Name: Jerry Coughter
Leadership Charlotte Class: 33
Title/Company: Executive Director, UNC Charlotte Center City
Hometown: Stamford, Connecticut
Education: BS, Clemson; MS, VCU; MBA, Shenandoah; PhD Candidate, George Mason
Current personal or leadership goals: Trying to live the motto “Service Above Self.”
What advice that you would you give to current Leadership Charlotte participants and why?
Be present, engaged, open, vulnerable, trusting, empathetic.
What do you remember most vividly from your Leadership Charlotte experiencey?
Visiting Urban Ministry Center for lunch, where rather than have us serve lunch, we ate lunch with the homeless men and women. Realizing that while we stood in line wondering if lunch would be good enough, our neighbors were simply wondering if there would be enough.
What’s a lesson that you learned through LC that has stuck with you?
It’s all connected; I can help. As my friend Rye Barcott says, “Talent is universal, opportunity is not.” Opportunities for education provide opportunities for jobs, which provide opportunities for healthcare and nutrition, which are required for education. It’s all connected.
Favorite nonprofit or community organization in Charlotte and why:
Rotary Club of Charlotte. I think Rotary’s values are similar to Leadership Charlotte’s. Our Rotary Club helps so many local non-profits, including Classroom Central, Trees Charlotte, the Rescue Mission, Crisis Assistance, Habitat, and many others. And we work internationally to improve literacy and eradicate disease, because whether in the US or abroad, education and health lead to economic opportunity, which ultimately promotes peace.
Greatest personal accomplishment and why:
Other than raising two beautiful and moderately well-adjusted daughters? Climbing Kilimanjaro to raise $9000 to help eradicate polio. The several hundred kids who get vaccinated from that money will have a chance to get an education and move out of poverty.