Breakfast Club News Archives - Hood Hargett Breakfast Club

The Liz Murray Scholarship

Each month during the school year, the Hood Hargett Breakfast Club awards a $1,500 scholarship to a deserving CMS student athlete that has demonstrated excellence in the classroom, in their sport, and in their community. Nominated by their coaches, principals, community leaders, and/or community business leaders, these student athletes are recognized at a Breakfast Club meeting and become part of an impressive group of student athlete leaders. To date, the Hood Hargett Breakfast Club has awarded more than $200,000 to local high school students.

Download Application

Flagship Breakfast Series

Keynote speakers discuss topics of national importance and interest in business, social responsibility, entertainment, and civic responsibility.

See previous years speakers.

The Hood Hargett Breakfast Club

The Hood Hargett Breakfast Club is Charlotte’s premier, invitation-only, networking destination. Membership reflects Charlotte’s diverse business landscape and the flagship breakfast series provides our members exclusive opportunities for client appreciation, employee recognition, and exceptional networking opportunities. If you would like to be considered for membership, you may request an application here:

Membership Application

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department’s community relations efforts

Chief Kerr Putney

Hood Hargett Breakfast Club was honored to host a panel in May to discuss the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department’s community relations efforts. The panel included Chief Kerr Putney; Willie Ratchford, executive director of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Community Relations Committee; and the founder of Step Up To Leadership, Arkevious Armstrong. In addition, to spur conversation at individual tables, the Club hosted multiple officers from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.

The panel discussed multiple issues, including perceptions of CMPD, the role of the media in that perception, and how the community can better engage with the police. All of the panelists highlighted the fundamental truth that the key to positive interactions between police and local communities is to foster meaningful relationships between the two. The panel encouraged Club members and the community to engage with CMPD via social media (links are at the bottom of this article), to participate in ridealongs and other CMPD community programs (, to teach children the important role of the police, to hold media accountable for balanced coverage, and to encourage conversation within personal and professional networks.

The Club is grateful for the service of all CMPD officers, and appreciate the time and commitment of the panelists.

You might also enjoy WBTV’s coverage of the meeting:

CMPD Instagram:

CMPD Facebook:

CMPD Twitter:  

CMPD YouTube:

Gary McCord entertains the HHBC

In May Hood Hargett Breakfast Club welcomed storyteller extraordinaire, not to mention professional golfer, CBS Sports commentator and author, Gary McCord to our flagship event at Carmel Country Club. Gary kicked off his comments by noting that PGA players love coming to Charlotte because it is a sports town, and its citizens love golf so much. A nice compliment that got quick a round of applause! Gary regaled Club members and their guests with many stories, including his start in broadcasting and his participation in the movie Tin Cup. His most entertaining tale was in response to an audience question about the most amazing shot he’d ever seen. Surprisingly, it was one of his own, and it was a story that included gin, a glass door and a pelican. Gary ended his presentation when asked about his favorite up and coming players. He named several, including Sam Burrows, and noted that domination in golf today is pure distance. The Club thoroughly enjoyed Gary’s visit, and many members enjoyed the Wachovia Championship after the program.

Five generations in the workplace and the basic characteristics of each

Cam Marston, the leading expert on the impact of generational change and its impact on the workplace and marketplace, could always go on the road as a standup comedian if his day job fizzles out. At Hood Hargett Breakfast Club’s March event, Marston entertained a captive audience with his insights on demographics with humor, stories and advice.

He began his presentation by identifying the five generations in the workplace and the basic characteristics of each. Tweeners are those born within five years of the start/end of a generation, and Marston noted that the Boomer Tweener Xers are the best managers.

He spent a good deal of time speaking about Generation X women, who hold the most buying power and influence today. Marston also noted that Gen X leaders tend to be distant managers, and they are driving a great deal of turnover in the workplace today.

When selling and/or recruiting the various generations, it’s important to understand what matters to each. To matures and boomers, credibility – based on your story and/or history – is most important. Generation X and millennials care more about how you will impact their future. Online first impressions are also becoming increasingly important, as younger generations look to buy from and work for someone they would like to meet.

Marston closed his presentation speaking about the iGeneration. While it is too early to know for sure, Marston believes this generation may have a remarkable work ethic. This generation thinks in the very short term, and they are focused on today and the now. When recruiting this generation, focus on their individual strengths and what you will do to drive their strengths today.

You can hear more from Marston each week during his podcast, What’s Working with Cam Marston.

Tommy Tomlinson shares insights from his lifelong struggle with weight

There’s little doubt that Tommy Tomlinson, former Charlotte Observer columnist, is one of the best storytellers around. He proved that to the Hood Hargett Breakfast Club in February during our luncheon series, as he read excerpts from his new book and shared insights from his lifelong struggle with his weight.

Tomlinson’s book, The Elephant in the Room, was born in the fall of 2011, as he prepared to meet with his literary agent, and had to research their meeting place in advance so he would know where to sit. He had spent all day, every day, navigating life as a fat guy. At 460 pounds, he was addicted to eating. Tomlinson shared his struggle with his agent, who recognized a book in his story.

