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Lassiter named chair of N.C. Economic Development Board

Gov. Pat McCrory has named his friend and one-time campaign manager John Lassiter as chairman of the N.C. Economic Development Board, a group that will help launch a new approach to economic development in the state.

Lassiter, a former Charlotte City Council member who last year helped lead the governor’s transition office, also chairs the Renew North Carolina Foundation, an advocacy group begun by McCrory’s political allies.

Lassiter said the board’s first task will be developing a long-range jobs plan.

“We’re going to build a roadmap for how we grow North Carolina,” he said Monday.

The board also is expected to play a role in creation of a new, private nonprofit corporation that would take over many economic development duties of the state Commerce Department, and of the economic development board.

Legislation to enact the change has passed the House and Senate but is back in the Senate, which is considering changes made by the House.

The economic development board would help hire a CEO for the new private corporation.

McCrory is expected to speak to the development board when it meets Wednesday in Raleigh.

His appointment puts another Charlotte voice in state economic development policy.

Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker is a former chair of the Charlotte Chamber. Former Duke Energy executive Tony Almeida is senior adviser to the governor for jobs and the economy.

Among McCrory’s 22 appointments to the economic development board:

• Glenn Sherrill, president and COO of SteelFab Inc., a steel fabrication company.

• Thomas Skains, chairman, president and CEO of Piedmont Natural Gas. He’s also a vice chair of the Charlotte Chamber.

Morrill: 704-358-5059
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