Governor Cooper Announces New Appointees to Boards and Commissions

Raleigh

Today, Governor Cooper announced new appointments to boards and commissions across North Carolina.

“Our boards and commissions make important decisions that impact people's lives, and I'm grateful that these dedicated North Carolinians are using their expertise to serve our state," Gov. Cooper said.

Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individual to the North Carolina Boxing Commission:

  • Valerie Dorsett of Charlotte as a member at-large and chair. Dorsett is a supervisory attorney at the Transportation Security Administration. She has been judging boxing matches since 1989 and served as vice-president of the International Boxing Federation.

Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individuals to the North Carolina Brain Injury Advisory Council:

  • Marty Foil of Huntersville as a family member of a person with a brain injury. Foil is the executive director of Hinds’ Feet Farm, which provides services to individuals with traumatic and acquired brain injuries. He is a certified brain injury specialist and has spoken before Congress on behalf of those with brain injuries.
  • Carol Ornitz of Raleigh as a family member of a person with a brain injury. Orntiz is a retired occupational therapist. She is a parent and 24 hour caretaker of her son who is a survivor of traumatic brain injury.
  • Pier Protz of Goldsboro as a family member of a person with a brain injury. Protz works at ReNu Life, a residential rehabilitation facility for persons that have survived brain injury. She previously served on the board of directors for the Brain Injury Association of North Carolina.
  • Jordan Slade of Clayton as a survivor of a brain injury. Slade sustained a brain injury and two strokes in a car accident on October 28, 2017. He now runs the WakeMed TBI support group meetings after attending them for two years.

Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individual to the North Carolina Building Code Council:

  • The Honorable Victoria Watlington of Charlotte as a municipal elected official or city manager. Watlington is a licensed professional engineer, general contractor, and certified project management professional. She represents District 3 on the Charlotte city council. She also serves as the vice-chair of Charlotte’s Civil Service Board.

Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individual to the North Carolina Child Well-Being Transformation Council:

  • Dr. Kristi Snuggs of Clayton as a representative from the Department of Health and Human Services’ Division of Child Development and Early Education. She is the interim director of the division and serves as the State Child Care Administrator of NC under the Federal Child Care and Development Fund.

Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individual to the North Carolina Credit Union Commission:

  • Lafayette Jones of Winston-Salem as a public member. Jones is the president and chief executive officer for SMSi-Urban Call Marketing, Inc. He previously served as vice chairman of the Downtown Winston-Salem Partnership.

Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individuals to the North Carolina Council for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing:

  • Judy Cummings Stout of Pittsboro as a deaf person. Stout is a retired instructor from Gallaudet University. She is a consultant for the Intertribal Deaf Council, which serves hard of hearing and deaf American Indians and Alaska Natives. She also chairs the Guilford Communication Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing board.
  • Erika Gagnon of Hillsborough as a representative of an agency that performs cochlear implants. Gagnon is a pediatric cochlear implant audiologist at the Children’s Cochlear Implant Center at the University of North Carolina. She is also a member of the American Cochlear Implant Alliance and the American Speech and Hearing Association.

Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individuals to the North Carolina Council on Developmental Disabilities:

  • Marjorie Serralles-Russell of Charlotte as a parent of an individual with a developmental disability. Serralles-Russell is an independent consultant with Arbonne International. She is a founding board member for Autism Charlotte.
  • Rhonda L. Cox of Candler as a representative of a non-governmental agency concerned with services to person with developmental disabilities. Cox is the chief population health officer at Vaya Health, where she was formerly the senior director of care coordination. She has more than 20 years of experience in managing behavioral health and IDD services.

Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individuals to the North Carolina Health Care Information and Communications Alliance, Inc.:

  • Christie Burris of Raleigh as a member at-large. Burris is the executive director for the North Carolina Health Information Exchange Authority. She is on the marketing committee of the Triangle Women in STEM and is a member of the Strategic Health Information Exchange Collaborative.
  • Dr. Karen Smith of Raeford as a member at-large. Smith is a private practice family physician and serves as the Hoke County Health System Medical Director. Additionally, she is an instructor in the family medicine departments at Duke University and UNC Chapel Hill.
  • Dr. Ken Goldberg of Durham as a member at-large. Goldberg is the chief of staff for the Durham VA Medical Center and an associate professor of medicine at Duke University. He is also a member of the Chief Medical Officers Group with the Association of American Medical Colleges. 
  • Brent Lamm of Raleigh as a member at-large. Lamm is the vice-president and deputy chief information officer for the UNC Health Care System. He previously served as the director of information technology at the NC Translational & Clinical Sciences Institute at UNC Chapel Hill.

Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individuals to the State Historical Records Advisory Board:

  • Katherine Cutshall of Asheville as a member at-large. Cutshall is a historian who currently works in the North Carolina collection room at the Pack Memorial Library in Asheville.
  • Monika Rhue of Charlotte as a member at-large. She is the director of library services and curation at Johnson C. Smith University and launched “Digital Smith,” an online archive of the University’s collections. She is also the author of “Organizing and Preserving Family and Religious Records: A Step-by-Step Guide.”

Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individual to the North Carolina Human Trafficking Commission:

  • Jennifer Haigwood of Raleigh as chair. Haigwood is the director of administration and governmental affairs at the N.C. Department of Labor. She also serves on the N.C. Commission of Indian Affairs and the Governor’s Performance Management Advisory Committee.

Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individual to the Information Technology Strategy Board:

  • Jo Abernathy of Chapel Hill as a North Carolina citizen with a background in and familiarity with business system technology, information systems, or telecommunications. She is the Chief Information Officer for Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina.

Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individuals to the North Carolina Institute of Medicine:

  • Dr. Lori H. Byrd of Four Oaks as a member at-large. Byrd is the associate director of health sciences for the North Carolina Community College System. Previously, she was a nursing instructor at Barton College and Campbell University, and was recognized in 2016 as a top assistant professor of nursing by the International Nursing Association.
  • Rev. Reuben Blackwell of Rocky Mount as a member at-large. Blackwell is the president and CEO of the Opportunities Industrialization Center, Inc. and pastors Cornerstone Community Christian Church. He previously served on the North Carolina Minority Health Advisory Council.
  • Dr. Carrie Rosario of Greensboro as a member at-large. Rosario is an associate professor in UNC Greensboro’s Department of Public Health Education and is the associate chair of the department. She currently serves as a member of the North Carolina Institute of Medicine’s Healthy North Carolina 2030 Task Force. 

Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individual to the North Carolina Human Relations Commission:

  • Vonta Leach of Lumberton as the 9th congressional district representative. Leach currently works in real estate. He is a former All-Pro fullback and spent eleven years in the NFL.

Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individuals to the North Carolina Internship Council:

  • Shrikar Nunna of Raleigh as a former intern. Nunna is a legislative liaison for the Department of Environmental Quality, where he formerly interned. He also was a member of the Caldwell Fellows Program at North Carolina State University.
  • Jamie L. Stamey of Concord as a representative of a college or university with less than 5,000 students. Stamey is the executive director of the David College Center for Career Development. She is the former Internship Coordinator for Belmont University College of Entertainment and Music Business in Nashville, Tennessee.

Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individual to the State Judicial Council:

  • Sheriff Quentin E. Miller of Asheville as a non-attorney. Miller is the Buncombe County Sheriff. He worked for the Asheville Police Department from 1994 until he was elected sheriff in 2018. He also served 11 years in the U.S. Army, including two tours to Germany.

Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individuals to serve on the License to Give Trust Fund Commission:

  • Christina Nixon of Charlotte as a representative of an organ, tissue, or eye recipient or a family member of a donor from the heartland. In 2014, she was a recipient of a small bowel transplant. She is a student at the UNC Charlotte and serves on Novant Health’s Patient Family Advocacy Committee.
  • The Honorable Stephen Metcalf of Weaverville as a representative of an organ, tissue, and eye recipient or a family member of a donor from the mountains. He is the founder of The Policy Group, and previously served in the North Carolina Senate and under the administration of Governor Jim Hunt.

Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individual to the North Carolina Commission for Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services

  • Melinda Plue of Monroe as a developmental disabilities professional. Plue is the director of advocacy and chapter development with The Arc of North Carolina, Inc. and an adjunct professor at Winthrop University. She is a licensed clinical social worker.

Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individuals to the North Carolina Minority Health Advisory Council:

  • Pastor Nate Davis, Jr. of Durham as a community-based organization representative. He is the senior pastor at Now Church NC. He has served as the Men’s Basketball Chaplain for North Carolina Central University where he also serves on the University College Board.
  • Hattie Gawande of Raleigh as a human services agency representative. Gawande is a legislative liaison for the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services. She previously served as special assistant to the Secretary at the Department.
  • Dr. Natasha Adams-Denny of Marvin as a health care provider. Adams-Denny has worked for Atrium Health Union Obstetrics and Gynecology since 2002, and currently serves as the medical director for Atrium Health Union OB/GYN in Monroe and Indian Trail. 
  • Rev. Dr. Gary Gunderson of Winston-Salem as a health-related agency representative. Gunderson is the vice-president of FaithHealth with Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. He also is a professor of public health science in the Wake Forest University School of Medicine and professor of the health of the public in the School of Divinity.

Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individuals to the NCWorks Commission:

  • David Miller of New Bern as a business representative. Miller is the vice president and general manager of the Kinston site of Spirit AeroSystems. He is also a recipient of the Environmental Excellence Award given by the state of Iowa, which recognizes individuals who work with local and governmental agencies to restore land in the state.
  • Melanie Chernoff of Raleigh as a business representative. Chernoff is Red Hat's government and community affairs senior manager, through which she oversees Red Hat's worldwide charitable donations, matching gift program, volunteer activities, and local community relations efforts. Additionally, she serves on the advisory boards for NC Tech and the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce.
  • Sherry Carpenter of Clemmons as a workforce representative. Carpenter is the vice-president of workforce development service for Goodwill Industries of Northwest NC, Inc. She also serves on the Piedmont Triad Regional Workforce Development Board and the North Carolina Employment and Training Association Board.
  • Michael Okun of Raleigh as a workforce representative. Okun is a partner at Patterson & Harkavy, LLC where he specializes in employment and labor law. He also serves as general counsel to the North Carolina State AFL-CIO.
  • Anita Bachmann of Greensboro as a business representative. She is the CEO of UnitedHealthcare of North Carolina and won the organization’s Community & State CEO Relationship Award in 2016. She also serves on several boards, including the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce executive board and the Greater Greensboro Community Foundation executive board.
  • Suzanne Johnson of Smithfield as a business representative. Johnson serves as the senior director of human resources for Grifols North America. She has more than 20 years of experience working in human resources for biopharmaceutical companies including Bayer Healthcare.
  • Steven Hunt of Pembroke as a workforce representative. Hunt is the vice-president of workforce development and continuing education at Robeson Community College. He is the former president and CEO of the Lumbee River Electric Membership Cooperative.

Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individual to the Roanoke-Chowan Community College Board of Trustees:

  • The Honorable Ernestine Bazemore of Aulander as a member at-large. Bazemore is a commissioner in Bertie County. Previously, she worked for Bertie County Schools serving in a variety of roles, including In-School Suspension Coordinator. She is a recipient of the President’s Volunteer Service Award.

Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individual to the Robeson Community College Board of Trustees:

  • Les Noble of Lumberton as a member at-large. Noble the owner and manager of Noble Self-Service Storage and co-owner of Riverwood Pre-Elementary School. Noble also serves on the ComTech Board of Directors and as a volunteer with Meals on Wheels.

Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individuals to the North Carolina Board of Science, Technology and Innovation:

