ROCKY MOUNT,The Golden LEAF Foundation has chosen William Clarke, an attorney with the firm of Roberts & Stevens in Asheville, as its new chair.

Clarke is a founding member of the Golden LEAF board of directors, who elected him as their new chair. He succeeds Lawrence Davenport of Pactolus in the role.

The board also elected Richard Holder, president of Harvey Fertilizer and Gas Co. in Kinston, as vice chair; Michael Almond, president and CEO of the Charlotte Regional Partnership, as secretary; and Princeton farmer Debbie Worley as treasurer.

Clarke has served as chair of Golden LEAF’s investment committee and is past chair of Pisgah Legal Services and the Western N.C. Group Home for Autistic Persons. He also serves on the board of visitors of the Carolina Environmental Program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the board of N.C. Environmental Defense.

Holder serves as president of the National Cotton Ginners Association, director of the National Cotton Council, president of the N.C. Cotton Producers Association, and is on the N.C. Agricultural Finance Authority. Previously, he has served as a director of the Southeastern Cotton Growers Association and the Pesticide Association of N.C. and on the Lenoir County Extension Advisory Board.

Before joining the Charlotte Regional Partnership, Almond was a senior partner at the Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein law firm, where he served as chair of its international business division. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and former chair of the Charlotte World Affairs Council. He is also chair of the board of directors of the Charlotte Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.

Worley, who served two terms as chair of the Golden LEAF Foundation program committee, has a farming operation in Wayne County that includes crop land and poultry, swine, and beef production. She has served for 10 years on the board of directors of the Agricultural Foundation for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at N.C. State University and is a member of the board of the N.C. Tobacco Foundation.

The Golden LEAF Foundation, based in Rocky Mount, was established in 1999 and administers half of the money received by North Carolina from its settlement with cigarette manufacturers. Since its inception, it has made 256 grants totaling more than $100,000,000 to non-profit organizations and government entities throughout the state to help communities make the transition from a tobacco-dependent economy.

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