Former NHRMC President Named To Endowment Board

By Audrey Elsberry, posted Jun 3, 2024
Jack Barto/file photo
New Hanover Community Endowment officials on Monday announced the appointment of Jack Barto, former president and CEO of the New Hanover Regional Medical Center, to its board of directors.
Barto will take the board seat of Michele Holbrook after she resigned from her post, officials announced in a separate release May 23. Holbrook sat on the board since the endowment’s origination in 2020 after more than $1 billion sale of the NHRMC to Novant Health.
The Novant Health Coastal Region board appointed Barto, according to Monday’s announcement. NHCE board chair Bill Cameron said in a statement that Barto stewarded growth during his tenure leading NHRMC and supported several local organizations such as the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce, Wilmington Business Development and the University of North Carolina Wilmington’s Cameron School of Business Advisory Board.
“We know he will be a valuable addition to our board,” Cameron said of Barto in the release. “We look forward to working with Jack to advance the Mission of the Endowment.”
Last week, NHCE officials announced an Affordable Housing Investment Strategy of up to $19 million. The strategy has three key focus areas: stabilization, production and capital. The endowment faced criticism from nonprofit leaders and the public for not funding affordable housing in its second wave of investments announced in December.
Holbrook was not the only board member to resign this year. In March, Patricia Kusek resigned from the NHCE endowment board after less than six months in her seat. A former member and vice chair of New Hanover County’s Board of Commissioners, Kusek helped steward the sale of NHRMC to Novant.
In a February announcement that seemingly kicked off the endowment’s leadership shake-up, the entity’s president and CEO William Buster resigned. NHCE officials have since announced the selection of a firm to guide the search for a new president and CEO.
North Carolina firm moss+ross will help steer the process. NHCE board vice chair Shannon Winslow will also lead the search committee. The search process is currently underway, according to NHCE communications director Kevin Maurer. 
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