Tomlinson pushed through his fear to write a raw, authentic book. Reading excerpts, he shared his exploration of the “why” of his addiction, and his journey to become a healthier man. Tomlinson spent a great deal of time answering questions from the audience, who applauded his success and his inspiration.

You can hear more from Tomlinson on SouthBound, the podcast he hosts in collaboration with WFAE.

Luncheon Series with Fred Whitfield, President of the Charlotte Hornets.

Fred Whitfield, president of the Charlotte Hornets

On Wed. Jan. 16, 2019 we had our luncheon series for members at The Palm Restaurant. Our program started with Hood Hargett Breakfast Club member Bryant Brewer, VP at NewDominion Bank, introducing Fred Whitfield, president of the Charlotte Hornets. NewDominion is the Preferred Community Bank of the Charlotte Hornets, and that partnership carried through our luncheon, as Bryant and Fred talked together in a question-and-answer format.

Now celebrating their 30th year, the Charlotte Hornets continue to be an integral part of the Charlotte community. The team and players give a great deal back to the community, and the team and the Spectrum Arena are crucial to this region’s economic growth and tourism. Fred also emphasized their commitment to the customer experience, as Club members complimented him on the hospitality of the staff.

Fred spoke at length about securing the 2019 ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament, reaching long-term agreements with Ticketmaster to serve as Spectrum Center’s ticketing provider and Live Nation to book the arena’s entertainment, hosting the 2012 Democratic National Convention, securing the 2017 NBA All Star Game and re-securing it after the repeal of HB2. He also spoke to the impact the 2020 Republican National Convention will have on the region, and praised the city for its nonpartisan approach.

Fred closed his time with the Club by sharing his story of HoopTee Charities, Inc, a North Carolina based non-profit he started whose mission is to provide scholarships for disadvantaged youngsters to attend camps and educational youth-based programs across the country.

We were honored to have Fred with us today, and salute him for his incredible work on behalf of our community. And we send a special thanks to Bryant for his hard work and preparation for the luncheon. 

HOF Football Star Terrel Davis Kicks Off 2019 Season

Hall of Fame Running Back for the Denver Broncos and Sportscaster Terrell Davis did a fantastic job kicking off the 2019 Hood Hargett Breakfast Club Season at Carmel Country Club in Charlotte. This event also introduced our new Emcee – Former All Pro Football Player Kevin Donnalley – View photos of the fun! 

WCNC-News Charlotte attended the event and couldn’t resist asking what he thought of Carolina Panther’s Sensation Christian McCaffrey.

Luncheon speaker – Catherine P. Bessant, COO, CTO, Bank of America

The Palm Restaurant, May 8, 2018

Cathy Bessant is the chief operations and technology officer at Bank of America and as a member of the company’s executive management team. Since 2010, Bessant has led Global Technology and Operations (GT&O) and delivered end-to-end technology and operating services across the company through nearly 95,000 employees and contractors in more than 35 countries.

Active in the community, Bessant was awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine for her civic and business contributions to the state of North Carolina and received the Women in Business Lifetime Achievement Award from the Charlotte Business Journal. She chairs the North Tryon Vision Plan Advisory Committee.

Bessant is ranked No. 1 among the “25 Most Powerful Women in Banking” on American Banker’s 2017 ranking and previously was ranked No. 1 on Institutional Investor magazine’s Tech 50 list of financial technology leaders. She also appears on Working Mother magazine’s “50 Most Powerful Working Moms” list of 2017.

Cathy was most engaging with the HHBC luncheon audience.  She spoke about the character of Bank of America and its focus on the ESG, the environment, the social nature and the governance of Bank of America seeking to enlist the support and interaction of all its employees in improving the banks operations and continually growing the bank incrementally.  She mentioned that in the last five years, the top officers and Board members of Bank of America have visited with over 1/3 of the bank’s stockholders learning about their impressions and expectations for the bank going forward.

She commented that banking regulation is extremely important, but that they wanted to see the rules amended in ways that would reduce data collection just for the sake of collection and to make sure that existing regulations work to improve the bank’s performance for customers and shareholders alike.  She said that banking regulations had been reduced from over 25,000 pages down to about 18,000 pages.  At the same time, she maintains that banks have learned from their mistakes and are safer and sounder than before the Great Recession.

Cathy spoke about the advancement of Artificial Intelligence and how it was important to use that intelligence in support of their customers and to make sure they do not provoke a backlash to that information.

Cathy was open to questions from all comers.  She delighted in speaking about the support that Bank of America gave to Mecklenburg County in its recent episodes with ransomware.  She spoke about her involvement in the North Tryon Business Plan, recruiting millennials, leveraging the hub and spoke transportation system that is being considered and slowly developed in Charlotte.  She even addressed the Carolina Panthers and the need for a new stadium within the next 10 years.  Cathy enjoys being active in the Charlotte region.  It is clear that she intends to stay involved for years to come.