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Thursday, January 3, 2013

From wars to schools to transportation: New DOT Sec. Tony Tata, renaissance man!

Posted by on Thu, Jan 3, 2013 at 11:43 AM

(Updated to include McCrory press release, below, with bios of Tata and three other appointments, including two with extensive Duke Energy backgrounds — like McCrory himself.)

Tony Tata, ex-Army general turned ex-Wake schools superintendent, will be DOT secretary in the McCrory Administration. Puts me in mind of the "Welcome Back, Kotter" theme song.

Ironic, in that bus transportation snafus led to Tata's ouster by the current Wake school board. Or, at least, they were the stated reason for ...


Now I wish I'd gone to the press conference :(

p.s. I'm tweeting away about it, nonetheless. Tata's basic problem in Wake schools was (IMHO) a 100-lb. choice plan in a 50-lb. budget. In other words, the plan couldn't be executed given the parsimonious Wake County Commissioners and their refusal to appropriate enough money to run a first-rate school system.

That said, Tony let his critics get under his skin more than he should've. But he did work his tail off and, as I said more than once, his intentions were good.

***

From McCrory's press folks:

Raleigh, N.C. — Today, North Carolina Governor-Elect Pat McCrory announced that he will appoint Brigadier General Anthony J. Tata (U.S. Army, Retired) as Secretary of the Department of Transportation, Sharon Decker as Secretary of the Department of Commerce and Bill Daughtridge as Secretary of the Department of Administration. Additionally, the Governor-Elect announced Neal Alexander will serve as Director of the State Office of Personnel.

With these appointments, Governor-Elect McCrory has filled all eight of his cabinet secretary positions with a diverse, bi-partisan group of people representing all portions of the state. Half of Governor-Elect McCrory’s cabinet secretaries are Republican and half are either Democrat or Independent.

“I am incredibly proud of the strong team we’ve assembled,” said Governor-Elect McCrory. “These individuals are pragmatic problem solvers and leaders that will help me run the government in the most effective way possible while seeking long-term solutions for our state.”

Governor-Elect McCrory has outlined broad objectives for his cabinet and leadership team, including: (1) instituting a culture of customer service to state government, (2) identifying and implementing efficiencies in state government, (3) collaborating and sharing resources across departments and agencies and (4) instituting the highest ethical standards while serving in government.

Brigadier General Anthony J. Tata (U.S. Army, Retired) joins Governor-Elect McCrory’s cabinet after most recently serving as Superintendent of the Wake County Public School System, leading the state’s largest school district of 18,000 employees, 150,000 students and a $1.25 billion budget. Prior to serving as Superintendent, General Tata was in Afghanistan where he served as the Deputy Commanding General of U.S. forces from 2006-2007. Throughout his career, General Tata has planned and implemented multiple operations involving complex transportation and infrastructure challenges ranging from multi-mode operations involving ports, airfields, rail, and highways to designing and implementing extensive infrastructure plans in developing countries. Among his many military assignments, General Tata served two tours of duty in the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg. He also served as a brigade commander in the 101st Airborne Division and as the Deputy Commanding General of the 10th Mountain Division. General Tata graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1981.

Sharon Decker enters the McCrory Administration with extensive private sector experience. She was the CEO of the Tanner Company, a large textile company based in Rutherfordton, North Carolina. In 2004, Decker created the Tapestry Group, a non-profit that helps individuals lead healthy lives in body, mind and spirit. Decker has served on the boards of three Fortune 500 companies. She also has more than 17 years of experience with Duke Power Company, now Duke Energy. She began working with the company in consumer services and moved rapidly through the ranks to become the youngest and first female vice president in Duke Power’s history. Her work at Duke Power led to the creation of its 24-hour customer service center, an organization that still serves as a model for the industry.

Bill Daughtridge is the President of Daughtridge Gas & Oil Company based in Rocky Mount and currently is on the UNC Board of Governors, where he serves on the Budget Committee. From 2002-2008, Daughtridge served in the North Carolina House of Representatives, where he chaired the Commerce Committee and focused his efforts on promoting economic growth and development in North Carolina. Daughtridge is also a former President Area Seven (VA and NC) on the Southern Region Board of Directors for the Boy Scouts of America and is a former member of the North Carolina Travel and Tourism Board, the Nash County Board of Travel & Tourism, Carolinas Gateway Partnership and the Rocky Mount Community Foundation. Daughtridge also held other statewide and local leadership positions including President of the North Carolina Petroleum Marketers Association, Rocky Mount Area United Way and Rocky Mount Area Chamber of Commerce.

In addition to three Cabinet appointments, McCrory also announced that Neal Alexander will serve as the Director of the State Office of Personnel. Alexander joins Governor-Elect McCrory's leadership team with 40 years of experience in various Human Resources roles at Duke Energy. Most recently, he served as Vice President for Human Resources for Duke Energy’s US Franchised Electric and Gas Service, and has won awards for excellence in Human Resources such as the Duke Power William S. Lee Leadership Award and The Employers Association Babcock Award. He also currently serves as chair of the Gardner-Webb University Board of Trustees and The Employers Association, which provides human resources and training services to organizations.

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