Charlotte Chamber Public Policy Chief Natalie English has accepted the position as president & CEO of the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce. The announcement was made this morning at a news conference in Wilmington. Natalie will replace Interim President Dick Blouse effective March 6.
“Natalie’s 30 years of experience monitoring legislative and regulatory issues is a perfect fit to lead and enhance our advocacy efforts regionally, statewide, and even at the federal level,” Wilmington Chamber of Commerce Board Chairman Charlie Mattox said. “She has a strong track record of success and has been responsible for building community support for several investments in infrastructure that have been key to Charlotte’s economic development. Her leadership experience and background in affecting policies that impact the cost and ease of doing business, quality of life and workforce will help take the Wilmington business community and our Chamber to new heights.”
“A hurricane of energy is about to hit landfall in Wilmington and her name is Natalie English. Natalie is a dynamic and inspiring leader who has built a career preparing for the opportunity to lead and serve as the chief executive of a major chamber of commerce,” said Bob Morgan, Charlotte Chamber president & CEO. “The Charlotte Chamber’s loss is truly the Wilmington Chamber’s gain. We look forward to watching her succeed and continuing to work with her in this new capacity.”
Natalie’s role as the Charlotte Chamber’s Chief Public Policy Officer has included managing campaigns for community referenda which helped lead to the passage of over $5 billion in infrastructure investments since 2006. In 2007, she served as the chief staff person managing the Vote Against Repeal campaign and the campaign to push for passage of four county bond referenda to improve infrastructure in the Charlotte community. The Vote Against Repeal campaign successfully convinced 70% of Mecklenburg County voters to defeat the effort to repeal the dedicated funding source for Charlotte’s mass transit program and all four bond issues passed.
Natalie received her B.A. in Communications from North Carolina State University, and achieved her designation as a Certified Chamber Executive in 2012, one of only approximately 700 in the world. In 2010, the National Association of Women Business Owners – Charlotte Chapter awarded Natalie with their Community Service Award. In 2008, Natalie was awarded the prestigious Marshall Memorial Fellowship and completed a 25-day trip to Europe to learn about and advance trans-Atlantic relations. She was named as a 2008 Women in Business Achievement Award Winner by the Charlotte Business Journal and in 2009 and 2013 the Mecklenburg Times named Natalie one of the 50 Most Influential Women in Charlotte.
Natalie has also been an active volunteer, having served on the board of MeckEd, Partners in Out of School Time (POST), Leadership Charlotte, the Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, Alexander Youth Network, United Way, Charlotte Mecklenburg Workforce Development Board, the North Carolina Center for Public Policy Research, and Junior Achievement. She currently serves as President of the Charlotte Rotary Club.
"I am thrilled with the opportunity to lead the chamber staff and volunteers in partnership with elected and government officials to do great things in Wilmington,” English said. “It has long been a career goal of mine to lead a chamber in a vibrant community full of potential and I can think of no better place to do that than the Port City. I look forward to getting to know the people behind the businesses that have made Wilmington so successful, and I am excited to soon make it my home.”