McCrory announces 6 top cabinet appointments

Here’s the press release from the office of Governor–Elect Pat McCrory:

Raleigh, N.C. – Today, North Carolina Governor-Elect Pat McCrory announced that he will appoint Lyons Gray as Secretary of the Department of Revenue, Susan Kluttz as Secretary of the Department of Cultural Resources and Kieran Shanahan as Secretary of the Department of Public Safety. Additionally, the Governor-Elect also announced Bob Stephens will serve as Chief Legal Counsel, Art Pope will serve as Deputy Budget Director and Chris Walker will serve as his Communications Director in the Office of the Governor.

“During this transition process, I am continuing to build a strong team of talent,” said Governor-Elect McCrory. “These individuals will bring enormous talent and experience to their respective roles, and will help me run the government in the most effective way possible.”

Last week, Governor-Elect McCrory outlined broad objectives for his cabinet and leadership team, including: (1) instituting a culture of customer service to state government, (2) identifying and implementing efficiencies in state government, (3) collaborating and sharing resources across departments and agencies and (4) instituting the highest ethical standards while serving in government.

Lyons Gray will join the Cabinet after serving as the Senior Advisor to the President of the University of North Carolina system from 2011-2012. Previously, he served for four years (2005-2009) as the Chief Financial Officer of the United States Environmental Protection Agency, where he served as the principal agency representative to Congress, the Office of Management and Budget and to the various states. From 1989 to 2002, Gray served in the North Carolina General Assembly as Chairman of the House Finance Committee from 1995 to 1999 and Vice Chairman of the House Ethics Committee. Gray earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Susan Kluttz most recently served 14 years as mayor of Salisbury and currently serves on the Salisbury City Council. There, Kluttz helped develop the City’s Cultural Arts Plan, and created a tourism master plan for Salisbury, including reorganization of local arts council. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where she also serves on the Board of Visitors. Kluttz is also a founding member of the North Carolina Metropolitan Mayors Coalition, where she served as vice-chairman from 2009 to 2011, and has also served on board of the North Carolina League of Municipalities, on the Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism and on the committee to develop a model Ethics Code for Elected Officials at the UNC School of Government.

Kieran Shanahan will enter the McCrory administration with over five years of experience as an Assistant United States Attorney, serving in both the Eastern District of North Carolina and the Northern District of Georgia. There, he concentrated in the investigation and prosecution of white collar crime. In 1989, Shanahan received the Directors Award from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and was recognized as one of the most outstanding federal prosecutors in the country. He currently serves on the Eastern Carolina University Board of Trustees and is a Principal in Shanahan Law Group. Shanahan graduated from East Carolina University in 1979 (BSBA cum laude) and from the UNC School of Law in 1982.

In addition to three Cabinet appointments, McCrory also announced key members of the governor’s office staff and leadership team.

Bob Stephens joins the McCrory Administration from his law firm, Hamilton Stephens Steele & Martin. Stephens is a life long resident of Charlotte and has spent his entire professional career in Charlotte after serving as a first lieutenant in the United States Army, Judge Advocate General Corp., 1970 – 1972. Stephens has been listed with Best Lawyers in America and was named the Best Construction Law Lawyer in the Charlotte Metro region for 2012.

Art Pope currently serves as Co-Chair of the Governor-Elect’s transition team and is also CEO and Chairman of Variety Wholesalers, Inc. In 1988, Pope was elected to the North Carolina House of Representatives, serving on both the Finance and Appropriations committees. Pope was also one the primary sponsors of legislation to create the state’s “Rainy Day Fund,” which was enacted into law in 1991.

Chris Walker, former Southeastern Communications Advisor for the Romney for President campaign and former Press Secretary to U.S. Senator Richard Burr, will lead the McCrory Administration’s communications team. He is a graduate of the University of Tennessee.

Below are complete bios on each of today’s announced appointments.

Further announcements regarding additional appointments in the McCrory Administration will continue to be made in the weeks ahead leading up to the January 5th swearing-in ceremony.

Lyons Gray

Lyons Gray most recently served as Senior Advisor to the President of the University of North Carolina system, where he provided guidance and assistance on state and federal issues impacting University priorities, as well as University-wide efforts to implement efficiency measures and best practices that reduce overall operating costs.

After attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Gray spent more than a decade working for the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company before founding and growing several small businesses. Appointed to the NC House of Representatives in 1989 to represent Forsyth County, he was subsequently elected to the position for six consecutive terms. During his 14-year tenure in the General Assembly, he chaired the House Finance Committee, served on the Ethics Committee, introduced key legislation supporting economic growth and quality of life improvements across the state, and helped advance the $3.2-billion Higher Education Bond Referendum of 2000.

After leaving public office, Gray served as president of the Downtown Winston-Salem Partnership before being nominated by President George W. Bush to serve as chief financial officer of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He served in that capacity, managing a budget in excess of $7 billion, from 2005 to 2009.

Currently vice chairman of the Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation, Gray has previously served on the boards of UNC-Chapel Hill’s General Alumni Association, Salem Academy and College, the UNC School of the Arts Foundation, and the Piedmont Triad Partnership. He also has served on the Boards of Visitors of the Winston-Salem State University Foundation and the Bowman Gray School of Medicine at Wake Forest University and has held leadership roles in multiple civic and philanthropic organizations, including AIDS Care Service of Winston-Salem, the North Carolina Nature Conservancy, Leadership Winston-Salem, the American Red Cross, and the Salvation Army Boys Club.

Gray earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill lives in Winston-Salem with his wife, Connie.

Susan Kluttz

Susan Kluttz most recently served 14 years as the mayor of Salisbury and presently serves on the Salisbury City Council. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where she serves on the Board of Visitors. She is a founding member of the North Carolina Metropolitan Mayors Coalition, where she served as vice-chairman. She has also served on board of the North Carolina League of Municipalities, a member of the Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism, and on the committee to develop a model Ethics Code for Elected Officials at the UNC School of Government. In Salisbury, she currently serves on the board of F&M Bank, the Salisbury Community Development Corporation, and Salisbury- Rowan Project Safe Salisbury. She is a trustee of Rowan-Cabarrus Community College and on the boards of the North Carolina Center for Afterschool Programs and the North Carolina Community and Business Alliance.

Mrs. Kluttz is married to District Court Judge William C. Kluttz, Jr. Their family includes son Lieutenant Commander William C. Kluttz III and his wife MacLean Clinard Kluttz of Newport, RI; daughter Susan Kluttz Smith and her husband William H. Smith of Burlington; and a grandson William C. Kluttz IV.

Kieran Shannahan

Kieran Shanahan, is a former federal prosecutor and an experienced litigator with extensive trial court experience in federal and state courts around the country. He is also a Certified Mediator with substantial Alternative Dispute Resolution experience. As a Principal in Shanahan Law Group, Shanahan handles a wide variety of cases, including banking matters, business disputes, employment and construction matters, as well as class action, administrative, and federal white collar defense matters. He also handles corporate compliance, professional licensing, and internal investigations for professionals and corporations under regulatory scrutiny. His non-litigation experience is substantial and includes general business, corporate and banking advice to small and medium size companies.

Shanahan is a 1979 graduate of East Carolina University (BSBA cum laude) and UNC School of Law (1982). During law school, Shanahan served as an Editor on the North Carolina Journal of International Law and Commercial Regulations and was a member of the prestigious Holderness Moot Court Bench. Shanahan spent over five years as an Assistant United States Attorney, serving in both the Eastern District of North Carolina and the Northern District of Georgia, where he concentrated in the investigation and prosecution of white collar crime. In 1989, Shanahan received the Directors Award from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and was recognized as one of the most outstanding federal prosecutors in the country. Shanahan has been chosen as one of the “Top 100 Lawyers” in America by the National Trial Lawyers, is a peer selected “Best Lawyers in America” honoree, has the highest possible rating (AV) from Martindale-Hubbell, has been recognized as a North Carolina Super Lawyer, was elected to Business North Carolina Magazine’s “Legal Elite”, and has been chosen “A Leader in the Law” in North Carolina. Shanahan is also a founding member of CompassNC, LLC, a public affairs and public policy group based in Raleigh, N.C.

