Alumnus, CEO Chris Peek: ‘Enjoy Your Journey’

Thursday, March 18, 2021
CaroMont Health leader joins Belk College's CEO Speaker Series.

Belk College of Business alumnus Chris Peek ‘93, president and chief executive officer of CaroMont Health, said by finding your passion, the opportunities will open.

“If you keep your values, your priorities, your passions, all of those things in order, you’ll get the change and the opportunity you want to see, and that you aspire for today,” Peek said. 

Peek was the guest speaker for the Spring 2021 CEO Speaker Series on Thursday, March 11.

During the speaker series, a virtual conversation between Peek and Belk College Dean Jennifer Troyer, Peek also spoke about the challenges the health system has faced during the COVID-19 pandemic and the importance of preparation and opening the lines of communication within the organization.

“Quite candidly, I’m not sure anyone anticipated exactly what it ended up being,” Peek said. “The key was starting to open very effective lines of communication within the organization about what was happening. … With regard to the response, that has been an ongoing challenge, as it has taken numerous twists and turns.”

During the conversation, he shared his journey from Belk College student to CEO of a regional healthcare system based in Gastonia, urging students to “enjoy your journey.” 

“I wish I had known to look past just the technical part of the work that I’m having to deliver and really learn from the interpersonal dynamics and the emotional intelligence skills that I was learning,” Peek said. “I wish I would have known to be a bit more conscious of that.”

Peek has led Gastonia-based CaroMont since 2017. In this role, Peek leads a regional healthcare system comprised of CaroMont Regional Medical Center, a 435-bed acute care hospital; CaroMont Medical Group, a network of more than 55 primary and specialty care physician offices; Courtland Terrace, a 96-bed skilled nursing facility; and Gaston Hospice.

Prior to joining CaroMont Health, Peek was the Deputy County Manager for Mecklenburg County, overseeing a $1.6 billion annual budget and operations of 5,500 employees. 

A 30-year resident of Gaston County, Peek earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the Belk College. He also holds an MBA from Amberton University.

CEO Speaker Series, in its sixth year, features alumni and friends of the college who are in leadership positions who interact with undergraduate and graduate students. Previous speakers include Kelly King, president and CEO of Truist, and Susan Devore ‘82, CEO of Premier.

The series is presented by the Belk College External Relations Team and the Niblock Student Center. The event was part of the yearlong celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Belk College of Business.

Above: Chris Peek receives his diploma during UNC Charlotte's 1993 commencement (photo contributed).