Under the Dome

Former Commerce Sec. Decker has new job in foothills

Former state Commerce Sec. Sharon Decker has a new job.

Decker had left the administration of Gov. Pat McCrory at the end of 2014 for NURAY, a company that specializes in restoring and preserving photos and other media.

This week, she joined the Tryon International Equestrian Center as a senior vice president of strategic initiatives.

Decker had traveled extensively in her role at NURAY and said she was looking to focus closer to home. She said she will continue to consult with NURAY.

The equestrian center holds major jumping, horse show and related events at a large venue in Mill Spring, which is about 75 miles west of Charlotte. The facility opened in June 2014 and has 10 riding arenas and stalls for 850 horses.

“I am very excited to be joining the team at TIEC and am thrilled to be working in the foothills region of Western North Carolina again, a place our family calls home,” Decker said in a statement. “TIEC is a significant economic catalyst and our challenge together will be building upon that. It’s not only about expanding for the equestrian industry, but helping to create businesses and opportunities beyond that within the community and throughout the local region. We want to grow the attraction and attendance to the facility beyond those who understand equestrian sport and create a reach that impacts job creation and economic growth throughout the region and the Carolinas.”

Officials at the center say extensive expansion plans are in the works, including hotels and a golf course.

“We are privileged to have a person of Sharon’s caliber join our management team at Tryon International Equestrian Center,” said Mark Bellissimo, managing partner of Tryon Equestrian Partners. “Sharon brings to the team a wealth of experience and understanding of the region. We’re confident that her contributions will make a significant difference in the trajectory of the resort.”