Business

Charlotte business groups name interim director to oversee merger transition

Ronnie Bryant, president and CEO of the Charlotte Regional Partnership, center, greets attendees at the Amazon HQ2 Media Event at the UNC Charlotte Center City building last year. The chamber and regional partnership announced Tuesday the appointment of a transition director as the two organizations prepare to merge.
Ronnie Bryant, president and CEO of the Charlotte Regional Partnership, center, greets attendees at the Amazon HQ2 Media Event at the UNC Charlotte Center City building last year. The chamber and regional partnership announced Tuesday the appointment of a transition director as the two organizations prepare to merge. dlaird@charlotteobserver.com

The Charlotte Chamber and Charlotte Regional Partnership announced Tuesday the appointment of a transition director as the two organizations prepare to merge.

Ernie Reigel, a partner at Charlotte-based law firm Moore & Van Allen, will help integrate the organizations until a national CEO search for the combined agency is completed early next year, the chamber and partnership said in a press release. Reigel’s appointment was effective as of Monday, the release said.

The organizations announced their merger plans last month. On Tuesday, the groups reiterated that their boards are expected to take a final vote on the combination later this year.

Reigel, a past board member of both the chamber and the regional partnership, will be responsible for shaping the structure and business model of the new organization, according to Tuesday’s release. His responsibilities will involve leading stakeholder communications, developing a budget and managing the process for naming the new organization, the release said.

Having a transition director will also enable the chief executives and staff of the chamber and regional partnership to stay focused on their missions throughout the transition, according to the release.

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In announcing the plans last month, the groups said the combination was the right strategic decision for the Charlotte metro area. Also, having one organization provides a single team for businesses looking to relocate or expand, the groups said at the time.

Ernie Reigel.jpg
Ernie Reigel Photo courtesy of the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce and the Charlotte Regional Partnership

“The (16-county) region has continued to grow,” Reigel, who stepped down this year as chairman at Moore & Van Allen, said Tuesday. “And really it’s time for us to figure out a way that we can all sort of move lockstep.”

Jesse Cureton, the incoming chamber chairman, said Tuesday that Raleigh-based executive search firm Elinvar is helping with the CEO search.

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Chamber CEO Bob Morgan and regional partnership CEO Ronnie Bryant will continue to run their organizations during the transition, the groups also reiterated Tuesday.

Cureton said Morgan has indicated he’s interested in the CEO role but Bryant has indicated he’s not.

Deon Roberts: 704-358-5248, @DeonERoberts
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