Charlotte business leaders and politicians lauded the citys accomplishments over the past year, including the Democratic National Convention, and looked ahead to future possibilities (the Super Bowl, perhaps?) at the Charlotte Chambers annual meeting Tuesday night.
And Gov.-elect Pat McCrory, a Republican from Charlotte, said he would work to build consensus and bipartisan support in governing North Carolina.
McCrory attributed achievements during his time as Charlotte mayor such as the LYNX light rail and Time Warner Cable Arena to public-private partnerships and a willingness to work together.
What I want to do as governor, McCrory told the crowd of almost 2,000 at the NASCAR Hall of Fame, is bring that team effort.
As he prepares to begin his term, McCrory said there is a sense of urgency in North Carolina, which has the fifth-highest unemployment rate in the country.
Outgoing chamber chairman Frank Emory said he was pleased with the years progress. The Democratic convention, he told the audience, put Charlotte in a new realm. It confirmed our presence on the world stage, said Emory.
Emory also recounted the chambers intercity visit to New York City earlier this year. Members of the chamber met National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell, Emory said, and explained to him Charlotte can host a Super Bowl.
The chamber plans to visit Houston for its next intercity visit, which ties in with the chambers slogan for the coming year: Power up.
• Longtime civil rights leader and former N.C. Central University chancellor Julius Chambers, who opened Charlottes first integrated law office, was given the annual Citizen of the Carolinas award. Charlotte businessman C.D. Spangler called Chambers a champion of justice, and praised his long career, which included leading the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.
• Messer Construction was honored with the 2012 Belk Innovation in Diversity Award. Steve Keckeis, the companys Charlotte region leader, encouraged other companies to follow the companys example and pursue diversity. It is the smart thing to do, and it does help the bottom line, said Keckeis.