Gov. Cooper Announces Boards and Commissions Appointments

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Governor Cooper has announced various appointments to boards and commissions across the state.

“State boards and commissions make critical decisions about the lives of North Carolinians every day,” Gov. Cooper said. “I appreciate these appointees for their service and helping our state move forward.”

Gov. Cooper’s following appointees to the North Carolina State Board of Education have been confirmed:

Dr. Donna A. Tipton-Rogers of Brasstown as an 8th education district representative. Tipton-Rogers is the President and CEO of Tri-County Community College. She serves as Vice-Chair on the Legislative Committee for the NC Community College System Presidents Association and as Co-Chair of the North Carolina Task Force on Rural Health.

J. Wendell Hall of Ahoskie as a member at-large. Hall serves on the Hertford County School Board. Hall served as the Interim Superintendent for Northampton County Schools, Warren County Schools and Weldon City Schools. He also served as President of the NC School Boards and Association and the NC Association of School Administrators.

JB Buxton of Raleigh as a member at-large. Buxton is the founding principal of the Education Innovations Group and has also worked as the deputy state superintendent of the North Carolina Department for Public Instruction. Buxton has served as an appointed member of the Raleigh Planning Commission and as a soccer coach with the Capital Area Soccer League.

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

Carmen M. Simmons of Mooresville as a member at-large. Simmons is a retired teacher. She is also the author of a book on teaching math to children with learning disabilities.

Dr. Jan Busby-Whitehead of Chapel Hill as a member at-large. Busby-Whitehead is the director of the Center for Aging and Health and the founding chief in the Division of Geriatric Medicine at the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Medicine. She received the UNCH and UNCFP Carolina Care Excellence Award in both 2017 and 2019.

Dr. Ed Rosenberg of Boone as a member at-large. Rosenberg is a professor in the Department of Sociology at Appalachian State University. He received the Mildred M. Seltzer Distinguished Service Honor from the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education in 2018.

Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individual to the North Carolina Alarm Systems Licensing Board:

Robert Wike Graham II of Hendersonville as a public member. Graham is the battalion chief of the Charlotte Fire Department assigned as the deputy director of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Emergency Management. He is serving as adjunct faculty for the emergency management degree program at Western Carolina University.

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

Eric J. Lindstrom of Fayetteville as a member at-large. Lindstrom is an architect and co-owner of SFLA Architects. Lindstrom has served with the Cape Fear Regional Theatre and Art Council of Fayetteville Cumberland County for over twenty years. He has also personally worked on transforming numerous historic buildings in downtown Fayetteville.

David Robinson of Spring Hope as a member at-large. Robinson is a native of England and has been the director of the North Carolina Executive Mansion since 2013. He is the former director of guest relations at the Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia and managed the butler department at The Cloister Hotel located at Sea Island in Georgia.

Gina V. Esquivel of Lincolnton as a member at-large. Esquivel is a native of Costa Rica and has lived in the Charlotte area since 1995. She is a visual artist, storyteller, and in her most recent work as a photographer, she blends her background in social justice to tell stories of the working class around the world. She also currently serves on Charlotte’s International Cabinet and the Community Relations Committee of Mecklenburg County.

Henry H. Walston of Wilson as a member at-large. Walston is the president of Barnes Motor and Parts Co., Inc, a seventeen location family owned business. He spearheaded the Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park project in Wilson over its seven years of development.

The Honorable Margaret Emory Haynes of Wilmington as a member at-large. She is the owner and managing member of Spectrum Associates, LLC. Haynes is a member of the Wilmington City Council and has served as the Mayor Pro-Tempore since 2015.

Edward P. Norvell of Salisbury as a member at-large. Norvell is retired and worked as an attorney focused on land trusts. He currently serves as president of the Land Trust for Central North Carolina, chair of the Rowan Arts Council and as vice chair of the Salisbury Public Art Committee.

DeWayne Barton of Asheville as a member at-large. Barton is the founder & CEO of Hood Huggers International, an organization that offers sustainable strategies for building support pillars for resilient historically African American neighborhoods. Barton co-founded Green Opportunities, a “green collar” job training program for young and adults. He is a moving spoken-word performer, author and the maker of provocative found object sculptures.

Patrick Torres of Raleigh as a member at-large. Torres is the artistic director of Raleigh Little Theatre and has been a professional director and educator for 17 years. As an educator, he developed the after school playwriting program for Young Playwrights’ Theater, which won the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award from First Lady Michelle Obama in 2010. Currently, he teaches at William Peace University in Raleigh.

Gov Cooper has appointed the following individual to the Governor’s Crime Commission:

Charlie Brown of Salisbury as Chief District Court Judge. Brown is the Chief District Court Judge for Rowan County. He also serves as Chair of the North Carolina Sentencing Policy and Advisory Commission. Brown is past president of the Conference of Chief District Court Judges. He has more than 27 years of experience in the N.C. court system and previously served on the Governor’s Crime Commission Juvenile Justice Planning Committee, the North Carolina Youth Accountability Task Force, and the Rowan County Juvenile Crime Prevention Council.
Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individual to the North Carolina Board of Dietetics and Nutrition:

Amy Beros of Holly Springs as a public member. Beros is the vice-president of development at the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina. She is also a member of the Feeding America National Fundraising Advisory Council.

Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individuals to the Disciplinary Hearing Commission of the North Carolina State Bar:

Synthia Scott Kearny of Gastonia as a public member. Kearny is a battalion chief of the Gastonia Fire Department. She is a former member of the United States Secret Service and currently serves on the board for Leadership Gaston.

