About Art

Art Pope serves as Chairman of the Board and CEO and President of Variety Wholesalers Inc., which owns and operates a general merchandise retail chain of over 350 stores in 15 eastern states, with over 7,000 employees.

Art also serves as Chairman of the John William Pope Foundation, a private grant-making foundation supported by the company and Pope family. The Pope Foundation makes grants of approximately $10 million a year to support public policy, education, cultural, and humanitarian efforts.

Art has served on numerous nonprofit and government boards and commissions. Currently, Art serves on the Board of Directors for the Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University and the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation.

Art was elected to and served four terms in the North Carolina House of Representatives (1989-1992, 1999-2002) and served as Special Counsel to Governor Jim Martin of North Carolina in 1985. Art is an activist in the Republican Party, having served at every level from precinct chairman to Chairman of the N.C. Republican Party State Convention and delegate to the Republican National Convention (1992, 1996, 2008, and 2012). From January 2013 – August 2014, he served as state budget director, appointed by North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory.

Art lives in Raleigh, North Carolina and is a Tar Heel State native. Art is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, B.A. with Honors, 1978, and received his J.D. from Duke University, 1981. Art is married to Kathy Pope and they have a blended family of three children.

Art’s Philanthropy

If character is defined by what we do when no one is looking, then Art Pope’s character is defined by his philanthropic work over the past 25 years.

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Art’s Public Service

Throughout his public service career, Art’s top goal has been to reform North Carolina’s state government, public education system, budget, and taxes to better serve citizens.

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