About Joel

Image of Joel Ford

Joel Ford, Vice President of Community Development

Joel Ford is the vice president of community Development for Cardinal Innovations Healthcare. Ford joined Cardinal Innovations in February 2016 to create and execute community development strategies. As a member of the Executive leadership team, he provides leadership for developing and executing strategies to support growth and new program development for Cardinal Innovations. This will include evaluating and identifying strategic opportunities for growth and development and pursuing those opportunities based on the Company’s strategic goals and initiatives.

Previously, Ford worked as a business operations executive for StoneLaurel in Charlotte, N.C. He is a 1992 graduate of North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, N.C., where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration. Ford currently represents Mecklenburg County’s District 38 in the N.C. Senate.

Ford began his professional career with Waste Management of Atlanta and then returned to Charlotte, N.C. While substitute teaching in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, Ford developed a business plan to launch his own waste management company. An entrepreneur at heart, he has over 20 years of successful small business experience.

Ford is committed to serving his community and in addition to serving as a state senator also has served on the Stratford-Richardson YMCA board of directors and as chairman of the Charlotte Housing Authority. Previously, he was a Board of Director for the Renaissance West Community Initiative, a non-profit organization coordinating the education and services continuum of the former Boulevard Homes public housing site into a vibrant village called The Renaissance that will offer access to educational opportunities, youth and adult development programs, health and wellness services and commercial investment.

Born in Charlotte, N.C., and raised in Belmont, N.C., Ford also is a graduate of 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.

In The News

Senator Joel Ford: A Strong Push to Be Charlotte’s Next Mayor

Click Here to listen to the podcast

Read More

Democratic Mayoral Forum Focuses On Police-Community Relations

Charlotte’s Democratic mayoral candidates Joel Ford, Vi Lyles, and Jennifer Roberts participated in a forum Saturday afternoon that focused heavily on ...

Read More

Charlotte’s first mayoral debate drew unusually large crowd. Interest may only grow.

Five months before the mayoral primary, three Democratic candidates for mayor held their first forum before more than 200 people Saturday, with Mayor Jennife...

Read More

NC Wins NCAA Championship; Joel Ford Introduces Medical Marijuana Bill

Listen to the podcast by Scott Fitzgerald

Read More

Joel Ford has already raised big money to take on Jennifer Roberts for mayor

RALEIGH Signaling what could be one of Charlotte’s most competitive mayoral primaries, Democratic Sen. Joel Ford has raised more than $200,000, a campai...

Read More

How a random encounter in a diner led to an NC medical marijuana bill

Last week Ford introduced a measure to legalize medical marijuana in North Carolina. It’s called “The Catherine A. Zanga Medical Marijuana Bill” after ...

Read More

Joel Ford hopes this bill can do what others haven’t – repeal HB2

After several futile legislative attempts, a Charlotte Democrat is making another try to repeal House Bill 2. Sen. Joel Ford Tuesday introduced a bill to rep...

Read More

New HB2 Repeal Filed Just Shy of Law’s Anniversary

Just a couple of days shy of the one-year anniversary of HB2 becoming law, a new repeal has been filed. Senator Joel Ford filed SB332 Tuesday, which woul...

Read More

Mecklenburg County State Senator Files Bill to Repeal HB2

State Senator Joel Ford (D-Mecklenburg County) has filed a bill to repeal House Bill Two on Tuesday. This comes just days before the controversial law’...

Read More

Will HB2 help take down the mayor, too?

It’s an annual rite of voting to complain about the quality of choices we have in elections. Too many races feature too few candidates who seem worthy of t...

Read More

Joel Ford to enter Charlotte mayoral race

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Democratic state Sen. Joel Ford is entering the race to be mayor of Charlotte. Ford told Channel 9 in an exclusive interview that he is ru...

Read More

North Carolina state Sen. Ford running for Charlotte mayor

A North Carolina state senator says he's running for mayor of Charlotte this fall, hoping to unseat incumbent Jennifer Roberts. Third-term Democratic Sen. J...

Read More

Joel Ford makes it official: ‘I’m all in’

North Carolina Sen. Joel Ford formally announced his candidacy for Charlotte mayor Wednesday, becoming the third Democrat in the race. “It’s time for ne...

Read More

NC Sen. Joel Ford Officially Running For Mayor

North Carolina State Senator Joel Ford is officially tossing his hat into the race for Charlotte mayor. "It's time for new leadership and a bold vision for ...

Read More

MEDIA ALERT: Statement by State Senator Joel Ford on HB2 Repeal

STATEMENT BY STATE SENATOR JOEL FORD For Additional Information Contact: Senator Joel Ford 704-350-5635 or email at joeldford@gmail.com   CHARLOTTE RESC...

Policy Solutions

Joel Ford’s Crime Fighting Plan For City Of Charlotte

  • Add 100 new police officers to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department over the next two years
  • Comprehensive review of salary schedules for police, fire, rescue and all first-responders; we must increase salary schedules to keep our best officers working in our department
  • The Mayor of Greenville implemented a successful strategy of reducing the number of sworn officers working in headquarters and returned them to active duty – add professional administrative support to handle reports and paperwork – thus adding more uniformed officers to street patrols. I will want to look at similar options for Charlotte
  • Implement modernized Community Policing Programs
    • More officers working specific beats & neighborhoods
    • Park the cars and work in the neighborhoods with residents to build mutual respect and trust
    • Focus on high-crime neighborhoods with intensive patrol efforts to curb illegal drug and violent gang activities
    • Make Community Policing about the community – building one-on-one relationships with the community
  • I will work with CMPD and the private sector to expand the use of technology – expanding the use of security cameras throughout the city to support crime fighting efforts
  • I will work with the professional staff and leadership team at CMS to develop training programs that emphasize de-escalation of contacts with persons of interest to the police officer
  • Committed to adding to the diversity of the department to better reflect the make-up of our city
  • Provide the equipment and resources the front-line officers need to be safe and effective in fighting crime from the body cameras they wear, to dashboard cameras in the car to every piece of equipment a Charlotte law enforcement officer is issued to execute his or her sworn duties.
  • Focus on economic opportunities and revitalization
    • Summer jobs program for our youth
    • Coordinate with schools & community colleges to assist at-risk teenagers, providing extra help in school and educational opportunities so they can get the training they need to be job ready
    • Work with the Public Works Department and Housing Department to help remove trash, debris and work to improve the quality of life in our crime-plagued neighborhoods
    • The City of Charlotte, Mecklenburg County and the State of North Carolina need a joint program to help ex-offenders from becoming repeat offenders so this must center around job training and education programs, as well as social services to make sure the ex-offenders become successful, productive citizens
    • We need an enhanced Youthful Diversion Program.  I am supporting Raise the Age of our youthful offenders from 16-18; and we must work with these youthful offenders to help them get a second chance in the early stages of their life


P.O. Box 36391

Charlotte, NC 28236

Phone: 704-350-5635

Connect With Us: