Andrea Harris, president of the N.C. Institute for Minority Economic Development, credits Art Pope and Variety Wholesalers Inc. with saving jobs in low-income, rural areas of North Carolina.
Harris is quoted in this news story from The Triangle Tribune, an African-American newspaper (emphasis added):
Born in Henderson, N.C., Harris witnessed the closing of Roses Store headquarters. Out of a city that holds about 45,000 people, nearly 6,000 lost their jobs in almost six years.
Variety Wholesalers, Inc., where Pope is CEO, saved jobs for the residents. Many of the stores are in minority census track and low-income towns.
“We need commercial investments in our neighborhoods that don’t sell alcohol and drug paraphernalia. Variety Wholesalers does not sell tobacco, alcohol or guns. Over half the employees are women. Over a third of the managers look like me,” Harris said. “When it comes to Art Pope, I see a different person than what most people see.”
Art Pope, President and Chairman of the John William Pope Foundation and CEO of Variety Wholesalers Inc., has accepted the position of Deputy Budget Director in the McCrory Administration.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to join with Governor-elect McCrory and the rest of the administration in building a brighter future for North Carolina,” Pope said.
Pope brings varied public service experience to his new role, having served four terms in the North Carolina House of Representatives and as Special Counsel to Gov. Jim Martin. In 1992, he was the Republican nominee for Lieutenant Governor.
Learn more about Pope’s public service
Learn more about Pope’s philanthropic efforts
Throughout his public service career, Pope’s top goal has been to reform North Carolina’s budget and tax system to better serve citizens.
Pope also oversees the giving of the Pope Foundation, one of the most generous philanthropies in North Carolina. Located in Wake County, the Foundation donates $10 million each year to public policy groups, educational institutions, humanitarian efforts, and the arts.
Art Pope, CEO of Variety Wholesalers Inc. and President and Chairman of the John William Pope Foundation, will serve as a co-chair on Governor-Elect Pat McCrory’s gubernatorial transition team. The Associated Press has the details:
The top transition leaders are senior chairman of transition operations John Lassiter, a Charlotte businessman, former city council member and close McCrory ally, and transition director Thomas Stith, who works at a private enterprise center at UNC-Chapel Hill. Stith is a former Durham city council member.
Other operations co-chairmen are former Rep. Ed McMahan, a Charlotte architect; Raleigh real estate executive Mike Smith and retail company executive Art Pope. McCrory defended the involvement of Pope, who’s been a lightning rod for Democrats and liberal groups because his family’s companies have given large amounts of money to conservative political groups and his family’s foundation often gives to conservative causes.
Pope, a former state House member from Raleigh, is “extremely knowledgeable about the operation of state government. And by the way, he has a great relationship with Gov. (Beverly) Perdue also,” McCrory said as Pope and more than a dozen other transition members stood behind him at the news conference.
For a complete list of transition team members, click here.
Art Pope, CEO of Variety Wholesalers Inc. and President and Chairman of the John William Pope Foundation, met with protesters outside a luncheon Oct. 27. The students had gathered to protest Art’s appointment to a UNC system advisory committee tasked with making recommendations on a new strategic plan for higher education in North Carolina.
The event was a poll luncheon organized by the Civitas Institute. Art gave his analysis of recent polling data on major issues of the day in addition to races for president, state-level office, and legislature.