Member News Archives - Hood Hargett Breakfast Club

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.

Hood Hargett Breakfast Club Annual Charlotte Knights Family Baseball Night

This June 15th the Hood Hargett Breakfast Club again enjoyed a Family Friendly Members and Guest Picnic in the Outfield at BB&T Stadium with the Charlotte Knights Baseball Team. We enjoyed Food, Fun and Laughs and even a little rain didn’t dampen the good time had by all.

Photos by Steve Huff Media

Duke Energy CEO Lynn Good Talks About HB2 Repeal

Lynn Good, Duke Energy CEO speaking at a luncheon for the Hood Hargett Breakfast Club at the Palm Restaurant

Duke Energy CEO Lynn Good on Wednesday commended the repeal of North Carolina’s controversial House Bill 2, noting the toll the legislation has taken on the state’s economy.

“To see a bipartisan solution come together is something that I think is good,” she said, speaking to business leaders at a Hood-Hargett luncheon at Phillips Place.

State lawmakers last month approved a compromise bill that repeals HB2, which limited antidiscrimination protections for LGBT individuals. Since HB2’s passage in March 2016, a range of companies, such as PayPal, have publicly canceled plans to come to the state. The so-called “bathroom bill” has also cost the state conventions, concerts and other events.

“I think the business issues around HB2 have been clear,” said Good, who chairs the Charlotte Executive Leadership Council, a group of two dozen of the city’s top executives that had supported compromise legislation to repeal HB2.

Other members of the council include Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan, Wells Fargo executive David Carroll, Novant Health CEO Carl Armato and Carolinas HealthCare System CEO Gene Woods.

In addition to her brief remarks about HB2, Good addressed other topics in the wide-ranging talk, including Duke’s planned closure of coal ash basins and the company’s plans to reduce its reliance on coal for energy generation.

A 2014 spill of ash into the Dan River triggered legislation ordering Duke to close all 32 of its North Carolina ash basins. Closure efforts are underway at some sites, while the state continues to review closure plans for other sites, said Good, who described Duke’s work as a “comprehensive, all-hands-on-deck effort over the last three years.”

“I’m proud of the progress that has been made and the dogged determination on the part of the team to do it right and do it well,” she said.

In another part of her presentation, Good pointed to Duke’s steps toward relying on more “clean” energy sources, such as wind and solar, adding that the company is also retiring coal plants. That prompted one audience member to note the Trump administration’s push to restore lost coal-mining jobs.

In response, Good said coal is more expensive than other energy sources that Duke could invest in.

“I think this notion of reviving the coal industry, at the end of the day, economics are going to be an important part of that equation,” she said. “Our strategy will be to continue to drive carbon out of our business.”

Source: Charlotte Observer

Deon Roberts: 704-358-5248, @DeonERoberts

Charlotte Stands for Heroes Raises more than $110,000 for the Bob Woodruff Foundation

CSFH-2015_0802CHARLOTTE, NC — Charlotte Stands For Heroes, presented by the Hood Hargett Breakfast Club, raised more than $110,000 for the Bob Woodruff Foundation, which finds, funds and shapes programs serving injured veterans and their families across the country, including here in North Carolina.

More than 1,000 guests attended the February 17, 2016 music and comedy fund-raiser at the Knight Theater featuring Grammy award winning artist Darius Rucker, one of America’s favorite comedians Sinbad and a moving National Anthem from Meghan Linsey (Season 8 runner up on NBC’s The Voice).

NBC Charlotte’s Larry Sprinkle served as the auctioneer of the event where a Super Bowl 50 helmet signed by all the Carolina Panther players and a Coach Rivera signed Salute to Service headset went for $14,000. The biggest live auction item going for $26,000 was a signed Darius Rucker guitar, tickets to his Charlotte concert in August, complete with a personal meet and greet, two VIP tickets to his 3-day Monday after the Masters event in Myrtle Beach and a Super Bowl 50 football signed by some former and current Carolina Panther players, Warrick Dunn, Merril Hoge and Herm Edwards.

At the heart of the evening was 30 injured military veterans and their guests who were honored for their service to our country. Over a two day period, these honored veterans and their guests were treated to some once-in-a-lifetime experiences, including a rousing tribute from the Carolina Panthers organization, a private concert from Darius Rucker, a dinner reception with Sinbad and pampering from Modern Salon and Spa in Phillips Place. These honored vets sat front row and center at the Knight Theater on February 17.

