John Skvarla Obituary | On July 19, 2022, John Skvarla died. After serving as Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Commerce for two years, he joined Nexsen Pruet as a shareholder and director. Prior to that, he served as the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality’s Secretary for two years.
John had a successful commercial career prior to joining the North Carolina State Government. As a leader in the field of environmental mitigation.
waste management and recycling, one of the largest physical therapy practises in the Southeast United States, and the world’s largest all-cargo airline, he had a diverse portfolio that included all of these entities.
While he was born in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, John Edward Skvarla III grew up in Tuxedo Park, New York. He graduated from Manhattan College with a B.A. in economics before moving to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, to attend the University of North Carolina School of Law.
In 1973, he graduated from there with a J.D. When Skvarla created the Raleigh law firm Skvarla, Wyrick, Robbins in 1978, the senior partner and a renowned specialist on the legal aspects of public and private capital formation, he built a formidable reputation.
When he was in charge of The Aviation Group, Inc., the world’s largest all-cargo airline, Skvarla made a name for himself in the corporate world. He rose to the position of CEO of ProActive Therapy, a position he vacated after the company was acquired by NovaCare.
On the adjunct faculty at Meredith College and North Carolina State University, he taught corporate law courses.
In the 1970s, he created the Raleigh-based Wyrick Robbins Yates & Ponton law firm and served as its senior partner. At the time, he specialised in corporate and tax law, as well as the raising of public and private money.
At Nexsen Pruet, where he most recently served as a senior government relations advisor, he had previously worked as a “environmental mitigation firm.
a manufacturer of waste management and recycling systems, a one of the largest physical therapy providers in the Southeastern United States, as well as the world’s largest all-cargo airline,” according to a statement released Tuesday.
Skvarla oversaw the state’s response to a coal ash spill in the Dan River near Greensboro in 2014, as the state’s chief environmental regulator. Duke Energy was fined $6.6 million two years after a containment pond failed, spilling 39,000 tonnes of coal ash into the Eden River.
McCrory said of McCrory’s leadership style, “He walked right into a situation and responded with a tremendous level of urgency.
In 2015, Skvarla was appointed McCrory’s secretary of commerce and presided over the state’s economy while it was hit by the passage of House Bill 2.
a close friend said Skvarla died in hospice care in Pinehurst, where he had been since he was stricken with cancer earlier in the year.
When Skvarla was secretary of McCrory’s Department of Environmental Quality (now renamed the Environmental Quality Agency), he was a former senior executive at multiple firms. He became the Republican governor’s secretary of trade in early 2015.
In February 2014, a coal ash leak at a Duke Energy plant marked the end of his presidency. There were doubts made regarding the state’s jurisdiction over the utility’s other coal ash disposal facilities after this catastrophe. As a result of the leak, state officials finally prioritised the remediation of these sites.
Skvarla played a key role in recruiting businesses and jobs to the state while serving as secretary of commerce. The “bathroom bill,” which McCrory signed and the legislators adopted in 2016, also left its mark on him.
Bill 2, also known as House Bill 2, cost the state of Washington tens of millions of dollars in income lost due to postponed athletic events and job creation.
After working as a consultant at Nexsen Pruett, Skvarla was hired as an attorney in 2017. Reports say he recently donated to an effort to bring Toyota to North Carolina and create a battery manufacturing factory. Tweeted McCrory: “North Carolina has lost a public servant, a friend, and a mentor to so many.”
Skvarla prioritised making the agency a more customer service-friendly business, in part by enhancing interactions between personnel and those seeking permits.
Public schools and government buildings were obliged by McCrory’s 2016 bill to have people use the restroom of the gender assigned to them at birth. Several organisations in the state had to postpone or cancel significant events or expansions as a result.
McCrory credited Skvarla with paving the way for North Carolina to become the top state in the country for businesses to locate.
McCrory described him as “always professional.” “He was never one to resort to epithets. In his work, he was completely apolitical. Better than everyone else in the state, he was a salesman.
The Nexsen Pruet business hired Skvarla after his term in state government, and he worked on corporate law and economic development deals there.
McCrory said he remembers Skvarla’s suggestion that some of his department’s divisions should be transferred to the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources early in his administration.
As the former secretary recalled, he readily “gave up power for what is the right thing to do,” including giving up office space and dealing with others in an unselfish manner.
As for Skvarla’s golfing prowess, McCrory says he’ll always remember their recent talk.McCrory claimed he was “privileged” to have spoken to McCrory just two weeks ago. “I just told him that I adore him and that he made a wonderful impact on our state,” he said. He was an excellent role model for everyone.
While at the Commerce Department, John Skvarla helped us further our purpose to increase economic well-being and quality of life for all North Carolinians, and we salute his public service to the state.
I applaud his efforts to expand economic prospects in rural areas around the state, work that is still ongoing but is very vital to the state.
A statement from Commerce Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders said, “We express our deepest condolences at this difficult time to his family and friends in North Carolina.
It is difficult to find the right words to explain how deeply we are saddened by your loss, as we join you and your loved ones in this time of sorrow. Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. Please accept our sincere condolences on your loss.