U.S. Small Business Administration Appointee, Fran Perez-Wilhite, MBA, SGE, to deliver keynote message at the Charlotte LATINA Style Business Series on Saturday, July 22, 2017.
As an active and proven leader, Fran Perez-Wilhite has served as the Business Development Liaison with the North Carolina Military Business Center since 2006. In her role, she travels the state connecting NC businesses with federal contracting opportunities. She has assisted numerous minority owned and disabled veteran owned businesses in winning multi-million dollar government contracts. Well respected for her relationships with business and elected officials on both local and state levels, Fran shares her knowledge to “team” prime contractors with qualified subcontractors resulting in increased earnings for business and important job creation. In addition, she coaches and mentors N.C. businesses to improve their competitive advantage.
Prior to joining the North Carolina Military Business Center, Fran spent 13 years in various management positions at Philip Morris USA. She used her leadership skills and business acumen to impact change and improve the bottom line. Her roles included Senior Business Analyst Quality Systems, Operations Managing Supervisor and Corporate Affairs Community Relations Liaison.
Fran’s professional leadership also includes her current involvement on the Board of Directors of Trinity Strategic Consulting, a management consulting firm.
Fran is passionate about the community in which she lives and is a committed volunteer that exemplifies servant leadership. For over 15 years, her passion for helping others has resulted in her active participation in numerous causes in which she believes.
Currently, she serves on the Advisory Board for Purple Heart Homes, a local organization that provides quality-of-life solutions for American veterans. Solutions range from referring applicants to suitable and affordable housing, to remodeling or creating entire living spaces from the ground up. Fran spends immeasurable hours working with veterans — both women and men — to see that their needs are realized and fully met. The work of Purple Heart Homes was recently featured in the August 2011 issue of Time magazine.
Fran has also served on many city and county committees and boards. One that she is most proud of was her position as Chairwoman of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Community Relations Subcommittee. As part of the subcommittee, she acted as a connector in building relationships between citizens and police officers to enhance community confidence.
- Other areas of service past and present include:
- Mecklenburg County Minority Affairs Advisory Committee — appointed by the Mecklenburg County Commissioners
- Charlotte-Mecklenburg Community Relations Committee — appointed by former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory
- Chief Justice’s Commission on the Future of the North Carolina Business Court –appointed by the Honorable Mark D. Martin, North Carolina Supreme Court Justice
- Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Foundation — appointed by Darrel Stephens, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Chief of Police
- Charlotte Business Advisory Council member — appointed by the Charlotte City Council
- North Carolina Institute of Political Leadership — Board of Directors
- Women In Office Institute – Alumni Board
- Leadership North Carolina — participant
Fran was selected as one of forty-five candidates from nominations around the world, to participate in The Women’s Campaign School at Yale University. Evidenced by her commitment to leadership roles for women, she develops herself with a goal of sharing professional development skills with other women. She helps those with political aspirations build key relationships and their connections in the community.
Fran can also be found mentoring business owners to effectively position their companies to acquire federal contracting dollars. She helps them through the complicated maze of forms, certifications and details to position their firms to win business. She speaks to groups on topics such as networking, community service and business development, and loves sharing her knowledge to inform and empower others.
She has an MBA from Wake Forest University which included studies at Oxford University. She also had the opportunity to explore and experience her Hispanic roots while studying at the University of Salamanca in Spain.
Recognitions: Fran was selected as a recipient of the Business Leader Magazine’s 10th Annual Women Extraordinaire Awards for her influential business leadership.