Commerce Dept. names interim head to help transition Rural Cente - WNCN: News, Weather

Commerce Dept. names interim head to help transition Rural Center

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The North Carolina Department of Commerce has hired Laura Kendall to help with the transition of the N.C. Rural Economic Development Center.

The department of commerce is meeting with board members of the center and the Office of State Budget and Management to come up with a seamless transition plan for the center's programs and grants. 

"There is a high spirit of cooperation as we work with the N.C. Rural Center and OSBM to review existing grants," said Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker in a written release. "We're committed to an effective smooth transition so that grants can continue to be funded."

Kendall will serve as a consultant and liaison for 60 days to facilitate the process of grants.

Kendall is the former president of Tanner Companies and also worked as the Chief Financial Officer for Delhaize America and Food Lion.

"We're looking forward to our continued relationship with N.C. Department of Commerce and honoring our commitment to rural North Carolina," said N.C. Rural Center board member Brian Crutchfield in a written release. "We've already made great progress in our meetings with Laura Kendall, and I'm confident we'll continue to move in a positive direction."

Last month a state audit revealed the nonprofit agency failed to provide proper oversight of millions in grants while providing excessive payments to its long-time president. That audit forced Gov. Pat McCrory to request the OSBM suspend funds to the center.

The Department will begin taking applications for new rural grants on Oct. 1.


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