Shanahan serves on the East Carolina University Board of Trustees and is a member of the Centennial Authority that oversees the PNC Center in Raleigh. He also serves as Chairman of the N.C. Property Rights Coalition. Shanahan is a past Chairman of the Board of Directors of Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina and served on the Board of Trustees of Bennett College for Women. Shanahan served four elected terms on the Raleigh City Council and is a past Finance Chair for the North Carolina GOP.

Shanahan is married to Christina (Tina) Alvarado Shanahan, a Captain in the US Navy (RC) and a Multiple World and National Champion equestrian. They have three children: Kate, Jimmy, and Patrick.

Bob Stephens

Bob Stephens practices primarily in the area of construction law including negotiating and drafting construction agreements and resolving and litigating construction claims. He has handled claims ranging in value from $50,000.00 to $50,000,000.00 involving industrial, commercial and residential buildings, pharmaceutical plants, water and wastewater treatment plants, tunnel construction and light rail projects. He also practices in the area of commercial litigation including real estate and general business litigation. Mr. Stephens has over forty years of experience as civil trial attorney. He has also been a certified arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association for in excess of forty years.

Mr. Stephens is admitted to practice in all Courts of the State of North Carolina, the United States District Courts for the Western, Middle and Eastern Districts of North Carolina, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court.

Mr. Stephens was selected by Business North Carolina magazine as a Legal Elite construction lawyers in the state of North Carolina and as a Super Lawyer by Law and Politics and the publishers of Charlotte Magazine. Mr. Stephens has been listed with Best Lawyers in America. He was named as the Best Construction Law Lawyer in the Charlotte Metro region for 2012. This designation is given to only one lawyer in the Charlotte region each year.

Mr. Stephens is a life long resident of Charlotte and has spent his entire professional career in Charlotte after serving as a first lieutenant in the United States Army, Judge Advocate General Corp., 1970 – 1972.

Mr. Stephens is a past President of the Mecklenburg County Bar. He is also past President of the Mecklenburg Bar Foundation.

Art Pope

Art Pope has long record of public service to our state. Pope served in 1985 as Special Counsel for Governor Jim Martin and was later appointed the State Goals and Policy Board, which that year was given the task of evaluating how the state should meet its competing capital needs, including public school facilities, prisons and road construction.

In 1988, Pope was elected to the North Carolina House and was elected by his Republican colleagues in 1991 to be their Caucus Leader. In 1992, Pope won the Republican nomination for Lt. Governor, but ultimately lost the General Election. Pope came back to serve the state in the Legislature again, from 1999 to 2002.

As a Legislator, Pope served on both the Finance and Appropriations committees, where he was known has a principled, thoughtful, hardworking Legislator. Art Pope was one the primary sponsors of legislation to create the state’s “Rainy Day Fund,” which was enacted into law in 1991.

He is currently serving as a Co-Chair of Governor-Elect McCrory’s transition, and also serves as CEO and board chairman of Variety Wholesalers, Inc in addition to his role as president and chairman of the John William Pope Foundation.

Chris Walker

Chris Walker has experience at senior levels in political, governmental and corporate communications. Most recently, Walker served as a Southeastern Communications Advisor for the Romney for President campaign. In this role, he served as a spokesperson and strategist for the Romney campaign for a 12-state region in the Southeast, including North Carolina. During the general election, he also served as a statewide advisor for communications in Colorado.

Before he joined the Romney campaign, he was the founder and principal of Walker Public Affairs, a communications consulting firm. He worked with corporate clients, various political campaigns and served as a consultant to the Tennessee Republican Party. Prior to this, Walker served as Communications Director for Tennessee SCORE, a non-partisan K-12 education initiative founded by former U.S. Senator Bill Frist in an effort to make education a top priority and accelerate state and local education reform efforts across Tennessee.

From 2007 – 2009, Walker served as Press Secretary for U.S. Senator Richard Burr in his Washington D.C. office. He is also a veteran of the George W. Bush administration, serving as a Public Affairs officer at the Department of the Treasury and a Defense Fellow in the White House Liaison Office at the Department of Defense.

Together with his wife Emily, they have one daughter, Morgan.


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