Name: Don Flow
City of Residence: Winston-Salem
County of Residence: Forsyth
Appointed by: President Pro Tempore of the Senate
Employer: Flow Automotive, Inc
Golden LEAF Board Committees/ Position(s): Assistant Secretary (2018-2019), Treasurer (2016-2017)
What are other activities or leadership roles do you provide for the community?
Board of Trustees, Wake Forest University
Chair of the Board, Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center
Chair of the Board, Winston-Salem Alliance
Chair of the Board, Whitaker Park Development Authority
Chair of the Board, Winston-Salem Open
Co-Chair, Piedmont Triad Partnership
Governor’s Economic Council
Board, Winston Starts Accelerator
Advisory Board, Dioko Venture Capital Fund
What is your connection to rural, tobacco-dependent or economically distressed areas?
I live in Winston-Salem where R.J. Reynolds’ downtown plants and Whitaker Park plants closed. This represents nearly 4 million square feet. I have been actively involved in repurposing these facilities through my role as a member of the Board of Wake Forest University, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, and Whitaker Park Development Authority. I also have a farm in Stokes County and I have seen the enormous impact of the demise of tobacco as a key crop in that community.
How does your personal and/or professional life complement Golden LEAF’s mission and priorities?
I am deeply involved in economic development, serving on the Boards of Piedmont Triad Partnership, Winston-Salem Alliance, Winston-Salem Business, and the Governor’s Economic Council
This involvement includes both urban and rural areas. I have also been involved with a number of local initiatives associated with education in economically distressed areas.
What are you most excited about seeing happen in economic development in rural NC in the next 5-10 years?
I believe the creation of the Carolina Core for advanced manufacturing that runs through much of the rural parts of the center of our state is very important for bringing a significant number of jobs to our state. The mega-sites that are now available can bring transformational projects to our state. Additionally, our focus on education is absolutely critical for the future. We must do everything possible to ensure that rural families have access to the superb higher educational opportunities in our state.
What do you want people to know about the Golden LEAF Foundation?
Golden LEAF is led by an extraordinary group of staff who are deeply committed to the mission, who are incredibly capable, and who are extremely trustworthy. The Board takes seriously its responsibilities and brings a wide variety of expertise to its work. The Board is comprised of people who love North Carolina and who come from diverse backgrounds.
Golden LEAF is a unique organization. Its work makes a real difference in the life of thousands of North Carolinians. It is a profound responsibility to be entrusted with helping Golden LEAF fulfill its mission.