Tech Entrepreneur Ethan Wingfield, LI Graduate of the Week, Enters NC Congressional Race

February 27, 2012 | By Lauren Hart

Native North Carolinian Ethan Wingfield is now running to represent his stomping grounds in Congress.

Ethan’s background of growing his small business and later, advising the CEO of a Fortune 500 company—Capital One—has prepared Ethan for running a campaign.

“Building a campaign is a bit like starting a business, so I have been drawing on my experience as a tech entrepreneur in getting the campaign off of the ground,” Ethan said.  “Like starting a business, I have to recruit a team, develop a strategy, and raise the funds to power our campaign through the election.”

“The Leadership Institute was very helpful in teaching me how to approach a campaign in a structured fashion,” Ethan said.  “We've developed a concrete plan for how we will reach out to voters, cultivate support, and turn that support into votes on Election Day.  LI helped demystify the whole process and flattened the campaign learning curve for me quite a bit."

Ethan, originally from Buncombe County, is running for Congress in North Carolina’s 11th district.  A self-described “Christian businessman,” Ethan helped create thousands of jobs through his work as a successful tech entrepreneur at Elan Design + Development and strategy executive at Capital One.
 

Growing a small business has its challenges: making payroll, meeting government regulations, serving clients, and creating new products and services that fill a gap in the marketplace.  Despite these, his company Elan Design + Development grew and was later bought by Fuzz Productions, a NYC-based web development firm in April 2007.

Ethan then took a job with Capital One, one of America’s leading financial services firms, where he rose to become a senior strategy consultant, advising the CEO.  In this position, Ethan worked with senior leadership to help the bank be more focused on the needs of hardworking Americans while driving the company’s growth to create thousands of jobs during this tough economic season.

Homeschooled with his five siblings in Weaverville, North Carolina, Ethan earned his Eagle Scout badge before attending Asheville-Buncombe Technical College for two years.  He was then admitted to Brown University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in ethics and political philosophy.  

At Brown, Ethan was president of the 200-member Christian fellowship group and was state chairman of the Rhode Island College Republicans.  Since, Ethan has assisted many conservatives running for offices ranging from city council to U.S. Senate.

Now, he’s running himself—and putting to practice what he’s learned in other campaigns and at LI.

Ethan took LI’s Grassroots Activist School in August 2011.  LI also offers a
Future Candidate School and a Campaign Management School, both full-week trainings.

“Campaigns are complex organizations that operate under a tremendous amount of pressure. There is a lot to accomplish in a very limited amount of time, so knowing how to focus your limited resources of time and money is critical to a winning campaign,” Ethan said. 

“LI's training will teach you," Ethan said, "how to focus your limited time and resources in the most effective way, which can mean the difference between winning and losing.”

Sign up today to get trained on how to win.

The Leadership Institute is a non-partisan 501 (c) 3 nonprofit. The Institute does not endorse or oppose any candidates or legislation, and all programs are open to the public.

To nominate a Leadership Institute graduate to be featured as LI's graduate of the week, please contact LI's External Affairs Officer Lauren Hart at LaurenHart@LeadershipInstitute.org.