About W. Louis Bissette, Jr.
Louis Bissette possesses broad experience in many areas of business and real-estate development, as well as mergers, acquisitions and wealth creation. In 2011, he achieved certification as a North Carolina Dispute Resolution Commission (NCDRC) Certified Superior Court Mediator. His client list has included some of the region's biggest players, including Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa, Progress Energy, Target Corporation, Western Carolina Industries, Colton Groome & Company, Pulliam Properties, FIRC Group, and Home Depot. In 2011, he achieved certification as a North Carolina Dispute Resolution Commission (NCDRC) Certified Superior Court Mediator.Lou provided legal and political advice and implementation for the Grove Park Inn as the resort sought approval of a 10-year, $200 million master development plan that also focused on downtown development opportunities. The plan faced political and community obstacles, but the result included city council approval of the master plan and a finalized downtown development agreement.He served as general counsel for St. Josephs Hospital for 10 years prior to the $100 million merger of the organization with Memorial Mission Hospital, assisting in all phases of the merger including negotiations and preparation of documents, as well as tackling antitrust issues. He served on the Board of St. Josephs Hospital, Mission Health System and Transylvania Community Hospital and currently represents Sisters of Mercy Services Corporation.Lou’s extensive community service includes a term as mayor of the City of Asheville from 1985-1989. He served as the President and Chairman of the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce, Chairman of the I-26 Corridor Association, the N.C. Arboretum Society and the Grove Arcade Public Market Foundation, and as Vice Chairman of the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation. He is a member of the UNC Board of Governors and the Wake Forest University Board of Trustees, and is a past member of the Western Carolina University Board of Trustees. Lou serves as Chairman of Forest Commercial Bank and Western Carolina Industries, Inc., and served as Vice Chairman for Sisters of Mercy Services Corporation. He is a Member of the Board of Directors of the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce and the Asheville Buncombe Economic Development Coalition.Lou's numerous accolades include the J.D. Cooley Award from the Western North Carolina Community Development Association, the Citizenship Award from the Land of Sky Regional Council, the Big A and Chairman's award and the Excellence in Public Service Award (2011) from the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce, the Centennial Award from the North Carolina Bar Association and the Citizen Lawyer Award. Lou is a recipient of Asheville’s 2013 Downtown Heroes Award, given in recognition of his efforts dedicated to the revitalization of downtown Asheville, and the improvement of the downtown area for businesses, residents and tourists.