Christensen: Art Pope gives new administration ‘needed muscle’ in Raleigh

March 11, 2013

Categories: In The News

The News & Observer's veteran political reporter Rob Christensen writes that Gov. Pat McCrory's hiring of Art Pope as his budget director was "a shrewd move – and not just because Pope works cheap as a $1-a-year man." Christensen contributed this column on Pope, who is also President and Chairman of the John William Pope Foundation: Many people find it difficult to think dispassionately about Pope because he has become such a polarizing figure – knight of the right to his admirers or a somewhat sinister Daddy-Warbucks-Dick-Cheney-string-puller to his critics. But for McCrory, a rookie governor with little Raleigh experience, having Pope at his side during the early months of his administration has been an asset. Consider that McCrory is spending three hours a day preparing his state budget for delivery to the legislature later this month. With the state still trying to shake off the effects of the deep recession, Pope brings a sharp businessman’s eyes to the...

WRAL: Two foundations fund the battle of ideas in N.C.

WRAL.com's Mark Binker has a lengthy piece discussing nonprofits in North Carolina that contribute ideas to the public policy debate. Binker highlights the Pope Foundation as the principal funding source for right-of-center groups and the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation as the principal source for left-of-center groups. He writes: Roughly a dozen groups make up the core of Raleigh's intellectual industrial complex, with a dozen others playing a larger or smaller role as specific issues arise. Although there are exceptions, the most frequently quoted and cited of these groups break down into two families, each with ties to one of two foundations that helps to fund their activities. The Justice Center, Action NC, Progress North Carolina, Planned Parenthood and many other left-of-center groups can trace some part of their funding back to the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, a Winston-Salem based philanthropy founded as a memorial to the son of a tobacco magnate. A handful of other...

Art Pope praised for creating jobs in low-income towns

February 6, 2013

Categories: In The News

Andrea Harris, president of the N.C. Institute for Minority Economic Development, credits Art Pope (President and Chairman of the Pope Foundation) 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...

Pope Foundation Chairman serves on McCrory transition team

November 9, 2012

Categories: In The News

Art Pope, 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...

Pope Foundation Chairman appointed to UNC-System advisory committee

October 3, 2012

Categories: In The News

Raleigh businessman and philanthropist Art Pope, President and Chairman of the Pope Foundation, has been appointed to serve on a UNC-system advisory committee to “provide vital input in the development of the next five-year strategic plan for the 17-campus University,” according to a news release. The blue-ribbon group includes a variety of leaders in the business, educational, and political sectors from across the state. Read more in this news release from the university system: President Ross and the Board of Governors are working collaboratively to define the University’s strategic directions for 2013-18.  These core goals are pivotal in setting current and future priorities, resource planning and allocation, program planning, review and refinement of academic missions, and strategic planning by UNC constituent institutions and affiliated entities. They also must reflect the University’s deep commitment to help North Carolina respond to changing state needs and...

Pope Foundation Chairman serves on Golden LEAF Board of Directors

October 2, 2012

Categories: In The News

In June 2011, N.C. Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger appointed Art Pope, President and Chairman of the John William Pope Foundation, to serve on the Board of Directors for Golden LEAF (Long-term Economic Advancement Foundation). Golden LEAF, headquartered in Rocky Mount, makes annual grants to spur economic development in tobacco-dependent areas of North Carolina. For the 2011-2012 budget year, the Foundation will make $48.2 million in community-assistance, education, and health-care grants. Art has brought a wealth of business and philanthropic experience to the Golden LEAF Board. In addition to his service at the Pope Foundation, Art currently is CEO and Chairman of the Board for Variety Wholesalers Inc. Art's past experience in the North Carolina General Assembly has given him added insight into the decisions faced by Golden LEAF. Art serves on the Board with 14 other North Carolinians who represent a variety of industries and business sectors....

Art Pope receives SPN’s ‘Roe’ award for defending freedom

September 7, 2012

Categories: In The News

Art Pope, President and Chairman of the Board of the John William Pope Foundation, was honored to receive State Policy Network’s “Roe” award in 2009. Established in 1992 and named after SPN’s founder, Thomas A. Roe, Jr., the Roe award recognizes individuals in the public policy sphere who have done an exceptional job of furthering liberty: SPN presents the annual Thomas Roe Award to honor an individual who exhibits leadership, innovation and achievement in promoting free markets and less intrusive government at the state and local level. At the 17th SPN Annual Meeting in Asheville, North Carolina, the 2009 Roe Award was bestowed upon James Arthur Pope. A Tar Heel State native, Pope earned his undergraduate degree from the University of N. Carolina at Chapel Hill and a law degree from Duke University, then joined the family business - Variety Wholesalers Inc., which owns a retail chain of more than 500 stores in 14 states. He served as a vice president and general counsel,...