Announcement, News, Press Release

GreenLight Fund Charlotte Announces New Executive Director Hire

Jan 5, 2018



GreenLight Fund welcomes Carrie Cook as the founding executive director for its sixth expansion site, GreenLight Charlotte. Cook will partner with community, industry, entrepreneurial and philanthropic leaders to bring proven solutions into Charlotte that improve opportunities and outcomes for low-income children and families.

Cook comes to GreenLight Fund with over a decade of experience building public-private partnerships. Most recently, she served as the VP of Talent Development and Economic Growth at the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce – working to grow opportunity and align workforce development for people of all skills and backgrounds in the Charlotte region. While at the Chamber, Carrie recently managed the effort to pass a nearly billion-dollar school bond campaign for 29 high need public school projects throughout Mecklenburg county. Carrie’s career experience includes roles with the United States Senate, Department of Public Instruction and AmeriCorps as a Public Ally Fellow. She also founded EmpowHERment, a mentoring and advocacy organization that has served over 1,000 girls and women in Charlotte since 2012.

Carrie was raised in Charlotte and has a deep passion for the city and ensuring it’s a place where all residents can thrive. Among her leadership positions and awards, Carrie served as the Public Policy Chair of the Junior League of Charlotte, is a member of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing Advisory Board, a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority; and a recipient of the Harvey B. Gantt Community Service Award from the National Forum for Black Public Administrators, the UNCF Maya Angelou Leadership Award and the YWCA Emerging Leader Woman of the Year Award. Cook was an inaugural member of the World Economic Forum Charlotte Global Shapers Hub. She received her undergraduate degree from UNC at Greensboro, her master of public administration from UNC at Chapel Hill, and completed the nonprofit management program at Wake Forest University.

“I am thrilled to join the GreenLight Fund team and lead the work in Charlotte,” said Carrie Cook. “GreenLight effectively identifies urgent areas of community needs and then deploys the best social innovations to address those needs. I am eager to partner with our community to select the first GreenLight Fund Charlotte investment and work closely with the selected organization to ensure their successful local launch and integration in the community. The Opportunity Task Force Report is a roadmap into where critical needs can be met to create both immediate and long term, generational impact, and we look forward to helping address some of these needs.”

GreenLight Charlotte is currently kicking off the first selection cycle, with a focus on the needs of low-income communities in our city. GreenLight Charlotte will run an annual process in collaboration with a local Selection Advisory Council made up of community leaders in order to address critical needs of low-income residents and gaps in services to meet them; bring in innovative social impact programs that have significant, evidence-based outcomes; and galvanize local and national support to achieve sustainability and scale in Charlotte.

In her new role, Cook will build strategic local partnerships, develop accountable measurement systems, and recruit local board and staff leadership. More than 30 individuals, companies and foundations have contributed $3.5M to support the launch and work of GreenLight Charlotte over its first five years in the city. The investors include United Way of Central Carolinas, Bank of America, The Duke Endowment, The Leon Levine Foundation, Brighthouse Financial, Duke Energy, The Foundation for the Carolinas, C.D. Spangler Foundation, John M. Belk Endowment, Scott and Anne Perper, John and Sue Simon, Lise and Travis Hain, Matt and Jeannie Salisbury, Howard and Julie Levine, Liz and Walker Simmons, Cammie and Barnes Hauptfuhrer, Jack Purcell, Tim and Sarah Belk, Porter and Vicki Durham, Tommy and Jane Hunter, George McLendon and Carol Quillen, Kevin and Peggy Roche, Doug and Laura Bollermann, Leigh and Rob Edwards, Kathy and Charlie Izard, Sally and Russell Robinson, Steve and Athena Bradway, Walker and Anne Poole, Andrew and Beth Quartapella, Barbara and David Singer, David Jones, and an anonymous donor.

GreenLight Fund’s National Executive Director and Co-Founder, Margaret Hall remarked, “We’re excited to have Carrie onboard. She has deep connections with the Charlotte community and extensive experience building strategic partnerships with a diversity of stakeholders. Carrie’s knowledge and experience will help to successfully activate Green Light Charlotte.” John Simon, GreenLight Fund’s Co-Founder and Board Chair echoed Margaret’s enthusiasm: “I’m excited to have Carrie leading the charge in Charlotte and supporting innovations that improve outcomes for low-income residents in Charlotte.”

See further coverage in the Charlotte Observer

About GreenLight Fund

The GreenLight Fund is a national venture philanthropy organization that transforms the lives of children, youth and families in high-poverty urban areas by creating local infrastructure and a consistent annual process to identify critical needs and bring in and sustain social impact programs locally. Founded in Boston in 2003, GreenLight has grown to six cities. GreenLight aims to grow a national network of sites that learn and work collaboratively to find and spread proven social impact solutions that achieve meaningful and measurable impact on critical issues in local communities.

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