James Arthur “Art” Pope
Art Pope is chairman of the board and CEO of Variety Wholesalers Inc., which owns and operates a general merchandise retail chain of over 350 stores in 16 eastern states. The chain includes Roses and Maxway stores and has over 7,000 employees.
In 1986, Art Pope co-founded the John William Pope Foundation and currently serves as its chairman. The foundation is a private endeavor supported by the company and the Pope Family that makes annual grants to support public policy, education, and cultural and humanitarian efforts.
From 2013 to 2014, Art Pope served as the state budget director of North Carolina. His prior public service includes a role as Special Counsel to North Carolina Governor Jim Martin in 1985 and election to the North Carolina House of Representatives (1989–1992, 1999–2002). Art Pope is an activist in the Republican Party, having served at every level from precinct chairman to chairman of the N.C. Republican Party State Convention and as a delegate to the Republican National Convention (1992, 1996, 2008, and 2012).
Art Pope’s service has also extended to numerous nonprofit and government boards and commissions, including the Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University, the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, the Americans for Prosperity Foundation, the North Carolina Institute for Constitutional Law, the John William Pope Civitas Institute, the Institute of Political Leadership, the North Carolina FreeEnterprise Foundation, and the Golden LEAF Foundation.
Art Pope is a North Carolina native and a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he received his B.A. with honors in 1978. He received his J.D. from Duke University in 1981. Art is married to Kathy Pope and they reside in Raleigh, North Carolina, and have a blended family of three adult children.