Hooper Hardison named new CEO of Charlotte Pipe and Foundry

Republican vice presidential candidate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, second from left, gets a tour at a Charlotte Pipe and Foundry Company plant in Charlotte, N.C., Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

ALBEMARLE — On Dec. 15, Charlotte Pipe and Foundry’s board of directors elected Hooper Hardison, the current president of the company, as the new chief executive officer.

“I am extremely proud to be part of an organization that values hard work, cares about its associates, and gives back to the communities in which we live and work,” Hardison said in a company press release.

Hardison received a Bachelor of Arts in History from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1983. He then went on to earn a Master of Business Administration from University of Virginia’s Darden Graduate School of Business Administration in 1988.

That same year, in 1988, Hardison returned home to North Carolina and started working at Charlotte Pipe and Foundry, where he has worked ever since. During this time, Hardison has worked in “a variety of sales and management positions.”

Eventually, in 2012, Hardison rose to the position of president of the company, which he has held ever since.

“It has been an honor to be a part of this great company, and I am excited about our future,” Hardison said.

Hardison will succeed Roddey Dowd Jr., who has held the position for nine years. Roddey Dowd Jr. succeeded Frank Dowd IV as CEO of the family company in 2012. He will continue with the company now as vice chairman.

Frank Dowd IV will continue in his role of chairman of the board. Also, the company announced that fifth-generation family members Roddey Dowd III and Jenner Wood were elected as vice presidents, as was Joseph Pantone.

In May of 2021, Charlotte Pipe and Foundry, “the nation’s leading maker of cast iron and plastic pipe and fittings for plumbing applications,” announced they were moving their headquarters from Charlotte to Oakboro and began work on a massive manufacturing plant.

The Department of Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey and his chief fire marshal, along with local officials, attended a tour of the site, now under construction, in October. SCJ was also present for the tour as the officials voiced their approval of and excitement over Charlotte Pipe’s plans for the 450-acre property located off of Silver Road.

“This is a big deal, and it will put Oakboro on the map,” Causey told SCJ. “I am very impressed with the size and scope of this. Usually when you pour concrete in a textile finishing plant, you might have footings that are three feet deep, but these might be 25-feet deep.”

Former CEO, now vice chairman of the board, Roddey Dowd Jr was also present and said, “This is one of the biggest plants in the United States — a $425 million plant with 530 high-paying jobs. This is the largest project built in North Carolina in probably 30 years.”