November 9, 2015
President Emeritus Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce
Harvey Schmitt, president emeritus of the Greater Raleigh Chamber, has been a tireless advocate for improving the community’s economy and quality of life. His fingerprints can be found on almost every major community initiative over the past 20 years.
Before retiring from the Chamber in June, Schmitt spent 21 years as president and CEO of the Greater Raleigh Chamber and 43 years as a chamber professional.
During his tenure, the Raleigh Chamber played a role in building the market by:
- Building the PNC Arena and attracting the NHL Carolina Hurricanes to the market
- Establishing and funding five consecutive five-year strategic economic and community development programs. These initiatives have generated billions of dollars in economic growth.
- Creating the Downtown Raleigh Alliance, the catalyst for much of downtown’s renaissance
- Recruiting Red Hat and RBC (now PNC) to downtown Raleigh
- Building the Raleigh Convention Center
- Creating the Regional Transportation Alliance to advocate for transportation investments to coincide with the market’s growth.
- Constructing the Triangle Expressway, the first modern toll road in North Carolina and the largest road construction project in the state’s history
- Passing over $3 billion of school construction bonds, including major bond campaigns in 2006 and 2013
Prior to his role in Raleigh, Schmitt was president of the Greater Tampa (FL) and the Greater Greenville (SC) Chambers, general manager of the Jacksonville (FL) Chamber, and executive vice president of the Dubuque (IA) Chamber. Schmitt has served on a number of professional and civic boards, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Committee of 100, the North Carolina Chamber of Commerce, the Research Triangle Regional Partnership, St. Augustine’s University, Kids and Community Foundation, Chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce Executives and many more. Some of Schmitt’s recent awards include The Order of the Long Leaf Pine from the State of North Carolina (2015); Vernon Malone Friend of Education Award from the Wake Education Partnership (2015); Lifetime Achievement Award from the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau (2015); Triangle Commercial Association of Realtors Community Foundation Award (2015); Lifetime Legacy Award from the Occoneechee Council Boy Scouts of America (2015); Impact Award from the Triangle chapter of Commercial Real Estate Women (2015); Distinguished Leadership Award from the Downtown Raleigh Alliance (2014). William Peace University awarded Schmitt an honorary doctorate of business in 2012, and a scholarship was endowed in his honor Saint Augustine’s University in 2015.