Charlotte Program | How Effective Boards Add Value to Private Companies

Thursday, April 26, 2018
05:00 PM - 07:30 PM EST
Bank of America
100 North Tryon Street, 60th Floor Dining Room
Charlotte, NC 28255



Please join the Private Directors Association in Charlotte on April 26th for a panelist discussion on "How Effective Boards Add Value to Private Companies".

Thank you to our host!




Ed Weisiger, Jr.
Chairman and CEO
CTE (Formerly Carolina Tractor)

Ed Weisiger, Jr., is Chairman and CEO of CTE (formerly Carolina Tractor). His responsibilities include overseeing the company’s four divisions, corporate strategy and customer service culture. CTE is one of the largest closely held companies in North Carolina. CTE has represented Caterpillar construction and power systems products since 1926 through its Carolina CAT Division. CTE also represents Hyster and Yale material handling products in five southeastern states through its LiftOne division. In addition, CTE represents Link-Belt Cranes in the Carolinas through its Pinnacle Crane Division.

Ed is a founding partner of Beacon Partners, a commercial real estate development and asset management firm specializing in industrial and office properties primarily in Charlotte and Raleigh, North Carolina. Beacon Partners has financed well over $2 billion worth of acquisitions and developments, and presently owns and manages over seven million square feet of commercial real estate in the Carolinas.

Ed is a founding partner of WSC & Company, a private equity investment business investing in entrepreneurs and partnering with management in lower middle market businesses. WSC specializes in search fund investments.

In 2015, Ed was recognized with the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year award for the Southeast region and was an Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year National Finalist. The prestigious award recognizes entrepreneurs who demonstrate excellence and extraordinary success in such areas as innovation, financial performance and personal commitment to their businesses and communities.

Ed is involved in several business organizations such as: CATO Corporation (Board of Directors); CEO Organization (Member and Chair of the annual CEO Harvard Presidents’ Seminar); Young Presidents’ Organization (Member and Past Chapter Chairman); Charlotte Chamber of Commerce (Past Chairman); Southeast Caterpillar Dealer Association (Past President); North Carolina Chamber (Past Director); and NC State Engineering Foundation (Past Director), NC State University Student Aid Association (Past Director).

He is also very community-minded and gives back in many ways, such as: Myers Park Presbyterian Church (Elder); North Carolina State University (Board of Trustees), Carolina Thread Trail (Director); Central Piedmont Community College President’s Council (Member), Bechtler Museum (Advisory Board Member) and has previously served on the boards of several educational institutions and non-profit organizations.

Ed holds a BS in Industrial Engineering from NC State University and an MBA from the Harvard University Graduate School of Business.


Ben Wilhelm
President, Southeast Region
Shiel Sexton Company

Ben has been with Shiel Sexton for nearly 18 years and moved to Charlotte in 2007 to expand operations into the Southeast US. Ben formerly served on the corporate board and has served as ESOP Chair since 2011. He earned his undergraduate and MBA degrees from the University of Indianapolis and also holds a Masters in Organization Development (MSOD) from Queens University of Charlotte. He has two teenage kids and has served on several nonprofit boards in Charlotte and Indianapolis.

Shiel Sexton builds for people who expect more. As an Engineering News-Record Top 400 Contractor serving vertical markets in commercial, interiors, education, public, and senior living, Shiel Sexton works throughout the Carolinas and is 100% employee-owned.


Mike Griffin
Managing Partner
Griffin Brothers Companies (GBC)

Mike Griffin is a native of Charlotte and a managing partner in his family business, Griffin Brothers Companies (GBC).  His father, Larry Griffin Sr., started the family business by acquiring half of Honest Tire Service in February 1961 from his uncle, Frank Todd.  Honest Tire Service was eventually renamed Griffin Brothers Tires Sales and headquartered near Charlotte’s Center City on West Trade Street.  Over the last three decades, the business grew into a diversified portfolio of businesses with close to $50 million in annual revenue before the tire operations were sold in 2016.

