Native son

Record Number: 

Ellis, Marion A. “Native son.” Our State: Down Home in North Carolina 68.6 (November 2000): 60-62.


This article is a well written, brief but detailed overview of the accomplishments of Dennis Lowery, a highly successful Lumbee businessman in Charlotte, North Carolina. Lowery, a graduate of Pembroke State College, moved to Charlotte and quickly became a sales manager for an industrial chemical company. Convinced of the importance of the chemical business and the centrality of Charlotte to a number of businesses in the Carolinas, Lowery and his partner, Bob Elliott, established Industrial Chemicals of Charlotte in 1975; the company's name was later changed to Continental Chemical Group.

His company, by the 1990s, was noted as the nation's largest privately owned Native American business, employing over 200 people and producing over $120 million in sales each year. In 1999, he sold this and other companies he had launched, making a profit of $45 million and choosing to devote his energies to Indian affairs (particularly to motivating young people). He established a large endowment at UNCP to help young people who otherwise would be unable to attend college.

Prior to selling his company, Lowery served as director, and later chairperson, of the Board of Governors (Charlotte office) of the Federal Reserve Bank's Richmond, Virginia, branch. In 1993, the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce named him Entrepreneur of the Year. He has also served as the only non-reservation member of the National Indian Business Association's Board of Directors.

First Appeared in 1994 Book?: 
Publication Type: 
Other Features of Work: 
1 photograph