Gene Johnson headshot

Gene Johnson

Chairman, United Communications Holdings
Award Winner


Eugene “Gene” B. Johnson, retired chief executive officer of FairPoint Communications, co-founded the company and served as a director from 1991 to 2009. Currently, he is chairman of United Communications Holdings. Prior to FairPoint, he was president and sole shareholder of JC&A, Inc., an investment banking and brokerage firm providing services to cable television, telephone and related industries. Mr. Johnson started his career as a certified public accountant with Haskins and Sells, a predecessor of Deloitte & Touche. A member of the U.S. Army, he achieved the rank of captain before his discharge in 1971.

A UNC Charlotte graduate, Gene has the distinction of being the first alumnus to serve as chair of the University’s Board of Trustees. He also chaired UNC Charlotte’s Foundation Board, the Football Capital Campaign, the Marching Band Fundraising Committee, and is a former member of the UNC Charlotte Investment Fund Board and the Belk College of Business Advisory Council. He served three terms as president of the UNC Charlotte Athletic Foundation and was an active leader in and former president of the UNC Charlotte Alumni Association. Gene currently chairs UNC Charlotte’s $200 million capital campaign, EXPONENTIAL: The Campaign for UNC Charlotte, the largest campaign in the University’s history.

Within the greater Charlotte community, Gene has served on numerous charitable and civic boards and is an Elder in the Presbyterian Church (USA). He has donated his time and financial support to organizations such as the YMCA of Greater Charlotte, Levine Museum of the New South, Teach for America, Hospice and Palliative Care, Communities in Schools, and the Uptown Shelter. In recognition of his professional accomplishments and exemplary service to UNC Charlotte and the community, Gene was inducted into the Alumni Hall of Fame in 1997, presented with the University’s highest alumni award, the Bonnie E. Cone Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000, received an honorary doctoral degree in 2014, and was honored with The Order of the Long Leaf Pine in 2016, North Carolina’s highest honor bestowed on a North Carolina citizen by the governor.