History of the
association and its mission
With about 2,000 member companies of all types
and sizes, N.C. Citizens for Business and Industry is the state's
largest and most influential business group, one that is widely
respected for its balanced, thoughtful approach to public policy
issues. A nonpartisan, nonprofit membership organization, NCCBI was
founded in 1942 and has served for the past 25 years as the state
chamber of commerce and the state representative to the U.S. Chamber
of Commerce. In 1997 NCCBI also became the official state affiliate of
the National Association of Manufacturers. NCCBI operates from offices
in Raleigh a short walk to the Capitol and the General Assembly
NCCBI was founded in 1942 when the
world war convinced North Carolina business leaders how important it
was for state government to become more efficient and productive when
goods -- and tax dollars -- were in short supply. Early on the group
realized the importance of good research and publishing the
information. NCCBI began publishing the monthly North Carolina
Magazine in 1943, and it's now one of the oldest
continuously-published magazines in the state.
volunteer-led organization, NCCBI takes its direction from a
100-member Board of Directors and the 25-member Executive Committee.
The association's top leader is the volunteer chair, who serves a
year as the business community's most visible spokesman. Barry
Eveland of Cornelius (left), IBM's top North Carolina executive, is this year's chair. Other officers
are first vice chair Stephen Miller of Asheville, executive vice president of
The Biltmore Co., second vice chair Graham Denton of Charlotte, the Bank of
America executive, and
Treasurer Steve Zaytoun of Cary, of Zaytoun & Associates Inc.
NCCBI's strong voice in state
government prompted a former governor to describe it as “almost a
fourth branch of government.” It commands that respect because
political leaders value NCCBI's well-thought-out, balanced approach to
public policy issues. NCCBI's broad mandate is to improve the quality
of life for all North Carolinians, a goal it pursues by working to
safeguard the state's favorable business climate, by improving
educational opportunities for everyone and by maintaining a clean,
Members provide extensive input into
NCCBI's goals by serving on one of the seven public policy committees.
These committees meet to hear expert speakers, evaluate research and
then recommend positions the association will advocate with the
Governor and the General Assembly. To make sure the business point of
view is heard, NCCBI arranges several face-to-face encounters between
members and political leaders, such as the annual Legislative
Conference attended by top elected officials. The highlight of the
NCCBI year is the
Annual Meeting, usually
attended by 1,000 or more leading figures, the one time each year that
the state's public and private sectors meet to eat and talk business.
NCCBI leadership was most recently
evident in enactment by the General Assembly of lower corporate income
tax rates, repeal of the intangibles tax, reform of the workers'
compensation system, increased funding for state parks, sharply higher
salaries for school teachers, the expansion of Smart Start into all
100 counties, support for mass transit, and new business tax credits
to foster growth and expansion.
Manufacturers represent the largest
group of members in NCCBI, but the association's broad base includes
all kinds of businesses, large and small, as well as most of the
colleges, universities and community colleges in the state. Most local
chambers of commerce also are NCCBI members as are dozens of trade
groups representing specific businesses and professions. NCCBI members
employ about 1.2 million people in the state.
The association's leadership over the
years of efforts to improve the public schools was acknowledged with
the appointment by Gov. Jim Hunt of NCCBI President Phil Kirk as
chairman of the State Board of Education, a volunteer position he held until May
previously was vice chairman of the State Board of Community Colleges.
NCCBI keeps its members up to date on
politics and business trends through its award-winning North Carolina
monthly magazine, the weekly Legislative Bulletin, the monthly For
Members Only newsletter, and its extensive Web site at nccbi.org.
Membership dues are a function of a company's size and type of
business, starting as low as $400 a year.
Past Chairmen and