Fred Whitfield Named 2019 Citizen of the Carolinas
June 13, 2019 –Fred Whitfield has been named the 2019 Citizen of the Carolinas by the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance. The announcement was made during the Alliance’s Inter City Visit to Pittsburgh. The award is the highest honor given by the Alliance and will be presented at the organization’s Annual Meeting Dec. 3.
Whitfield joins an impressive list of past winners that include Nikki Haley, Johnny Harris, Rick Hendrick, Erskine Bowles, Mac Everett, Dan DiMicco, Julius Chambers, Harvey Gantt, Leon and Sandra Levine, Michael Jordan, Ben Bernanke, Dean Smith, Marian Wright Edelman, Hugh McColl and Reverend Billy Graham among others.
“I am humbled to join the distinguished list of recipients of this prestigious award,” Whitfield said. “It is truly an honor to be recognized alongside some of the most important people ever to live in our region. I have spent the majority of my life in North Carolina, and even during the few years I lived elsewhere, I always thought of myself as a citizen of the Carolinas. To be acknowledged as such by the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance is an incredible compliment and one for which I am deeply and sincerely grateful.”
Whitfield is president, vice chairman, alternate governor and minority partner of Hornets Sports & Entertainment. A talented sports executive with experience as a player, coach, agent, sports marketer and basketball operations administrator, he joined the organization in July 2006 and currently manages all business operations for the Charlotte Hornets and Spectrum Center.
Whitfield has overseen the dramatic growth of both the franchise and arena. In recent years, he has led Spectrum Center’s efforts to secure the 2019 NBA All-Star Game, 2019 ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament and 2020 Republican National Convention. Additional accomplishments during his tenure with the organization include securing $40 million in renovations for Spectrum Center, reaching long-term agreements with Ticketmaster to serve as the arena’s ticketing provider and Live Nation to book entertainment, hosting the 2012 Democratic National Convention, simultaneously signing an arena naming rights deal with Time Warner Cable and a television broadcast rights deal with FOX Sports, and making the largest donation ever given to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools by a professional sports franchise.
“Fred Whitfield has and continues to play an instrumental role in economic development in the Charlotte Region,” said Alliance CEO and President Janet LaBar. “He genuinely cares about the community as evidenced by his tireless work with the public and private sectors to advance economic opportunity for all and ensure the success of the region.”
A native of Greensboro, North Carolina, Whitfield’s experience includes the Jordan Brand, a division of Nike, Inc.; the Washington Wizards; Nike Basketball; Falk Associates Management Enterprises (F.A.M.E.); and a private law practice.
A graduate of Campbell University, Whitfield was an All-South, team MVP and basketball team captain player and was inducted into the school’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1995. He earned a BBA degree in Economics and then completed his MBA at Campbell while serving as assistant basketball coach for the Camels. From there, he earned a juris doctorate degree from North Carolina Central University School of Law where he served as Student Bar Association President.
Whitfield is the founder of HoopTee Charities, Inc., a North Carolina based nonprofit corporation whose mission is to provide scholarships for disadvantaged youngsters to attend camps and educational based programs across the country, and the Achievements Unlimited Basketball School, which has served more than 10,000 children in Greensboro and Charlotte over the last 34 years.
A 2018 inductee in the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame, Whitfield recently received the 2019 UNC Charlotte Distinguished Service Award. He also received the prestigious Charlotte Chamber Economic Growth Champion Award in 2017 and was named to both Business North Carolina’s Power 100 Influential Business Leaders and the Charlotte Business Journal’s Most Admired CEOs in both 2018 and 2019. He currently serves on the Charlotte Executive Leadership Council, the Executive Committee of the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance and the Governor’s NC Business Council of Management and Development
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