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Perspective | First in Future: President and Board Chair of the John M Belk Endowment, MC Belk Pilon

It’s Charlotte week! In honor of the Institute for Emerging Issues’ October 15 ReCONNECT to Economic Opportunity Forum in Charlotte, the First in Future podcast takes a week-long sit-down with some of the Queen City’s thought leaders. Listen in every day this week for a thought-provoking conversation on the future of economic opportunity in North Carolina.


If you were making a shortlist of family names associated with Charlotte, “Belk” would have to be near the top. Beginning in 1888, the Belk’s started a small retail chain in Monroe that grew bigger and then spread throughout the southeast. 

John M. Belk once said, “The more you do for mankind, the better you’ll like life. Whether it’s a company or a city or state, you’ve got to leave it better for the next generation.”

The Belk family continues to try to find ways to leave it better. Today’s First in Future guest MC Belk Pilon is the president and board chair of the John M. Belk Endowment, whose mission is to transform postsecondary educational opportunities to meet North Carolina’s evolving workforce needs. As you listen to her thought process, you can hear the origins of the myFutureNC Commission.


Editor’s note: The John M Belk Endowment supports the work of EducationNC.

Leslie Boney

Leslie Boney is the director of NC State University’s Institute for Emerging Issues.