  • Dr. Algie Gatewood of Burlington as a representative of the NC Community College System. He is the president of Alamance Community College. He is the former director of the health, education and welfare division of the North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority.
  • Claudia Walker of Greensboro as a representative of K-12 public education. Walker is a math impact teacher at Murphey Traditional Academy in Greensboro. She is a board member of the North Carolina Science, Math and Technology Center and serves on the National Academy of Science’s Teacher Advisory Council.
  • Alston Gardner of Chapel Hill as a representative of a private industry. Gardner is the founder and managing partner of Fulcrum Ventures, which invests in technology companies. He also serves on the board of Higher Education Works.
  • Pat Brown of Chapel Hill as a representative of a private industry. She is the executive vice-president and chief legal officer for SAS, where she oversees their legal services and licensing operations globally.
  • Dr. Michael Quillen of Concord as a member at-large. Quillen is the vice-president of academic programs at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College. He is a former member of the N.C. delegation of state policy leaders.
  • Jason Botts of Raleigh as a member at-large. Botts is the senior business advisor for various organizations including Global Digital IT, Inc. He also serves on the Triangle Technology Executives Council.
  • George Abercrombie of Chapel Hill as a representative of a private industry. Abercrombie served as president and chief executive officer at Hoffmann-La Roche Inc., and currently works as an adjunct professor at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. He serves on the board of directors of Biocryst Pharmaceuticals, Brickell Biotech, Hessian Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline Foundation.
  • Jeffrey Kaplan of Asheville as a representative of a private industry. He is the director of Venture Asheville and developed Asheville Entrepreneurship Week. He is also the vice-chair of the Mountain Capital Community Fund.
  • Bill Brown of Durham as a representative of a private industry. Brown is the CEO of NET Power, LLC and the co-founder and CEO of 8 Rivers Capital, LLC. He also serves on the board of visitors for Duke Law School.

Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individuals to the North Carolina Utilities Commission:

  • Kimberly Duffley of Raleigh. Duffley is a senior staff attorney at the North Carolina Utilities Commission. She serves on the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners and is an advisory member of the North Carolina State Bar Utilities Law Specialization Committee.
  • Jeff Hughes of Durham. Hughes is an associate professor and the Director of the Environmental Finance Center with the School of Government at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Previously, Hughes worked as a specialist on international utility finance at RTI International and as the Director of Public Works and Utilities for Chatham County.

Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individual to the North Carolina Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service:

  • Brandon Heffinger of Raleigh as a representative of the military or veterans. He is the chief of staff at NET Power, LLC. He is a Major with the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves and founded and currently directs and lectures for the Veterans Legal Clinic at Wake Forest University School of Law. He is also a Truman Defense Council Member with the Truman National Security Project.

Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individuals to the Western North Carolina Public Lands Council:

  • Richard Wilson of Sylva as a Jackson County resident. He is a retired dean of student services at Southwestern Community College. He is also a retired volunteer fireman.
  • Jason Chambers of Murphy as a Cherokee County resident. Chambers is dean of research and planning and an early college liaison at Tri-County Community College. He is a former chair of the Hiwassee River Watershed Coalition.
  • Parker Platt of Brevard as a resident of a county adjacent to the Blueridge Parkway, Great Smokey Mountains National Park or Pisgah or Nantahala National Forests. Platt is a principal at Platt Architecture. He is a board member of the Cindy Platt Boys and Girls Club of Transylvania County and a founding member of the Transylvania Economic Alliance.
  • Louis Watts of Sparta as a resident of a county adjacent to the Blueridge Parkway, Great Smokey Mountains National Park or Pisgah or Nantahala National Forests. He worked for an environmental engineering firm for 23 years before retirement.

Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individuals to the North Carolina State Youth Advisory Council:

  • Mayor Pro Tem Frederick A. Davis of Wadesboro as an adult member. Davis is the Mayor Pro Tem of the town of Wadesboro. Davis has been working for Anson County Schools since 1989 and is the current Principal of Wadesboro Primary School. He is a former football coach and athletic director at Anson High School.
  • Victoria Garrett of High Point as a local youth council advisor. She is the Recreation Center Assistant Supervisor for the City of High Point’s Parks and Recreation Department.

Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individuals to the North Carolina Zoological Park Council:

  • Kyle Sonnenberg of Southern Pines as a member at-large. He is a public affairs columnist forThe Pilot and worked in city management for more than 30 years. He has been a member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums since 1974.
  • Norfleet Pruden of Charlotte as a member at-large. He is a retired attorney, and prior to his retirement worked for K&L Gates LLP where he was recognized nationally for his work in corporate law. He is also a member of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Properties Commission.
  • Yazmin Garcia Rico of Mebane as a member at-large. She is the Healthy Communities program manager for Alamance Regional Medical Center and an instructor at Alamance Community College. She serves on several boards, including the North Carolina Farmworkers Health Program Governing Board.
  • Elizabeth Clark of Raleigh as a member at-large. Clark is the program coordinator for SAFEChild’s primary child abuse prevention program, Funny Tummy Feelings. She also assists the organization with its’ fundraising and event planning. 

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