Governor Cooper Announces Appointments to State Boards and Commissions | Eastern North Carolina Now | RALEIGH: Today, Governor Roy Cooper announced appointments to North Carolina boards and commissions.

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Press Release:

    RALEIGH: Today, Governor Roy Cooper announced appointments to North Carolina boards and commissions.

    Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individuals to the Governor's Advisory Council on Aging:

  • Dr. James Paul Mitchell of Greenville as a member at-large. Dr. Mitchell has worked in the Department of Sociology at East Carolina University since 1980 and has been a Professor since 1994. He was previously Director of the Center for Diversity and Inequality Research in the same department.
  • Elizabeth Ann Russell James of Sanford as a member at-large. James retired after teaching in the Lee County School System for 26 years. She now works in her community visiting the elderly that are in need and volunteering for Jobs for Life.
  • Sheila Whittenton of Smithfield as a member at-large. Whittenton is an Operations Coordinator for the North Carolina Democratic Party. Prior to this she worked at Edwards Brothers, Inc. in Lillington for nearly 30 years.
  • Mary Lee Kurek of Atlantic Beach as a member at-large. Kurek is the President and CEO of Frontrunners Development, Inc., a business development agency that matches solution advisors with country leaders and decisionmakers.
  • Kenneth Lee Burgess of Whitakers as a member at-large. Burgess is a healthcare attorney at Baker Donelson in Raleigh. Burgess was previously the Senior Director of Legal Services and Facility Operations of the American Health Care Association, and General Counsel of both the NC Health Care Facilities Association and the Assisted Living Federation of America.

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

  • Sylvia Muñoz of Elon as a member at-large. Muñoz is the Assistant Dean and Director of the Center for Race, Ethnicity, and Diversity Education at Elon University. For her service, Muñoz has received the Latinx/Hispanic Service Award, the Elon University Phoenix Community Engagement Award and the Elon University Periclean Award for Civic Engagement and Social Responsibility.

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

  • Marjorie Hodges of Raleigh as a member at-large. Hodges is an independent art consultant, serving as an advisor for both private collectors and corporate collection projects. She has curated and facilitated exhibitions for the Contemporary Art Museum Raleigh, Flanders Gallery, and the North Carolina Museum of Art.
  • Dr. Kimberly J. Nixon of Charlotte as a member at-large. Dr. Nixon is a practicing pediatric dentist. She enjoys hospital privileges at Carolinas Healthcare System, University Hospital where she also serves on the Executive Committee.

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

  • Evelis Debbie Mason of Fayetteville as a vocational rehabilitation counselor. Mason is a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor at the Division of Services for the Blind in Fayetteville.

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

  • Andrew C. Cole of Raleigh as a registered architect. Cole is a Principal and Senior Architect at O'Brien Atkins Associates, PA. He joined O'Brien Atkins in 2002 and has over 30 years of architectural experience in all aspects of project development with emphasis on commercial projects.
  • David A. Gieser of Charlotte as a registered architect. Gieser is the Design and Construction Project Management Director for Mecklenburg County. Prior to joining Mecklenburg County, he spent 15 years as a principal at Perkins + Will in Charlotte.
  • Jeffery Allan Hilton, Sr. of Wilmington as a licensed general contractor specializing in coastal residential construction. Hilton has nearly 30 years of building experience, including 20 years as Vice President of Southern Homebuilders, Inc.

    Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individual to the North Carolina State Board of Certified Public Accountant Examiners:

  • Donald Michael Payseur of Cherryville as a certified public accountant. He has worked at Butler & Stowe, Certified Public Accountants as a managing partner for over 26 years, and he is currently a senior partner at the firm. Additionally, he is president of the Cherryville Community Development Corporation.

    Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individual to Coastal Resource Commission:

  • D.R. Bryan of Chapel Hill as a coastal property owner or experienced in land development. Bryan is the founder of Bryan Properties, a residential real estate development company that has developed over a dozen new neighborhoods in North Carolina since it was founded in 1984.

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

  • Katherine White Felton of Elizabeth City as a member at-large. Felton retired in 2017 after 36 years as the Director of Human Resources for the City of Elizabeth City. Felton was recently elected to the Elizabeth City Council and now chairs their Human Resources Committee.

    Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individuals to the Governor's Crime Commission:

  • Andrew D. Hendry of Pinehurst as a citizen at-large. Hendry retired in 2015 as the Vice Chairman of Colgate-Palmolive Company in New York City, where he led the global legal organization for more than 24 years as the Chief Legal Officer and Secretary. Hendry previously served on the North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission.
  • Sheriff Clarence F. Birkhead of Durham as a sheriff. Birkhead is the Durham County Sheriff. He has more than 30 years of law enforcement experience in both the public and private sectors. He was previously the Chief of Policy for Duke University and Chief of Police for the Town of Hillsborough.
  • Sheriff Calvin L. Woodard, Jr. of Wilson as a sheriff. Woodard is the Wilson County Sheriff, a role he has held since he was originally elected in 2010. Woodard has nearly 30 years of law enforcement experience with the Wilson County Sheriff's Office and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation.

    Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individual to the North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission:

  • Scott J. Parker of Rocky Mount as a citizen member. Parker is a reserve deputy with the Nash County Sheriff's Office and is the owner of Gold Star Consulting Group LLC. Parker has more than 35 years of public service experience, most recently as a Deputy Commissioner for the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles from 2017 to 2022.

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

  • Hope Turpin of Asheville as a deaf representative. Turpin is a Faculty ASL Instructor at Blue Ridge Community College. Turpin has taught deaf and hard of hearing students for nearly 25 years.

    Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individual to the North Carolina Board of Dietetics/Nutrition:

  • Sarah C. Thomas of Wrightsville Beach as a public member. Thomas is a practicing attorney and is the Senior Site Contract Specialist for PPD/Thermo Fisher in Wilmington.

    Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individual to the Financial Literacy Council:

  • Ebonee J. Streater of Raleigh as a public member with experience in the financial industry. Streater is an Associate Bank Examiner at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond in Charlotte. She has worked in the financial industry for 15 years.

    Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individual to the North Carolina Local Government Employees' Retirement System Board of Trustees:

  • Nancy B. Vaughan of Greensboro as a mayor or member of a governing body participating in the retirement system. Vaughan is the Mayor of Greensboro and has held the office since 2013. She was elected to the Greensboro City council in 1997 and served two terms, and served as mayor Pro tempore prior to being elected mayor.

    Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individuals to the Marine Fisheries Commission:

  • Anna Starr Shellem of Wrightsville Beach as an active or recently retired commercial fisher from the coastal region. Shellem is the Owner of Shell'em Seafood Company, where she harvests and delivers wild shellfish per order directly to many restaurants throughout North Carolina. Her fishing practices are centered around sustainability, producing zero-waste. She harvests wild mussels, wild clams, wild oysters, and she hand harvests stone crabs.
  • Donald G. Huggins, Jr. of Wendell as a member at-large. Huggins is a licensed attorney working at SAS in Cary as Legal Counsel. Prior to this, he worked as an associate attorney at Hairston Lane P.A. where he represented clients in a wide variety of legal matters, including civil rights, contract disputes, debt collection, personal injury, and employment law.
  • Dr. Douglas N. Rader of Raleigh as a scientist. Rader is a Senior Science Advisor for the Environmental Defense Fund, where he advises the EDF leadership on policies and programs affecting oceans. Rader was previously the Chief Oceans Scientist and Associate Vice President for EDF.

    Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individuals to the North Carolina Museum of Art Board of Trustees:

  • Blair Albritton Taft of Greenville as the 1st Congressional District representative. A native of Eastern North Carolina, Taft is involved in her community in various capacities and has served on the East Carolina University Women's Roundtable for the last six years.
  • Angela R. Waller of Faison as the 3rd Congressional District representative. Waller is the Lead Art Instructor at Wayne Community College, a role she has held since 2013. Waller is also an Adjunct Instructor at Sampson Community College, the University of Mount Olive, and Barton College. She currently serves on the Arts Council of Wayne County.
  • Jeffrey E. Oleynik of Greensboro as the 6th Congressional District representative. Oleynik is a licensed attorney and Partner at Brooks Pierce Law Firm in Greensboro. He is a business litigator handling corporate disputes involving ownership, management, and control of companies, and is frequently involved in antitrust matters.
  • Ozlem Yildiz Nichols of Wrightsville Beach as the 7th Congressional District representative. Nichols is involved in various community organizations in the Wilmington area, and her home renovation in Wrightsville Beach was recognized by NCModernist.
  • Anne Davis Hummel of Pittsboro as the 9th Congressional District representative. Hummel is a lifelong community volunteer. Her civic involvement includes volunteering with the Greensboro Junior League, the Greensboro Day Board of Trustees, the JDRF Piedmont Triad Chapter, the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro, and Shirley T. Frye YWCA of Greensboro.
  • Randall L. Shull of Asheville as the 11th Congressional District representative. Shull is an artist, entrepreneur and art collector focused on contemporary art with a social message. Shull has served on the North Carolina Museum of Art Board of Trustees since 2016 and is entering his second term. He also served nine years on the Asheville Art Museum Board of Trustees.
  • Gregory T. Walter of Charlotte as the 12th Congressional District representative. Walter is the Executive Vice President and General Manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway. Walter joined Charlotte Motor Speedway in 2016 after 17 years with Speedway Motorsports.

    Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individual to the Roanoke Island Historical Association Board of Directors:

  • Chanda J. Branch of Raleigh as a member at-large. Branch is the Theatre Director for Southeast Raleigh Magnet High School. She has served on the City of Raleigh Arts Commission since 2014 and is the reigning Ms. Black USA.

    Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individual to the Governor's Western Residence Board of Directors:

  • Jennifer Caldwell Vogel of Asheville as a member at-large. Vogel has been a full-time residential realtor since 2009, associated with Beverly-Hanks in North Asheville. She and her Husband Vann support various nonprofits in the Asheville area including Homeward Board and Pisgah Legal Services. She is also Chair of the Asheville Newcomers Club.



    Contact: Mary Scott Winstead

    Phone: (919) 814-2100  •      Email: govpress@nc.gov
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