Ralph Pitts is a native North Carolinian who attended public school in Newton before graduating from UNC Chapel Hill in 1975. While earning his J.D. cum laude at Harvard Law School, he clerked at King & Spalding, a large Atlanta legal firm, and then continued with them as a successful trial lawyer for nearly two decades. Starting as an Associate and advancing to Partner, he was a Litigation Team Leader and member of the Firm Management Committee.
Ralph returned to Charlotte in 1995 to become General Counsel for Belk Stores, a chain of 300 department stores spanning 16 states with $4B revenues. He began with responsibility for Belk’s legal and tax departments, and later added internal audit, real estate, architecture and store planning, corporate communications, community relations, shareholder services, corporate governance, and board management. He led a challenging merger of 112 separate legal entities into a single corporation in 1998, coordinated three significant acquisitions, and in 2015, led the negotiation and sale of Belk to a private equity firm for $3B.
Ralph has many years of board experience with Central Piedmont Community College (Board of Trustees and Chairman of the Board for ten years); the Boy Scouts of America—Mecklenburg Council (President of a 70-member Board, Council Attorney, CFO, and himself an Eagle Scout); and the Church at Charlotte (two terms as Board Chair). He presently serves on the Boards of the Central Piedmont Community College Foundation, the North Carolina Study Center in Chapel Hill, and as a director and Audit Committee chair of Piedmont Trust Company. He has a strong interest in legal mediation and is certified to mediate in the North Carolina courts.
Ralph and his wife, Lynn, have been married for 39 years and have five adult children (including triplets) and three grandchildren (another on the way in November). Ralph is a big sports fan and enjoys playing tennis and golf.