“North Carolina is such a strong military state and we were so excited to be able to honor our military veterans in such an extraordinary way,” said Jenn Snyder, executive director of the Hood Hargett Breakfast Club. “The generosity of the community was incredible and we would not have been able to put on an event of this magnitude without the support of our Hood Hargett members and sponsors. It’s an honor to be able to support our incredible military men and women who have risked their lives and bodies serving our country.”

“The hospitality extended to our impacted veterans and their loved ones by the city of Charlotte was amazing,” said Lee Woodruff, co-founder of the Bob Woodruff Foundation. “The Bob Woodruff Foundation is extremely grateful to the Hood Hargett Breakfast Club for making this a truly remarkable experience that will not only empower our nation’s heroes today, but in the years to come, as they find a renewed sense of purpose at home.”

The Hood Hargett Breakfast Club plans to hold Charlotte Stands For Heroes again in 2018.

Hood Hargett BreakfastClub Members Partner for New Home Remodeling and Real Estate Radio Show!

Charlotte, NC, Thursday, April 30, 2015: WBT and Roby partner to deliver a show that keeps homeowners and business owners in the know about everything from the latest in remodeling and real estate trends to vacation home upkeep and commercial construction.

Rick Feinblatt, WBT General Manager says that the two companies are a natural fit. “Both WBT and Roby planted our roots here in the Charlotte community. We’re companies that have been around for decades. When people think of us, I believe they have a sense of heritage and pride in community. We’re excited to add the Roby family to our broadcasts.”
Trent Haston, President and CEO of the Roby Family of Companies added, “Over the years, homeowners have told us that they’d like to use Roby for many other home-related needs. We heard them and now Roby has five divisions that super serve our clients. Our At Home with Roby show on WBT gives us a platform to use our years of experience, our diverse assets and the professionals we have on staff to be more of an asset to homeowners around Charlotte. If they have questions, we’re here to help.”
The show will be hosted by Trent Haston, President and CEO of the Roby Family of Companies. He’ll be joined by Ashley Davis, President of Roby Realty. Sunday mornings from 9 to 10 will offer a destination for homeowners where they’ll glean information from Roby’s professionals. From week to week hosts will address topics of interest to homeowners. With Roby’s added divisions, there are few home-related areas outside of their expertise: Roby Electric, Roby Commercial, Robee Handyman, Robycross, and Roby Realty.

Hood Hargett Breakfast Club Cheers on Panthers!

The Carolina Panthers’ Sir Purr and cheerleaders kicked off the Hood Hargett Breakfast Club on Friday at the Carmel Country Club in south Charlotte by honoring three young men with a pep rally. The Make-A-Wish honorees were “Coach” Jack Bolton, 10; Adam Smith, 8; and Austin Smith, 13. The boys individually entered the breakfast to applause from the crowd that numbered in the hundreds. At the end of the rally, all those gathered held up signs saying Go Panthers and chanted “Keep Pounding” to encourage the Panthers in the playoffs. Troy Vincent, executive vice president for NFL football operations, was the keynote speaker for the breakfast club meeting. A number of former Panthers attended, including Mike Rucker and Leonard Wheeler, who stepped in to emcee for Mick Mixson, the voice of the Panthers, who is with the team in Seattle.

Hope Stout Golf Classic – Monday October 13th!


Hood Hargett BreakfastClub non-profit member the March Forth With Hope Foundation will be hosting their 12th Annual Hope Stout Golf Classic at the Golf club @ Ballantyne.

The March Forth With Hope Foundation provides financial assistance to families battling cancer or other life-threatening diseases. With your  help and participation we can help more families than ever!

Learn how you can sponsor this great event and participate in the fun! For more information and to register online visit


HHBC Raises over $22,000 for Liz Murray Scholarship Fund

On July 17th, 2014 the Hood Hargett BreakfastClub held their annual Casino Night Fund Raiser for the Liz Murray Scholarship Fund. The event was held at HHBC member the Hampton Inn Suites in SouthPark, Casino entertainment was provided by Your Event source and catering was provided by HHBC member The Palm, HHBC member AVP Nationwide provide audio visual support.

