Killian Berry was sworn in as North Carolina's
first female labor commissioner on Jan.
a native of Catawba County,
is the former business owner
of LGM, Ltd., a company that
produces spark plug wires for
the automotive industry.
safety is Berry's top priority.
"I want to make North Carolina's
work climate as safe as possible,"
Berry said. "There is a world
of potential for this agency
and for businesses across North
Carolina. I am eager to see
what we can accomplish."
also believes the department
and its 450 employees should
strive for a "value-added" approach
to government while serving
North Carolina taxpayers.
"We want businesses and workers
across the state to benefit from our presence," she said.
In 2005, the N.C. Manufacturer's Association awarded Berry the Chairman's
Award for her outstanding contributions and dedicated service to the
business community and citizens of North Carolina. Berry also was named
the 2004 State Official of the Year by the National Home Builders Association.
The award recognizes her strong commitment to safety and health in
the home building industry. In 2003, Berry received the "Build
with the Best" Pinnacle Award from the Carolinas Associated General
Contractors for her contributions to the betterment of the construction
industry and to the economic welfare of North Carolina.
served in the N.C. House of
Representatives from 1993 to
2000, representing the state's
45th district. The district
encompasses portions of Catawba,
Gaston, and Lincoln counties.
During her tenure in the House,
Berry served as chair of the
Welfare Reform Committee and
co-chair of the Commerce Committee.
She also served as a member
of several other committees,
including Pensions and Retirement,
Campaign Finance and Election
Laws and Mental Health. Subcommittee
work included Capitol Budget
and Cultural Resources.
In 1997, Commissioner Berry received
the "Friend of Working People" award from the N.C. AFL-CIO.
She also received the National Federation of Independent Business "Guardian
of Small Business Award" in 1998.
Berry has also served on several
state boards and commissions.
They include N.C. Economic Development
Board; chair of the State Welfare
Reform Study Commission; the
Blue Ribbon Task Force on the
issue of potential impact of
federal block grant funding
and other federal actions on
Medicaid in North Carolina;
Mental Health Study Commission,
Advisory Committee on Family-Centered
Services; and Joint Legislative
Study Commission on Job Training
Berry was born in Newton. She
is the daughter of Lena Carrigan
Killian and the late Earl Killian.
Berry is married to Norman H.
Berry Jr. The couple has four
The N.C. Department of Labor is
charged by statute with promoting the "health, safety, and general well-being"
of more than four million workers across the state. The laws and programs
it administers affect every worker and virtually every person
in the state.
Constitution of North Carolina
provides for the election of
a commissioner of labor every
four years. The commissioner
is head of the Department of
Labor and also serves as a member
of the Council of State. North
Carolina law gives the commissioner
broad regulatory authority and
enforcement powers to carry
out the department's duties
to the people.