Brian A. Farkas of Greenville as a public member. Farkas is the director of client relations and development at JKF Architecture PC. He also serves on the Greenville-ENC Alliance Board of Directors, as president of the Greenville Museum of Art Board of Trustees and is a member of the Rocking Horse Ranch Therapeutic Riding Program Board of Directors.

Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individuals to the Edenton Historical Commission:

Lisa Baker of Edenton as a member at-large. She was the first executive director of the Chowan Arts Council. She is a former chairperson for the Edenton Preservation Commission.

Mary Jo Sellers of Edenton as a member at-large. Sellers has been active in the Edenton Community and its historical heritage in many ways, including volunteering, hosting historic tours and cultural events, and serving as secretary of the Edenton Women’s Club.

Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individual to the North Carolina Education and Workforce Innovation Commission:

Dianne Little of Taylorsville as a member with experience in education. Little is director of the Phillips Leadership Institute at Catawba Valley Community College. She also serves as a member of the Alexander Center for Education Advisory Board.
Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individuals to the North Carolina State Library Commission:

Dorothy Rapp of Mars Hill as a member at-large. Rapp is a retired exceptional children’s teacher and high school counselor. She is also a member of the Madison County Library System Board of Trustees and the secretary for the Friends of the Mars Hill Library.

Dr. Ricky A. Woods of Charlotte as a member at-large. Woods is the senior minister at First Baptist Church-West. Woods currently serves on the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library Board.

Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individual to the Executive Mansion Fine Arts Committee:

Mary Josephine Conrad Cresimore of Raleigh as a member at-large. Cresimore is a former teacher and advocate for the arts, historic preservation and the humanities. She currently serves on the North Carolina Museum of Art Board of Trustees, the Raleigh Fine Arts Society, the North Carolina Symphony and the North Carolina Museum of History Associates.

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

Stefanie S. Khan of Raleigh as a representative of the 4th Congressional district. Kahn has served two terms on the board of the Carolina Ballet actively participating in their development efforts and co-chairing their annual gala. She also serves on the Friends Board of the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University.

Annie Gray Sprunt of Wilmington as a representative of the 7th Congressional district. Sprunt has served on the Historic Wilmington Foundation, Arts Council and Lower Cape Fear Hospice Foundation. She is a member of the Ministering Circle that funds nursing scholarships at UNCW and Cape Fear Community College.

Kimberly Daniels Taws of Pinehurst as a representative of the 8th Congressional district. Taws manages and operates the Country Bookshop in Southern Pines and is a frequent speaker on bookshop publishing as a revenue stream. She is the current president of the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance, a trade association which represents over 300 bookstores and thousands of booksellers.
Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individuals to the North Carolina Radiation Protection Commission:

Dr. Roger Sit of Chapel Hill as a scientist or engineer from the faculty of an institutional of higher learning in the state. Sit is the director of radiation safety programs at UNC Chapel Hill. He is also an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Nuclear Engineering at the NCSU School of Engineering.
Dr. Carmine Plott of Winston-Salem as a member with knowledge in the field of radiation and its biological effects. Plott is a radiation safety officer and diagnostic medical specialist for Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center. She won the 2012 Charles “Barry” Burns Emerging Technology Lecturer award for the North Carolina Society of Radiologic Technologists.

Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individual to the North Carolina Rural Electrification Authority:

Mitzie Branon of East Bend as a member at-large. Branon has twenty-nine years of experience with Yadkin Valley Telephone Membership Corporation, and has been CEO since January of 2010. She serves on the boards of directors for the North Carolina Cooperative Coalition and the Yadkin Arts Council.

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

Marion Deerhake of Raleigh as a representative from the Environmental Management Commission. Deerhake is a retired environmental scientist with RTI International. She is also the vice-chair of the water quality committee of the Environmental Management Commission.

Jason Conner of Etowah as a representative from the Mining Commission. Conner is the vice-president of land management and strategic development at Hendrick Industries. He also serves on the Mineral Research Lab Board at North Carolina State University.

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

Michael Lutes of Matthews as a Union county resident. Lutes is the president of the Southeast division and system senior vice-president with Atrium Health. He also serves as a member and public policy chair of the Union County Chamber of Commerce.

Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individuals to the Southern Regional Education Board:

Shirley B. Prince of Wilmington as educator representative. Prince is the executive director of the North Carolina Principals and Assistant Principals Association. She previously served as the Superintendent of Schools in Scotland County and received the North Carolina State Superintendent of the Year award in 2007.
Dr. Elease Frederick of Enfield as a member at-large. She is a retired superintendent for Halifax County Schools. She previously served as the principal of Bakers Elementary School. She is also a member of the Winston Salem State University Alumni Association.
Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individual to the Uniform Laws Commission:

J. Anthony Penry of Raleigh as a member at-large. Penry is a partner at Penry Riemann. He serves as an adjunct professor in construction law at Campbell University School of Law, as well as adjunct professor in alternative dispute resolution at Wake Forest University School of Law.

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

Lovay Wallace-Singleton of New Bern as Representative of the 3rd Congressional District. Wallace-Singleton is the executive director of the Veterans Employment Base Camp and Organic Garden in New Bern.

Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individual to the North Carolina Water Treatment Facility Operators Board of Directors:

Dr. Orlando Coronell Nieto of Cary as a university faculty member in the water supply field. Nieto is an associate professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering at UNC Chapel Hill. He is also on the editorial board of Nature Partner Journals’ Clean Water Journal.

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

Oralene G. Simmons of Asheville as a member at-large. She is the president and founder of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Association of Asheville. Simmons is also the former leader of the YMI Cultural Center.