About

charlotte mayor, legislative record

The incredible story of Joel Ford, being born and raised by a single mother in public housing and later rising to become Chairman of the Charlotte Housing Authority sounds like a story too remarkable to be true.  Overcoming obstacles through hard work, education and AGGIE PRIDE, Joel would go on to get his first opportunity to provide services to the general public as an executive for Waste Management of Atlanta.  He would later return to Charlotte as a substitute teacher in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School system.

An entrepreneur at heart, Ford launched his own waste management company in Charlotte more than 20 years ago.  After that, he opened a barbershop in Eastland Mall, then a restaurant in the University area. Joel’s experience in business leads him to believe that in order to vastly improve Charlotte’s economy, the new mayor and city leadership have to include supporting and empowering entrepreneurs. Ford believes this new focus will ignite a new wave of Queen City small businesses that can pull the city out of the “50th” ditch.

This includes:

  1. Requiring city government to work with small businesses that hire locally.
  2. Help businesses, nonprofit and civic organizations develop apprenticeship  programs for people wanting to learn real skills from the pool of successful talent already in Charlotte
  3. Promote and incentivize Charlotte corporations to increase and diversify the small businesses they include in their portfolio of vendors.

“Charlotte has a wealth of innovators, trendsetters, inventors, artists, skill-trepreneurs and risk takers—all hungry for the chance to create their own path to small business success,” said Ford.  “We can both solve our economic mobility problem and make Charlotte the next great city for entrepreneurs and business ownership in the 21st Century.  But it only happens with a bold vision to chart the course and real leadership to execute the plan.”

Joel is committed to the community with a long service record including:

  • Chairman of the Charlotte Housing Authority
  • Former Board of Directors for the Renaissance West Community Initiative
  • Member, Freedom House Church
  • Stratford-Richardson YMCA Board of Directors
  • Chairman of the Mecklenburg County Democratic Party
  • Kappa Alpha Psi Member
  • North Carolina State Senator for 3 terms

Joel Ford is the current Vice President of Community Development for Cardinal Innovations Healthcare. Born in Charlotte, NC, Ford is a graduate of North Carolina A&T State University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He is also a graduate of the Institute of Political Leadership (2009) and Leadership North Carolina, Class XI. Ford currently represents Mecklenburg County’s District 38 in the NC Senate.  He is married to Deborah Lane Ford and they have one daughter, Noelle.