Serving his fourth term in the North Carolina General Assembly, Representative Chuck McGrady is a graduate of Mercer University School of Law in Macon, Georgia. After teaching law at Wayne State University Law School in Michigan and clerking for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati, Representative McGrady spent several years in private practice before being recruited as legal counsel for Contel Corporation, the First Atlanta Corporation, and Alston & Bird, all in Atlanta.
Representative McGrady began working in North Carolina as executive director for the Environmental & Conservation Organization of Henderson County. He has been a member of the Board of Directors for the Henderson County Board of Social Services and was first elected to serve on the Henderson County Board of Commissioners in 2004, where he served until 2010, until he was first elected to the North Carolina House of Representatives. He has also served on the Henderson County Planning Board, Village Council of Flat Rock, The Henderson County Board of Social Services, the Georgia Department of Transportation, the Asheville Airport Authority, and the Green River Community Association.
Representative McGrady has a long and distinguished history of community service and activism on behalf of the environment, youth, and the less fortunate. He has volunteered with Leadership Hendersonville, the Henderson County Chamber of Commerce, Friends of DuPont Forest (Representative McGrady was instrumental in making the DuPont State recreational Forest a reality), the Habitat for Humanity Advisory Board, The Rotary Club of Hendersonville, Four Seasons (which provides end-of-life care and palliative care), and lent his managerial talents to the Board of Directors of the American Camp Association, the Board of Trustees of the John Muir Foundation and the Sierra Club (where he served as its National President), the North Carolina Urban Forest Council, the Mountain Resources Commission, and the Georgia Environmental Advisory Council.
Representative McGrady has also served as chairman of the Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy, the Clean Water Management Trust Fund, the French Broad River Metropolitan Planning Organization, and the Land-of-Sky Regional Council of Governments. In 2012, Representative McGrady was presented with an award given by North Carolina’s 24 land trusts for his work protecting North Carolina’s land and water. In April 2015, Representative McGrady and his wife Jean were honored by the CMLC for their more than two decades of commitment to the area’s conservation efforts. No other member of the General Assembly has more impressive environmental bona fides.
Representative McGrady’s concern for our Western North Carolina’s young people is reflected in his service as the Executive Director of the North Carolina Youth Camp Association (a trade association representing summer camps throughout North Carolina), Director Emeritus of Falling Creek Camp in Tuxedo (a summer camp for boys), Children & Family Resource Center, Henderson County Young Leaders Program, and Muddy Sneakers — an education program for kids that focuses on hands-on learning in natural settings.
In July 2014, Falling Creek Camp dedicated a new gym named in honor of the McGrady Family. Chuck and his wife Jean served as directors and owners of Falling Creek from 1989 to 2005.
In August of 2015, Representative McGrady was honored by the by the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners (NCACC) with their “Friend of the Counties Award.” Representative McGrady “has been a strong advocate for counties since he joined the legislature,” said NCACC President Ronnie Beale. “He helps keep other legislators informed about how legislation could impact counties. He has truly been a Friend of the Counties.”
In September of 2015, the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association (NCSEA) presented Representative McGrady with its annual “Legislator of the Year” Award for his strong defense of clean energy policies that have brought benefit to North Carolina’s businesses, citizens and economy.
This session, Representative McGrady was appointed by Speaker Tim Moore to serve on six committees: Alcoholic Beverage Control (Chairman); Appropriations (Chairman); Environment (Vice Chairman); Ethics (Vice Chairman); Judiciary II (Vice Chairman); and Rules, Calendar, and Operations of the House.
Last session, Representative McGrady was appointed by House Speaker Tim Moore to chair the full Appropriations Committee as well as to serve as Vice-Chairman of both the Judiciary and Environment Committees. He also served on the Agriculture Committee, the Committee on Alcoholic Beverage Control, the Commerce and Job Development Committee, the Education Committee on Universities, the Ethics Committee, and the Transportation Committee.
Representative McGrady served on 11 committees in the House during his second term in the legislature: Agriculture; Education Appropriations (Vice-Chairman); Environment (Vice-Chairman); Ethics; Government; Judiciary (Vice-Chairman); Transportation; the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee; the Environmental Review Commission; the Joint Legislative Transportation Oversight Committee; and the Joint Legislative Workforce Development System Reform Oversight Committee.
Among his other many significant accomplishments, Rep. McGrady was the primary architect of the historic coal ash bill passed into law in 2014. He was the primary sponsor of a number of “beer bills” that became law in his second term which have helped to facilitate North Carolina’s craft beer renaissance.
“I’m still not sure how exactly I’ve become the beer specialist at the General Assembly,” said Representative McGrady.” But I now sense some appreciation by my 26-year old son, Steve, for the work I do.” Cheers to that.
That same month, he also received the inaugural Tourism Champion Award from the N.C. Travel and Tourism Coalition (read more about that here). And in February of 2017, Representative McGrady received the “Legislator of the Year Award” from the North Carolina Travel Industry Association.
Representative McGrady is very well-respected in Raleigh and he has an excellent reputation — not only across the state, but the entire southeast region — for his wide-ranging command of a diverse and complex set of issues. A former House colleague called him “one of the smartest and most capable legislators in the entire General Assembly.”
Representative McGrady authors his own newsletters when the General Assembly is in session, and throughout the year he maintains an interactive and engaging social media presence on Twitter and Facebook. He is a frequent guest on WCQS Public Radio and he’s been interviewed by several national media outlets, including The New York Times and The Washington Post. Be sure to read this excellent piece on Representative McGrady by Derek Lacey at the Hendersonville Times-News.
Representative McGrady’s impressive record and his personal effectiveness in Raleigh representing the people of Henderson County led to him running unopposed in his 2016 bid for re-election. This follows a decisive third term re-election victory in 2014, where he garnered nearly 75% of the vote.
Chuck and his beloved wife Jean have two grown children.
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