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The History of
North Carolina Executive Roundtable (NCER)

"The young business and professional men [people] of this country must get together round the table, adopt methods that have proved so sound in the past, adapt them to the changing needs of the times and wherever possible, improve them."

HRH Prince Edward, Prince of Wales to the British Industries Fair, 1927

Why "Round Table"

Round Table
tends to conjure up images of King Arthur's legendary 13th century Knights of the Round Table, Camelot, Sir Lancelot and Queen Guinevere, but that is not where we borrowed the name.

The notion of a
Business Round Table is much more recent. It first emerged in Norwich, England in 1927. A young member of the Norwich Rotary Club proposed the establishment of a club where younger businessmen [people] would exchange ideas, learn from the experiences of colleagues, and together contribute to the broader community. It was a non-political, non-religious, non-sectarian association promoting regular fellowship among professionals and business [people] over meals, social gatherings, and various other activities. This movement rapidly took hold throughout Europe and, indeed, worldwide. Today, in England alone there are more than 600 local Round Tables with more than 4,000 combined membership.

The Founding Members of the North Carolina Executive Roundtable
(NCER) chose the word Roundtable quite independent of any other organization(s) and very deliberately because we believe it best defines and describes who we are, why we exist, and how we conduct ourselves as professionals and business men and women. To us, Roundtable expresses and reinforces our purpose for openly sharing and discussing ideas, considering multiple approaches and opinions, embracing and encouraging different points of view, learning from subject matter experts, exploring issues and concepts beyond our own areas of experience, and offering advice and counsel that may help others overcome challenges to achieve Amazing Things.

Round Table Rondel


“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.”  
                                                                                        -- Albert Schweitzer

“I want to thank this group for the re-kindled spark in my life and special thanks to Paul Goodson for keeping the group focused on the goal."
                                                                               --James "Jim" Chambers

In 2009, a small group of senior-level executives began meeting informally to discuss business issues and events affecting the Research Triangle business community in particular. Several of the early participants met through various networking groups that had emerged following the "Great Recession  of 2008," but those groups weren't generally oriented toward executive-level people. However, those executives who were there usually found one another and started meeting informally in coffee shops. They were soon joined by other executives who learned of the group by word-of-mouth. This included executives who had recently relocated to North Carolina and desired a C-level business group in order to develop business and professional relationships.

While early meetings were typically eight to ten people, they soon grew to 12-15 and it became clear that we needed  more space, a regular place to meet, as well as a more formal organizational structure, and that this group had the potential to be something much more than anyone had originally envisioned. 

In 2010 we decided to explore the possibility of creating a true "executive-level collaborative group", a nonprofit group built upon sharing, learning together, helping one another, and serving the broader community.

With that in mind, we began conducting "organizational meetings". The group met for 2-3 hours at a time as we defined and pounded out the kind of entity we wanted to be, what we wanted to achieve, and how we would be different than other groups. This was the origin of what would ultimately become North Carolina Executive Roundtable (NCER). 

April 18, 2011 at 8:59 PM       

"Thought you would be interested to know that North Carolina Executive Roundtable is no longer a dream. We are legally organized as a nonprofit corporation in North Carolina. The NC Secretary of State advised that our Articles of Incorporation were filed today and I was able to get the EIN number processed online this evening. Copies of associated documents are attached. We will be taking the next steps in our organizational journey on April 29; that is, we will be determining the Founding Members, seating the initial board of directors, electing officers, and adopting bylaws. More news to come."   -- Paul B. Goodson, P.E., CAE

April 29, 2011 at 9:45 AM - North Carolina Executive Roundtable “Officially” Established 

            09:45 AM - Founders Members Adjourned the final “organizational” meeting and convened the first NCER Board of Directors Meeting
            09:55 AM - Elected our initial Officers: President - Paul Goodson; President Elect - Larry Lytle; Secretary - Bill Gascoigne; Treasurer - James Esterlin
           10:15 AM - Adopted Bylaws

   11:30 AM -  Adjourned

July 8, 2011    First NCER Luncheon was held at the Ramada Inn, 1520 Blue Ridge Drive, Raleigh, NC
                                    Speaker:      Mr. Bill Warner, Co-founder and Executive Director of EntreDot
                                    Topic:         "The Need Entrepreneurs have for Assistance from Seasoned Business Professionals"
                                    Attendees:  James Esterlin, Paul Goodson, Henry Dietz, Charles Seeman, Doug Johnson, Bill Snell, RC Teal, Jim Chambers, Larry Lytle
                                    Guests:       Mike McGrail, Tim McGuiness, Henry White, Bernie Brown

Sept. 9, 2011   First Luncheon held at Prestonwood Country Club. The move to Prestonwood was arranged through Bill Snell, who was a member there. 

Dec. 6, 2011    First Holiday Dinner - Prestonwood Country Club. Carols led by Larry Lytle.

Since its Founding in 2011, North Carolina Executive Roundtable has remained committed to its principals, Mission, and Core Values. Its membership has continued to grow, becoming increasingly stronger and more diverse and attracting senior-level executives recognized as leaders in their professional disciplines and industry sectors.

NCER has earned the reputation as the Premiere Executive Membership organization in the region. Our programs feature distinguished leaders from business and industry, state and federal government, the law, military, the arts, athletics, and highly sought after authors and speakers. Our members and guests always leave an NCER event with greater knowledge, fresher perspectives, deeper insights, and outstanding information they can apply to their businesses and personal lives.

The legacy of the Founding Members is a vibrant, thriving community of professionals that continuously inspires and encourages everyone it touches to achieve Amazing Things!   

First Board Meeting as NCER – Founding Members (L to R) Bill Snell, Steve Drago, Ted Bachman, Carson Longo, Cliff Kaufman, RC Teal, Charles Seeman, Ceferino Gonzalez, Larry Lytle, James Easterlin, [*Doug Johnson], James Chambers, [*Perry Crutchfield], Paul Goodson. Missing from this photo are Victor Font and Bill Gascoigne.       [*Doug Johnson and Perry Crutchfield participated in forming NCER, but did not join as Founding Members.]