ICV09 Breakfast w/ John Stumpf, Jim Rogers, Lucia Zapata Griffith | CLT Blog

ICV09 Breakfast w/ John Stumpf, Jim Rogers, Lucia Zapata Griffith

Posted on 17 Jun 2009 by Justin Ruckman



images: Matt Tyndall & Justin Ruckman; view these photos on Flickr

Breakfast on the 40th floor of Wachovia One this morning at the opening of the Charlotte Chamber’s Inner City Visit was decidedly optimistic, showcasing local business owner Lucia Zapata Griffith, Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers, and Wells Fargo President & CEO John Stumpf.

The two CEOs’ words were as carefully placed as the table settings. Both are under enormous pressure, not just in their respective industries, but from the crowd of Charlotteans surrounding them this morning, eager to hear the latest on how their companies fit into our city’s future.

Highlights from the talks given by all three speakers are as follows.

John Stumpf, President & CEO, Wells Fargo


  • Charlotte will play a prominent role in the new Wells Fargo”
  • Charlotte is Wells Fargo’s “Eastern Public Headquarters”
  • He refers to economic crises, like the one we are in now, as “rodeos”, of which he says he has lived through two before.
  • Why does this time around feel so bad, he asks? Because this time it is a worldwide phenomemon.
  • Last night had dinner w/ Hugh McColl, discussed business and the city of Charlotte
  • Overwhelming strengths here in Charlotte, specifically, and in North Carolina generally”
  • Said he is dedicated to finding Wells Fargo businesses that can be moved here, and finding ways to keep businesses already here in their place.

Lucia Zapata Griffith, Owner, METRO Landmarks


  • Need to encourage innovation and creativity
  • Charlotte has had a green logo long before it was hip

Jim Rogers, CEO, Duke Energy


  • Most resonant theme today is optimism
  • We’re in a balance sheet recession, he says. Everyone, at every level, is fully leveraged, from families to the federal government. Pulling out of this will make us stronger than before.
  • The power of one person, the power of one idea, that’s the type of power that we’re gonna find in Charlotte; (…) it’s gonna be many people and many ideas coming together.”
  • There is opportunity for us to create in Charlotte an energy cluster, traditionally been a banking cluster, potential to be a green/clean tech energy cluster, center point of innovation and development
  • When we looked around we realized we were already down this road without even realizing it, already have a critical mass here, can leverage into a regional/sustainable growth engine for Carolina
  • The cities most innovative in sustainable tech will have the best chance of maintaining the highest standard of living as resources become more scarce.
  • We have great academics, from Clemson to Wake Forest to Chapel Hill, and “those other Triangle Schools”. (He went to the University of Kentucky and doesn’t like to mention Duke.)
  • Rogers was on The Colbert Report just last night, the segment is embedded below.

More photos from today:

images: Matt Tyndall & Justin Ruckman; view these photos on Flickr

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