By Vernon M. Herron
How intriguing it is to note the growth and development of a diamond in the rough, Joel Douglas McClure Ford. Literally, he is the epitome of the subject line, a growing politician, scholar, friend and a Christian.State Senator Ford represents District 38 in Mecklenburg County, NC. He was elected to the N.C. Senate in November, 2012, succeeding the well respected, the Honorable Charlie S. Dannelly, by capturing more than 80 percent of the vote in his race. Upon taking office in January, 2013, Senator Ford was appointed to the Agriculture/Environment/Natural Resources, Appropriations - Base Budget, Appropriations – Transportation, Finance, Insurance and Transportation committees. At a time in which the N.C. General Assembly is enacting a repressive agenda, Senator Ford is championing the cause for the poor and minority.
Currently, he is the business operations executive for TPM Consulting in Charlotte. He began his professional career with Waste Management of Atlanta, GA, then returned to Charlotte, NC. While substitute teaching in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, he developed a business plan to launch his own waste hauling company. An entrepreneur at heart, Joel has owned several businesses including the waste hauling company, restaurant, barbershop and salon.
Joel was the Executive Director of the Charlotte Housing Authority and currently serves as a commissioner. He also serves on the Stratford-Richardson YMCA board of directors, and is on the school leadership team (SLT) at Myers Park Traditional Elementary School. Joel served as chair of the Mecklenburg County Democratic Party from 2008-11.
He was born in Charlotte, NC, raised in Belmont, NC (Gaston County) and received a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1992 from North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University (NCA&T) in Greensboro, NC, where he was a member of Kappa Alpha Psi.
He graduated from the Institute of Political Leadership (2009) and Leadership North Carolina, Class XI. He is married to the former Deborah Lane and they have one daughter, Trinity.
The Senator Uses Neck Tie to Show Humility
Not only is Senator Ford an articulate speaker but he is also an immaculate dresser. Not long ago, this writer was in conversation with the Senator. I admired his dress, particularly his neck tie with matching handkerchief. Jokingly I said, “I want an attire, just like that one.” Whereupon the Senator removed his combination and immediately inserted the same on me. I was embarrassed and unable to stop the transfer process.
Later, I wore the combination to a musical performance by an African group on tour at the Friendship Missionary Baptist Church in Charlotte, NC. I enjoyed the performance and expressed my delight to the conductor. Instead of receiving comments regarding the musical, the director said, “I like your tie with matching handkerchief.” I immediately removed the same and gave them to the director out of gratitude and appreciation for a splendid performance. Now the attire is in Africa, but this is not the end of the story. I told Senator Ford of this saga. (Let’s continue.)
After a period of time, the joke scenario regarding the admiration of the tie/handkerchief was repeated. Again, the attire was removed and placed with the writer. Before rejection could be completed, the Senator was gone. Buffeted and speechless, I was resolved ‘not let anyone be nicer to me, than I will be toward another.’
I immediately selected the most beautiful tie combination in my wardrobe as a gift to the well beloved and respected Senator. He has not been in attendance at the Tuesday Morning Breakfast Forum for deliverance. Instead, he has been in Raleigh attending the General Assembly, taking care of the people’s business.
When he does return to the local scene, a well deserved gift awaits him.