Janet LaBar is president and CEO of the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance. A seasoned regional economic development leader with strong communications, strategy and operations skills, LaBar was selected following a four-month national search.
Prior to joining the Alliance team in April 2019, LaBar held the same position at Greater Portland Inc. (GPI), a regional public-private partnership that markets the Greater Portland metropolitan and helps companies expand and relocate to the region.
At GPI, LaBar augmented the organization’s capabilities to provide its clients, investors and communities with more turnkey, highly sophisticated and professional economic development services. Under her leadership, GPI assisted 31 company expansions or relocations, which will generate nearly 2,800 jobs and nearly $153 million in income.
LaBar led the planning process for Greater Portland 2020 — the region’s five-year comprehensive economic development strategy. Focused on three core pillars of People, Business and Place, the plan is rooted in guiding principles of equity and advancement and has a goal of shared economic prosperity for across the region.
LaBar started her economic development career in 2002 at the Center for Workforce Development at the Maricopa Community Colleges in Tempe, Arizona, where she managed research and communications for the district-wide Center. From there, LaBar spent a decade at the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC), serving in key positions including Senior Vice President of Strategic Integration, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications, and Director of Product Improvement. Her rise at GPEC topped as Chief Performance Officer, a role in which she oversaw day-to-day operations, organizational performance, strategic initiatives and action plans.
LaBar served on Oregon Governor Brown’s Regional Solutions Advisory Committee, and Portland Mayor Wheeler’s Council of Economic Advisors. She also served on the boards of United Way of the Columbia Willamette, OMSI, Portland Innovation Quadrant and Portland Business Alliance, and was a member of the Philippine American Chamber of Commerce of Oregon.
LaBar earned a bachelor’s degree in communication arts from the University of West Florida and an MBA in marketing from the University of Phoenix.
She and her husband are proud parents to an older daughter and younger daughter/son twins.