David Burns of Laurinburg was appointed to the N.C. Board of Transportation by Governor Bev Perdue in Nov. 2009. He represents Division 8, which covers Chatham, Hoke, Lee, Montgomery, Moore, Randolph, Richmond and Scotland counties.
Burns is a biology major graduate of Pfeiffer College in Misenheimer, N.C., and has a master’s degree in Agronomy from Auburn University. He also took part in the Executive Program at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and the Philip Morris Leadership Program at North Carolina State.
Burns began his professional career at McNair Seed Company in Laurinburg, starting in 1961 as a cotton breeder, and also serving as a soybean breeder and manager of production, processing, warehousing and shipping. In 1974 he joined Z.V. Pate, Inc.
as a farm manager. He added the role of vice president, then spent 26 years as chairman of the board, president and CEO, and remains the chairman of the board.
He also served as the vice president and chairman of the board of Scottish Food Systems between 1984-2009; chairman of the board of Swink Quality Oil Company from 1985-2009; chairman of the board of Southeast Farm Equipment Co. between 1991-2009; and chairman of First Bancorp from 2005-2008. He has been the president of Burns’ Farms, Inc. since 1996, and is still a member of the board of directors of First Bank, where he served as chairman from 2001-2004.
Burns was elected a Scotland County Commissioner in 1996, re-elected in 2000, and was the commission chairman from 2001-2004. His other civic organization involvement has included being a member of the Scotland County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, chairman of the Industrial Recruitment Committee, and both president and vice president for county economic development.
He has also been a Rotary Club member for more than 36 years, and spent 20 years on the board of Scotland Memorial Hospital, including a stint as chairman of the board; 24 years on the board of trustees of St. Andrews Presbyterian College, including five years as board chairman; is a past board member and chairman of First Health of the Carolinas; and is a current member and past president of the Boy Scouts of America – Cape Fear Council
Burns has been a member of numerous professional organizations, including the National Cotton Council, the Boll Weevil Eradication Board, the N. C. Cotton Promotion Association, the N.C. Society of Farm Managers & Rural Appraisers, N. C. Extension Advisory Council, and Cotton Council International.
A native of Moore County, Burns is married with two grown children.
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