Golden LEAF Board Spotlight: Johnathan Rhyne

Name: Johnathan Rhyne
City of Residence: Lincolnton, NC
County of Residence: Lincoln
Employment: The Jonas Law Firm, PLLC
Appointed by: Speaker of the House
Golden LEAF Board Leadership Roles: Board Chair (2014-2015); Assistant Secretary (December 2019)

What are other activities or leadership roles do you provide for the community?

• Board member of the Daniel Stone Botanical Garden
• Past President of the Rotary Club of Lincolnton
• Board member CresCom Bank
• Founding Board Member, Carolina Thread Trail
• Six terms in the NC House of Representatives (1985-1982), (2009-2011)
• Board certified specialist in family law

What is your connection to rural, tobacco-dependent or economically distressed areas?

Western Lincoln County is rural and economically challenged. The County has transitioned over decades from an economy based on textiles and furniture to more of a service economy.

How does your personal and/or professional life complement Golden LEAF’s mission and priorities?

Having served for parts of four decades in the General Assembly, I have witnessed and participated in all manner of economic development efforts. None have had the effect or have the potential for future impact as Golden LEAF.

What are you most excited about seeing happen in economic development in rural NC in the next 5-10 years?

The State, with Golden LEAF’s help, is working on all fronts to spur economic development and create jobs. From scholarships and education initiatives to mega site readiness we are preparing for the economy of the future.

What do you want people to know about the Golden LEAF Foundation?

The Foundation is North Carolina’s secret weapon for economic development. I’m most proud of two things. First, we often provide the last piece of funding making projects possible that otherwise would not happen. Second, as a perpetual foundation, we invest our funds so that we build capacity for future investment. Other states would do well to emulate our model.

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