Nicholas Wharton Appointed President Charlotte Area Fund


Nick Wharton - Charlotte Area FundThe Charlotte Area Fund, Mecklenburg County’s Community Action Agency dedicated to combating poverty for over fifty years, is very pleased to announce Nicholas Wharton as President and Chief Executive Officer. This announcement comes during the initial stages of a strategic planning phase conducted by the board of directors and Next Stage Consulting, LLC, a leading Charlotte consulting firm.

“The board is very pleased that Mr. Wharton will be leading CAF through the strategic planning process of revitalizing the agency services and beyond,” said Charlotte Area Fund Board Chair Reginald Johnson. “He has the passion and the unique organizational development expertise building human capital strategies across multiple educational, civic, community and corporate environments addressing multi-generational and economically underserved populations to propel CAF into its next exciting chapter,” Johnson said.

Wharton has led premiere access and equity change initiatives in juvenile justice, K-12 public/private educational systems, higher education, and in the corporate sector. A staunch public policy advocate and leader for educational opportunity and workforce development, Wharton’s led lobbying efforts on behalf of community colleges and workforce development in the New York State Legislator and to the US Congress in Washington DC. A mindful diversity thought leader, he has influenced global strategic partnerships with educators in Europe, South Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean and has led given critical conversations on diversity leadership, educational opportunity, workforce development, organizational trust, gender equity, cultural competency, and strategic community engagement.

“I’m eager to work with board, staff, and critical stakeholders torestore the Charlotte Area Fund to its once storied role combating poverty that has now become metastasized in segments of our community as indicated by the Harvard/Berkley study findings,” said Wharton. The launch of our Dorothy Counts Scoggins Community Accelerator Partnerships aligns the agency’s historic anti poverty mission with Leading on Opportunity to help the most disadvantaged in Mecklenburg County. Wharton added.

Most recently, Wharton served as the Urban League of Central Carolina’s Interim CEO & President and Chief Operating Officer and previously as Chief Partnership Officer and COO. Wharton has held leadership roles with Wachovia Bank (Wells Fargo), Corning Incorporated, Charlotte Latin School, Ithaca City School District, Binghamton University, and Ithaca College. Wharton also served as adjunct organizational communication faculty at the Roy H. Park School of Communication, Ithaca College. His community board engagement involves serving as Vice Chair, Women’s Intercultural Exchange Inc / Co-Chair Men’s Champions, Vice Chair, WFAE 90.7 NPR Affiliate, External Relations Committee, Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department, The Diversity Forum, and the Chris Canty Foundation. He also served as Co-Chaired CMS African American Boys Task Force and is a Trustee Emeritus, State University of New York. He holds a Bachelors of Arts in Sociology from the State University of New York at Cortland and a Master’s of Science in Organizational Communication from the Roy H. Park School of Communications at Ithaca College. Nick is married to Regina Wharton, SVP HR Executive with Fifth Third Bank. They have three adult children and attend The Park Church.



The Charlotte Area Fund, a private non-profit, is Mecklenburg County’s designated community action agency primarily funded through the federal Community Service Block Grant (CSBG). The purpose of the agency is to combat poverty by assisting low-income individuals and families with becoming self-sufficient.

Since 1963, CAF has initiated and provided a variety of programs and services to serve low income individuals. Community action changes people’s lives, embodies the spirit of hope, improves communities and makes America a better place to live. We care about the entire community and we are dedicated to helping people help themselves and each other.

Champions Chain Reaction

Champions 2017a

On August 8th, The WIE CHAMPIONS held a "Chain Reaction" (Cross Cultural Chat) where each person shared the things in his life that formulated his initial prejudices toward people not like them and what they've done to change this attitude. The purpose of the "Chain Reaction" is for members of the group to get to know each other better and "get ahead of the curve thus preventing what happened in Charlottesville and other areas in the country".  Comments from participants were things like:

  • "It made me feel uncomfortable but I found out that there were others who've had similar experiences",
  • "Being able to share my experiences made me realize how far I've come toward being more acceptable of others", and
  • "I now have a bond and an appreciation of others of different cultures".

The 2+ hour session was moderated by Gwen Garnett, WIE Program Coordinator.  WIE's consultants are experts in conducting authentic and meaningful conversations that build trust across race and culture.

The Champions are the men's affiliate of WIE and support its mission — "Building Trust Across Race and Culture".  The group meets for breakfast the last Wednesday of the month at various places across the city.  If you or someone you know would like to join us, drop us note at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Champions Inspiring Trust

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Champions Men’s Affiliate Grows Ranks and Programs

WIE Champions comprises a group of over 100 diverse men who support the mission of WIE and want to extend the community dialogue to other men in Charlotte. Together, they examine and discuss racial fears embedded in work interactions, education, and public policy and the impact that erodes cross-cultural trust.  The Champions meet on a regular basis to discuss items of importance in the Charlotte community and actively participate in events, activities and to further WIE’s mission.

To further their impact in 2018, three programs were presented at the Levine Museum of the New South (LMNS) with the theme, Inspiring Trust to Transform Charlotte at the Levine Museum of the New South and sponsored by The Kaleidoscope Group.  Over 150 people participated in the programs including a showing of film clips from the Color of Fear, a documentary with eight North American men — two African American, two Latinos, two Asian American and two Caucasian who were gathered by director Lee Mun Wah, for a dialog about the state of race relations in America as seen through their eyes. In a separate session the Champions held a more in-depth program showing the entire film and continued their discussion further.

TO2 8875Finally, in partnership with the Levine Museum of the New South, the film 9/4/57 was shown featuring a interview by WBTV reporter Steve Crump who interviewed Dorothy Counts-Scoggins regarding her experiences as the first African American student to integrate Harding High School in Charlotte. The interview was followed by a spirited Q&A session from the audience.

If you or someone you know would like to join the Champions, send us an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will add you to our meeting distribution list.



Rich RoblesIn a city where the Latino population is growing by the day, one man's story shows how the help of just a few people can change families for generations


Rich Robles came to the U.S. as a teenager, escaping an abusive family. Now he works at Novant Health and helps with multiple nonprofit organizations in Charlotte.

CLICK HERE to read his essay on his family, his journey and what he's doing to improve himself and the lives of others.

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Employment Opportunities

SAFE ALLIANCE - Senior Finance and Strategy Officer at Children Family Services Center

Wharton Receives Charlotte Hornets Community Leader Award

Nicholas Wharton Hornets AwardOn February 25th, Nicholas Wharton - WIE Board Member, WIE Champions Co-Chair and President and Chief Executive Officer of the Charlotte Area Fund - was honored by the Charlotte Hornets with its "Community Service Award".

Listen to an interview with Nick by clicking on the PLAY button below. 

Champions' Partners

The Color of Law Charlotte organizing group is taking a new approach to our Community Discussion events. Our intent is to help the community better understand the Affordable Housing Crisis and how our historical laws/policies have created this situation.

Heal Charlotte —We are an organization here to serve the community, to build trust and a legitimate bond between the community, its laborers, and officials. We are here to serve and create an open dialogue between the citizens, police and elected officials of our community.