Gardner Payne is a Vice President in the State Government Relations Department. Gardner has worked in the governmental and public affairs arena for the past 12 years, beginning his career in the public information office of the North Carolina Department of Transportation. Gardner continued gaining valuable political and communication experience as he transitioned to Assistant Press Secretary for former North Carolina Governor Jim Hunt. He later moved to Governor Huntís legislative office where he worked on numerous high profile initiatives before the North Carolina General Assembly.
After leaving the public sector, Gardner has served as an attorney and lobbyist for the past six years. During that time, he has represented numerous Fortune 500 companies as well as national nonprofit and trade associations before all branches of North Carolina state government, the North Carolina University Board of Governors and the North Carolina Community College System. He has also represented organizations before local and state governments in South Carolina, Virginia and Alabama. In addition to his lobbying activities, Gardner also specializes in state procurement representation and representing clients during administrative hearings before state agencies and boards and commissions.
Gardner earned a B.A. degree in public relations/communications from North Carolina State University and a juris doctor from the Campbell University School of Law.
Gardner has been involved in North Carolina politics for 14 years during which time he has assisted in fundraising and strategic consulting for numerous judicial, legislative and statewide races.
North Carolina State University, B.A., Communications, 1994
Campbell University School of Law, J.D., 2001
North Carolina State Bar
Tenth District Judicial Bar
North Carolina Young Lobbyist Association
Institute of Political Leadership, Fellow
Jim Valvano Kids Klassic, Board of Directors
SuperKids Foundation, Board of Directors
North Carolina Big Sweep, Former Board Member
General Counsel/VP Business Development, Agri-Ethanol Products, LLC, 2006 - 2007
Finance Director, Bev Perdue Committee, 2003-2005
Lobbyist/Attorney, Edmisten and Webb, 2003 - 2006
Vice President Strategic Communications, McGuireWoods Consulting 2001 - 2003
Legislative Assistant, Office of Governor Jim Hunt, 1999 - 2000
Assistant Press Secretary, Office of Governor Jim Hunt, 1996 - 1998
Public Information Officer, North Carolina Department of Transportation, 1995 - 1996
United Way of Davidson County, Communication Director, 1994
Economic and Infrastructure Development
Executive and Legislative Assistance
Government Contracts & State/Local Procurement
Local Government Relations
Strategic Communications & Grassroots
State Government Relations
Information Technology & Telecom
Land Use & Environmental