People In The Spotlight

Janet LaBar is the new CEO of the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance

Janet LaBar

The Charlotte Regional Business Alliance has selected its first chief executive and her name is Janet LaBar. She leads a similar economic development and recruiting organization in Portland and will begin working here in late April.

The Alliance was formed late last year in a combination of the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce and the Charlotte Regional Partnership. The two organizations have shared the chamber’s former headquarters on South Tryon Street since mid-November. Soon after that, the Alliance name and logo were unveiled and, as of Jan. 1, the merger became official.

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Former chamber CEO Bob Morgan withdrew from consideration to lead the new organization in December; Ronnie Bryant, who led the partnership, did not apply and instead started a private consulting business.

A five-person Alliance committee and Raleigh recruiting firm Elinvar led the four-month CEO search. Elinvar CEO Patti Gillenwater worked with a committee comprised of Lowe’s executive vice president of human resources Jennifer Weber; Novant Health executive and Alliance board chair Jesse Cureton; Donny Hicks, executive director of the Gaston County Economic Development Commission; Atrium Health executive Carol Lovin; and Russ Rogerson, head of the Iredell County Economic Development Corporation.

LaBar became president and CEO of Greater Portland Inc. in June 2014. During her tenure, the nonprofit, known as GPI, has helped 31 companies expand or relocate in the Portland area, adding 2,800 jobs and $153 million worth of income, according to GPI figures.

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