About the Liz Murray Scholarship Fund:

Each month during the school year (September through May), HHBC awards a $1,500 scholarship to the Liz Murray Scholarship Fund winner at its monthly Breakfast meeting, held at Carmel Country Club. That month’s winner is invited to be a part of this Breakfast, where they are introduced and recognized from the podium before being invited to sit with the guest speaker at the head table. The student’s parents, high school principal and coach are also invited and encouraged to attend.

Below are photos provided by HHBC member David Ramsey Photography of the fun!

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Duke Energy CEO Lynn Good Discusses Company Response to Dan River Spill with Hood Hargett Breakfast Club

Duke CEO Lynn Good speaking at a member luncheon of the Hood Hargett Breakfast Club

Duke CEO Lynn Good speaking at a member luncheon of the Hood Hargett Breakfast Club (Photo credit:  Two Redheads)

Duke Energy CEO Lynn Good defended her company’s response to the February coal ash spill into the Dan River, saying Duke will “continue to cooperate” with inquiries into the event.

Good did not stray far Wednesday from Duke’s previous public statements. She sidestepped questions that probed the differences between those statements and Duke’s legal positions.

Duke calls the Feb. 2 Dan River spill an accident for which it takes responsibility.

But Duke responded to four state lawsuits over ash contamination at its North Carolina plants this week by saying other discharges from its ash ponds were allowed by state permits.

“We have responsibility and maintain our commitment to safe, reliable operations,” Good told reporters after speaking to a Hood Hargett Breakfast Club lunch meeting. “We’re committed to water quality, we’re committed to the environment. And as a result of Dan River, the conversation has moved to the policy of ash management and ash (pond) closure.

“We’ve put together a very credible and thoughtful plan on how to move forward and will be working constructively with regulators and with policy makers to put together a plan that makes sense for North Carolina.”

Duke filed legal motions this week to minimize the role of advocacy groups who have joined the four lawsuits filed by the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Those groups, which include the Charlotte-based Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation, have criticized DENR for being too soft on Duke.

“It has been our position that DENR represents the citizens of North Carolina,” Good said. “I believe ultimately the court will have to make that decision, and we are moving forward with the plan that we have outlined.”

Duke says it will remove ash from ponds at its Riverbend power plant west of Charlotte and from the Dan River plant. It will continue moving ash from its Asheville plant. Other plants will move to dry-ash handling as outside engineers evaluate the company’s ash operations.

“Our highest priority is to work through this in a way that demonstrates lessons learned and our commitment to safe operations,” Good said.

Duke has bought full-page newspaper ads and written state legislators to apologize for the spill.

But it hasn’t taken the step Gov. Pat McCrory and many members of the public, according to polls, want to see: committing to remove all ash that is stored near water that could become contaminated.

“I appreciate that there are a number of people who have a point of view about the way we’ve handled this situation,” Good told reporters.

Duke says it will bear the costs of the Dan River cleanup but expects to ask state regulators to make customers pay for closing its 33 ash ponds across North Carolina.

Good told the Hood Hargett lunch meeting that “we need to continue to think about balance” between environmental protection and meeting electricity needs.

Noting the state’s 2002 Clean Smokestacks Act, which curbed air pollution from power plants, she said the Dan spill offers an “opportunity for Duke and North Carolina to lead” on ash policies.

“Our commitment to all of you is that Duke will do the right thing,” she said. Source: News Observer

Other sources for this story include:



February 2014 Breakfast Canceled!

Michele Gay - Founder: Safe and Sound Schools

Michele Gay – Founder: Safe and Sound Schools

Due to the inclement weather we have canceled the event for Feb 14. There will be a replacement date on August 8. 

Michele Gay is a mother, former teacher, and now one of the founders of Safe and Sound: A Sandy Hook Initiative.  After losing her daughter, Josephine Grace on December 14, 2012, she chose to take action as an advocate for improved school security and safety in our nation’s schools.

Michele’s background as a teacher and involved parent, along with her personal loss and post tragedy perspective, have left her uniquely positioned to help school communities prevent tragedy, and better prepare and respond in the event of an emergency in their own schools.

Michele holds a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Towson  University and a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from McDaniel College.  She taught at the elementary level in Maryland and Virginia public schools before staying home to raise her three daughters and advocate for the special needs of her youngest daughter, Josephine.  Michele is dedicated to honoring Josephine in her work to make schools in our country more safe and secure.