Cathy Bessant Named North Tryon Advisory Committee Chairperson

Jordan-Ashley Walker

Distributed jointly by the City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County

Charlotte, NC (Feb. 28, 2017)  – Charlotte and Mecklenburg County leaders have named Cathy Bessant Chairperson of the North Tryon Advisory Committee.  Bessant is Chief Operations and Technology Officer at Bank of America.​

Under Bessant's leadership, the Advisory Committee – comprised of property owners and local community leaders – will develop the strategies, timelines and resource needs to make the North Tryon Vision a reality.  The North Tryon Vision Plan is a joint collaboration among the City of Charlotte, Foundation For The Carolinas and Charlotte Center City Partners focused on a 60-acre, 50-square-block district in Center City Charlotte.

A consortium of nearly two dozen civic, business and government institutions is working to create and facilitate an innovative vision and implementation plan that will catalyze new development in the North Tryon area. The North Tryon Vision Plan focuses on a 50-square-block district in Center City Charlotte and will build upon North Tryon's already rich arts and cultural offerings to cultivate a dynamic and inclusive new Uptown neighborhood.  Implementation will take place over the next 15 years.

"A key element to the success of the Advisory committee and the implementation of the vision is strong leadership," said Dena Diorio, Mecklenburg County Manager.  "Cathy's experience at Bank of America as well as her commitment to the Charlotte community makes her the perfect choice to serve as the Chairperson of the North Tryon Advisory Committee."

"We are pleased to welcome Cathy as the leader of the North Tyron Advisory Committee," said City Manager Marcus D. Jones. "We recognize the enthusiasm she brings to the role of chairperson and believe she will help us build upon our success as we create a more vibrant district in this area. The North Tryon Vision Plan is a critical, collaborative economic development effort as Charlotte strives to become the winning city of tomorrow."

Mecklenburg County commissioners approved the North Tryon Vision Plan on Sept. 20, 2016, and Charlotte City Council approved the plan Jan. 9, 2017.

"Recognizing great progress made in Charlotte, there remains an urgent need to accelerate economic growth and support development that embraces the broad range of ages, incomes and cultures that make this community so special," said Bessant.  "This is an ambitious vision for North Tryon and will help Charlotte remain the envy of cities across the country."

Bessant has served in a wide range of leadership roles at Bank of America throughout her 30+ year career and has been active in economic development, education, arts and culture and philanthropy in the region.  She was the 2006 Charlotte Woman of the Year, ranks No. 1 on Institutional Investor's Tech 50, ranks No. 3 on American Banker's Most Powerful Women in Banking and last year received North Carolina's Order of the Long Leaf Pine Award.  Bank of America is a land owner in the North Tryon corridor.

Cathy said her most immediate responsibility is to enable broader community participation in the process so that all interests are represented.  She is currently building a Council comprised of visionary, collaborative thought leaders. 

Comments from representatives of the North Tryon Vision Plan Steering Committee, include:

"Cathy's selection as Chair of the North Tryon Advisory Committee carries on the rich history of Bank of America's leadership in Uptown and specifically in this sub-district." said Michael Smith, President and CEO of Charlotte Center City Partners. "The North Tryon area is ripe for intentional and thoughtful redevelopment and Cathy's strong and proven leadership will drive this transformation."

"I have had the privilege of watching Cathy's action oriented leadership style during her four year chairmanship of Foundation For The Carolinas. She is the perfect leader to bring this grand vision to life and we have every reason to expect big things," said Michael Marsicano, President and CEO, Foundation For The Carolinas.



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