THE ACADEMY OF BUSINESS STRATEGY - UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
PAUL LABARR (AGP) MBA BS
ASSOCIATE GLOBAL PARTNER (AGP)
GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION: Charlotte NC (United States of America)
Charlotte North Carolina, the Queen City, is located in the center of the eastern seaboard of the Atlantic coast of the continental United States. Today Charlotte is the USA’s second leading financial center. But, it’s fascinating to note that the welfare of Charlotte has in one way or another always been tied to money. Charlotte , founded in 1769 by Scots-Irish settlers and named for Queen Charlotte, was the instigation for the nation’s first gold rush when, in 1799, a 17-pound gold nugget was discovered. But Charlotte’s major claim to fame was its success as a trade hub for agricultural products, mainly tobacco and cotton. After the Civil War, textile industries abounded when the city grew as a cotton processing center and a major railroad hub. Owing to the railroads, Charlotte became the largest city in the Carolinas and a substantial South Eastern textile and distribution hub. The city’s development continued to expand with skyscrapers, suburbs, and key businesses spurred by the addition of a streetcar system. John Nolen and other city planners helped to shape Charlotte into a well-planned city marked by modern day suburbs. Businesses continued to move to Charlotte. And continued business growth created the need for banking. Accordingly, the city’s banking industry gained real momentum in the 1970’s and 1980’s under the leadership of financier Hugh McColl who transformed the North Carolina National Bank into the present day Bank of America. The combinations of both Bank of America and Wachovia (now Wells Fargo) have made Charlotte the largest banking headquarters, second only to New York City.
Charlotte is the home of nine Fortune 500 companies. Since 1990, new and expanding businesses have invested more than $18 billion here, creating more than 170,000 new jobs. The Charlotte region consists of about 2.6 million people living in 16 counties in two different states, 12 counties in North Carolina and four in South Carolina. Charlotte is till the consummate trading hub. It’s strategic location in the center of the East Coast, and the importance of its Eastern time zone location cannot be overestimated. For example, within two hours’ flight time or one day’s delivery by motor freight, businesses in the Charlotte region can reach almost 60 percent of the population of the United States and more than 60 percent of the nation’s industrial base. North Carolina ranks 10th among the 50 states for economic growth during the past half-century, according to an analysis of U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis data. North Carolina’s disposable income grew at an annual rate of 7.92 percent between 1960 and 2010. The state’s disposable income grew to more than $310 billion from $6.7 billion during those 50 years. But, North Carolina, which historically has outpaced the national economy, underperformed the nation for much of the past decade. The economic forecast for 2011 is sluggish with a lot of apprehension and high unemployment according to the leaders of major industries in Charlotte. Those industries include banking, energy and steel. It is certainly important to note that the second-largest banking center in the country after New York City, lost 6,800 financial-sector jobs between April 2008 and 2011, dropping to 69,700 such positions from 76,500 three years ago. Additionally, North Carolina suffers more than most from a nationwide decline in industrial jobs. Manufacturers in the state have eliminated more than 300,000 jobs over the past decade. When technology, tourism and other fields were booming, displaced industrial workers could find work more easily. But growth in those fields has slowed, leaving many unemployed longer.
On the brighter side, while it suffers alongside many US cities, the Charlotte region is getting a large percentage of the few jobs that are being created in North Carolina. Of the 15,000 new jobs the state has created over the last year, 6,000 have been in the Charlotte area. Best bets for growth in the coming five years, are thought to be energy, health care, and professional / business services sectors, while manufacturing, construction and government jobs might remain flat or fall slightly. Charlotte is making a concerted effort to turn itself into a hub for energy-related companies. Clean energy industries played an important role in the on-going economic recovery for Charlotte. More than 1,100 renewable energy and energy efficiency businesses, over 12,500 employees and all consumers have been part of a rapid expansion of NC’s clean energy economy in recent years. Professional jobs are also on the mend. Charlotte has recently been awarded several corporate expansions. BAE Systems, a British defense and aerospace company, said this month that it would open a center to handle back-office services in Charlotte and create 176 jobs. Industrial manufacturer SPX Corp. is expanding its Ballantyne headquarters and adding 180 high-paying jobs. The company says its new jobs will pay an average wage of almost $83,000 a year. City Leaders also see the future of Charlotte as a global knowledge center, in which highly skilled workers apply the latest in technology to create products and services for a diversified global market. Specifically, the city is particularly well suited to host operations for a number of focus industries, including precision metrology/optoelectronics, bio-sciences, security technology as well as traditional industries related to information, financial services, transportation and manufacturing.
