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2016 Persons of the Year

Russ and Cara McLauchlan have been named the 2016 Persons of the Year by the Poole College of Management at North Carolina State University.

Poole College established the award in 2008 to recognize individuals for their leadership and service to their professions, their communities, Poole College and the university as a whole. Nominations for the annual award are submitted by members of the Poole College community and the recipient is selected by a committee comprised of senior staff and faculty in the college.

“This year, we had several very strong nominations for this award, but two individuals – Russ and Cara McLauchlan – rose to the top because of their individual and shared focus on personal and professional leadership and service, and their commitment to sharing that passion with students in Poole College in a very tangible way through the McLauchlan Leadership Series,” said Ira R. Weiss, dean and Stephen P. Zelnak Jr., Chair at the NC State Poole College of Management.

In 2015, Russ and Cara McLauchlan established the McLauchlan Leadership Series, providing a select group of Jenkins MBA students intensive experiential learning that complements the MBA program’s curriculum. The first 22 McLauchlan Fellows were announced in October 2015 and completed the series in April 2016.

This is the latest example of the McLauchlan’s involvement in the Poole College that goes back for a number of years. Russ serves on the Poole College of Management Advisory Board, has mentored and hired many Poole students over the years, served as a Poole College Leadership and Innovation Showcase judge and provided feedback on student business plan pitches in MBA and undergraduate entrepreneurship classes.

Russ and Cara have also been consistent generous philanthropists to the college over the past several years. In addition to their significant investment that launched the McLauchlan Leadership Series, they have supported the Board of Advisors Professorship and the Poole College 21st Century Fund.

Involvement with NC State’s Poole College reflects Russ McLauchlan’s personal view as founder, former CEO and now executive chairman of Calvert Holdings, where he sees himself as “a cultivator, evolving and refining business ventures and the talents of those around him. This has been the foundation of Calvert Holdings, of my professional life before I founded Calvert Holdings, and of the companies that have evolved within Calvert Holdings,” he said.

Calvert Holdings, an independent contract services company for the life sciences industry and beyond, was created with a focus on individual relationships. Now, the Calvert companies include Calvert Labs, which evolved out of one of the first contract research organizations in the pharmaceutical industry; Calvert Research, a strategic advisory and equity investment firm that helps bridge the funding gap between early stage technologies and clinical-stage development; and Crescent Green Management Advisors, which provides strategic management services that help startups get off the ground or to move forward.

Before launching Calvert Holdings, McLauchlan held leadership roles with pharmaceutical operations in the United States and a U.S.-based multinational corporation, as well as multiple business units of a global chemical company in the United Kingdom.

Cara McLauchlan is a purpose-driven community citizen, working to support the success of young people throughout the region. She began her career as a consultant in corporate public relations working with companies like Starbucks, Sprint and McDonald’s Corporation.

More recently, she has focused her writing on inspirational non-fiction essays and magazine stories and developing books that capture the best of life. Her essays have been published in the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series and she has a self-published book, “The Portable Red Hot Momma.”

She blogs on a variety of topics, including home schooling and community service, documenting her work with Help One Now, a Raleigh-based nonprofit that works around the world to empower local leaders. The organization aims at improving the lives of orphans, vulnerable children and struggling families in global communities.

Cara McLauchlan also is director of The Back Yard Foundation, a charitable foundation designed to support and build up families, with a priority being to support educational scholarships, select non-profit organizations and health/wellness-related giving.

“With the help and direction of both Russ and Cara, we built the McLauchlan Leadership Series focusing on three pillars: personal leadership, team leadership and organizational leadership. Russ and Cara are exemplars of all three,” Weiss said.