GBC continues to own and operate investments in waste management (Greenway Waste Solutions), property development & management (Griffin Brothers Acquisitions), and hospitality management (Pine Island Country Club & FAM).  GBC recently launched a “reverse search-fund” called ZoomUp, in which they acquire, partner, or advise small, legacy-challenged companies.  ZoomUp acquired Roland Black Heating & Cooling in September 2017 and invested in Roof King in January 2018.   Mike’s duties include corporate treasurer, managing partner of Greenway Waste Solutions & ZoomUp, and director of civic & government relations.  In 1989, Mike started and ran a wireless communications business becoming the largest distributor for ALLTEL.  (sold business in 1999)

Mike’s a Tar Heel (BSBA, ‘87) and a mentor to many as he serves on a number of non-profit boards.  He serves as Chairman of the Greater Enrichment Program (, Chairman of Wells Fargo’s Lake Norman Board of Advisors, Treasurer of the Lake Norman Regional Economic Development Corp, Board of Advisors member of UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, Board member of Historic West End Partnership, and Board member of Lakewood Trolley.  He also serves as a Board of Advisor member for Ovation Wireless Management, Inc. (  He has served as an alumni advisor for his fraternity since graduating and served on Delta Sigma Phi’s National Foundation Board for ten years.  He is also an active advocate for Charlotte’s Historic West End.

Mike lives in Cornelius, NC with his wife and two children.  If you don’t see Mike in the professional setting, he’s most likely in Chapel Hill with his family, playing golf, or hanging out on Lake Norman zooming around on a fly board.



Peter Browning
Managing Director
Peter Browning Partners, LLC

As founder and Managing Director of Peter Browning Partners, LLC, a board advisory service, Peter has a wide range of experience in business. Beginning as a sales trainee, he spent 24 years with the Continental Can Company, including President of two different divisions, last serving as Executive Vice President – Operating Officer.  He joined National Gypsum Company in 1989, and in September 1990, was elected Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of National Gypsum Company, seeing the company through and out of bankruptcy.

He joined Sonoco Products Company, (a $5 billion global packaging company)
 in November 1993 where he last served as President and Chief Executive Officer, before retiring in July 2000.  In March, 2002, he was appointed Dean of the McColl School of Business at Queens University of Charlotte where he served until May 2005.

He is a native of Boston, MA.  A 1963 graduate of Colgate University with an AB in history, he earned his MBA from the University of Chicago in 1976. The Harvard Business School prepared a case study regarding his success in effecting changes at Continental's White Cap Division. A case study has also been written on his experience at National Gypsum for use at the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School.

Since 1989, he has served on the board of directors of fourteen publicly traded companies, including ten years at Wachovia Corporation, sixteen years at Lowes Companies, sixteen years at Nucor Corporation where he served as non-executive chairman and lead director, and finally, fourteen years at EnPro Industries.  In that time, he has been Chairman and CEO, CEO, non-executive chair, lead director and chair of audit, compensation, and governance/nominating committees. Browning is currently the lead director of Acuity Brands, and a member of the Board of Directors of ScanSource, Inc. and GMS,Inc.   In January, 2013, he joined the board of the private company  Equilar, the leading provider of compensation and governance data, as lead independent director.

In the fall of 2004 Board Alert Magazine selected Peter as one of eight “Outstanding Directors of the Year” for his role in the successful CEO transitions at Lowe’s and Nucor.  He is also the 2009 recipient of Boston University’s “Gislason Award for Leadership in Executive Development.”  He was selected for the “2011 and 2012 NACD Director 100 List” (the list of the most influential people in corporate governance in the boardroom). 

The Nucor Corp. 2014 Annual Report noted:  “This year also marks Peter Browning’s final year on the board of directors.  I cannot say enough about the tremendous value Peter brought to Nucor during his 15 years as a director…..  Peter sets the standard by which other public company directors are measured.  His knowledge of corporate governance, outstanding judgment and excellent interpersonal skills are second to none…‘’

He is the coauthor (with his business partner William Sparks) of “The Director’s Manual:  A Framework for Board Governance” published by Wiley in February 2016.

In April 2010, his chapter “Leadership in the Corner Office: The Board’s Most Important Responsibility” was published in the Jossey-Bass and Center for Creative Leadership book titled “Extraordinary Leadership:  Addressing the Gaps in Senior Executive Development”.

In addition, Peter is a founding member of the Lead Director Network and a frequent participant in governance seminars, serving on panels addressing a wide variety of corporate governance and compensation issues.

He is a lifetime member of The University of Chicago, Council on the Booth Graduate School of Business; and served on the Executive Committee of the National Association of Manufacturers. 

Peter is married and has four children and seven grandchildren, currently living with his wife Kathy in Charlotte, NC.