Global Partner status (Associate – Executive – Senior): Associate
Country of registration: United States of America
City of registration: Charlotte NC
Niche placement / Turnaround Expertise
Training & Development Facilitator
Recruitment Programs & Strategies
Business Process / Performance Improvement
Green Building Certification / Green Technologies
INDUSTRY SECTOR EXPERIENCE:
Commercial Real Estate & Development
Paul LaBarr is a “natural leader” and seasoned executive and strategic visionary with deep experience in non-profit management and fund development as well as green building technologies and construction management. His penchant for working collaboratively with teams and inspiring people to perform at their best has led to dramatic gains in both profit and revenue. In an environment in which results tell the whole story, it’s important to note that Paul has never missed a target he’s been challenged with. Instrumental in building and managing all aspects of the business infrastructure, Paul has delivered critical strategic planning as well as financial, operations, marketing, sales, and team management. He has developed new revenue streams and driven organization evolution across broad disciplines. He has also become a master at niche placement and turnaround strategies. Paul began his career with Edison Brothers Stores as a retail unit manager while working toward his MBA. He was designated “Rookie of the Year” in his first year, “Highest Growth Unit” in his second and third years, and “Store of the Year” in his fourth. Paul then made the transition to fundraising and membership development for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, where he progressed through a series of promotions and increasingly responsible assignments, culminating in executive leadership over national sales strategies, efforts, and teams (220 personnel) for the world’s largest business federation, representing 3 million+ businesses and organizations nationwide. During his tenure at the U.S. Chamber, Paul achieved a 162% increase ($18M sales) in bottom-line budget performance in his first year as national sales director, far exceeding plan for both gross and net dollars. This was accomplished by revolutionizing staff recruitment/retention efforts (resulting in a 58% reduction in sales rep turnover), increasing sales productivity by instituting new products and pricing structures, and by major restructuring of the sales organization, thereby generating record-high sales growth. In 2000, following meetings with some key state chamber of commerce executives, Paul left the US Chamber to found Paul LaBarr & Associates, Inc., a consulting group to enhance the fundraising and development efforts of state chamber clients. One of Paul’s key results was developing and managing “Cornerstone” campaigns for his clients in which large sums of money were raised. In September 2005, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. Paul was propelled in a completely new direction by the immediate need to provide housing and a group of investors on whom Paul had evidently made a favorable impression at an earlier juncture. They recruited him to found a manufacturing and sales company, to produce revolutionary “Green Housing” consisting of steel-framed residential and commercial building structures with integrated insulation. Along with the investors and executive management team, Paul plotted business strategy, market direction, and pricing. He devised action, operating, and market launch plans, established strategic direction, and oversaw tactical execution of business expansion initiatives. Through this experience Paul was able to collaborate with Brad Pitt’s “Make It Right” Project in bringing new and “green” housing concepts to market. It was in this context that Paul completed his LEED AP Certification. Steering the company through the complex economic downturn, the decision was made to focus the company on high-performance coatings and relationships that were less dependent on mortgage financing. In this venue, the company just completed a major project for the West Closure Complex, a structure for the Army Corps of Engineers which may save New Orleans from flooding in future hurricanes.
Charlotte, NC., USA
Atlanta, GA., USA
New Orleans, LA., USA
Houston, TX., USA
Philadelphia, PA., USA
Global Partner preferred location
City: Charlotte NC
Country: United States of America
To contact Paul LaBarr (AGP), please forward an email to the Academy of Business Strategy.