham; Richard A. Vinroot, former mayor of Charlotte; and Michael Youngblood, former Wilmington City Council member.
More information can be found at www.thenccba.com.
The board will meet once every quarter. Members will meet with state lawmakers between meetings and with other alliance members and business and civic leaders across North Carolina to gather input on key issues and possible solutions.