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Easley pick to lead Golden LEAF

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ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. – After holding up the search process earlier this summer, Gov. Mike Easley likely will succeed in having his budget adviser, Dan Gerlach, placed in charge of the Golden LEAF Foundation, The News & Observer reported Sept. 5.

The personnel committee of the foundation’s board has been charged with making an offer to Gerlach, who will start in October if plans go as expected.

Gerlach replaces Valeria Lee, the first president of the $700 million foundation, which was created in 1999 to distribute a portion of the money North Carolina receives from a legal settlement with tobacco companies.

The goal of the funder is to revitalize the economies of the state’s struggling communities.

Golden LEAF received more than 300 applications for Lee’s job and narrowed the list to a “handful” when Easley and Marc Basnight, the state Senate majority leader, asked that the process be put on hold so the search committee could consider Gerlach.

Gerlach joined the Easley administration in 2001. He previously worked for the N.C. Budget and Tax Center, a group that advocates for working families, and served as a budget analyst for New York’s state legislature.

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