Former N&O reporter and editor Andy Curliss will be the new chief executive officer at the N.C. Pork Council, the organization announced Monday.
It’s an unusual leap from newsroom to CEO of a major business advocacy group like the Pork Council, as Curliss did with a stop in between. Curliss’ background as a journalist with public policy experience makes him the right choice, the council says.
“Andy has the talent and expertise to help us highlight the important contributions of the pork industry and our dedicated farmers,” said Stephen Williamson, chairman of the council’s Board of Directors, in a statement. “He brings a unique perspective and valuable skill set that will benefit our organization.”
Curliss takes over from CEO Deborah Johnson, who announced she was leaving after 11 years. He begins his new job on Nov. 14.
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“I will be proud to represent an industry that is so vital to North Carolina’s economy,” Curliss said in a statement the organization released. “I look forward to working alongside the farmers and production companies who are responsible for bringing bacon, barbecue and other popular pork products into our kitchens and dining rooms.”
Curliss spent two decades at The N&O before leaving at the end of last year to launch a public affairs and strategic communications division for Gelia, a national marketing firm that has an office in Cary.
One of Curliss’ last major projects as a reporter at The N&O was a multi-part series in 2014 about the changing role of North Carolina meat exports in the global economy. The reporting took him all over eastern North Carolina and he spent two weeks in Japan.
Curliss is a graduate of the University of Toledo in Ohio. He is currently pursuing an MBA degree at East Carolina University.