Governor Roy Cooper appoints two BRC Trustees to State Boards and Commissions

July 3, 2019

Contact: Ford Porter

Phone: 919-814-2100


Reconstituted Boards and Commissions 

RALEIGH: Governor Roy Cooper announces reconstituted North Carolina boards and commissions.

Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individuals to the Child Care Commission:

Dr. Sheresa Blanchard of Durham as an early childhood education specialist. Blanchard is an assistant professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Science at East Carolina University.

Susan Butler-Staub of Charlotte as the parent of a child in daycare. Butler-Staub is an early childhood education instructor and program chair with Central Piedmont Community College.

Dr. Lanier DeGrella of Durham as a public member. DeGrella was the North Carolina statewide infant toddler quality enhancement project manager for Child Care Services Association until her retirement in 2016.

Dr. Sharon Foster of Raleigh as a pediatrician. Foster was a pediatrician at Raleigh Pediatrics until her retirement in 2016.

Mitchell Gold of Conover as an operator of a nonprofit childcare facility operator. Gold is the chief executive officer for Mitchell Gold Bob Williams Furniture manufacturing, a company that provides Lulu’s Child Enrichment Center for many of its employees.

Dr. Iheoma Iruka Thompson of Cary as an early childhood education specialist. Iruka Thompson is the chief research innovation officer and director of HighScope Educational Research Foundation.

Beth Messersmith of Durham as the parent of a child in daycare. Messersmith is the senior campaign director for the NC Chapter of

Rhonda Rivers of Charlotte as an operator of a for-profit child care facility. Rivers is a regional director of curriculum and training at LeafSpring Schools child care center.


Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individuals to the Clean Water Management Trust Fund Board:

Ann Hayes Browning of Davidson as a member at-large. Browning has served in many roles in the conservancy field, most recently serving on the Blue Ridge Conservancy Board.

Amy Grissom of Charlotte as a member at-large. Grissom currently serves on the board of the Land Trust for Central North Carolina and the Light Factory Board.

Dale Threatt-Taylor of Clayton as a member at-large. Threatt-Taylor is the district director of the Wake Soil and Water Conservation District.

John B. Wilson, Jr. of Chapel Hill as a member at-large. John is the President of John Wilson Productions and a lecturer in the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill School of Media and Journalism.  

David Womack of Greenville as a member at-large. Womack is the chairman of Womack Electric & Supply, a family owned independent electrical distributor that has been around since 1938.

Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individuals to the Parks and Recreation Authority:

Harelda Mavis Gragg of Durham as a member at-large. Gragg is the founder of the Gragg Law Firm and an adjunct professor at the North Carolina Central University School of Law in their Dispute Resolution Institute.

Woody Gurley of La Grange as a member at-large. Gurley has been the mayor of La Grange for 30 years and spent the 10 previous years on the La Grange Town Council. 

Lewis Ledford of Raleigh as a member at-large. Ledford is the executive director of the National Association of State Parks.

William Neal Lewis of Wilmington as a member at-large. Before retirement, Lewis served as the director of parks and recreation for Carteret County and New Hanover County.

Margaret Newbold of Vilas as a member at-large. Newbold recently retired after 20 years with the Conservation Trust for North Carolina. 


Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individuals to the Private Protective Services Commission:

John Aldridge of Garner as a non-licensed member. Aldridge served as the assistant general counsel for the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association and as Special Deputy Attorney General in charge of the law enforcement liaison section with the North Carolina Department of Justice.

Ronald W. Burris of Albemarle as a non-licensed member. Burris is a certified mediator with the North Carolina Dispute Resolution Commission. 

Vincent “Bud” Cesena of Denver as a licensed member. Cesena is the CEO of Landmark Security and is also a county commissioner for Lincoln County. 

Debra C. Duncan of Monroe as a non-licensed member. Duncan is an interim police chief and Title IX investigator for D. Stafford and Associates. She is a former city council member in Monroe.  

Kim Heffney of Staley as a non-licensed member. Heffney is a contract investigator with the Office of Special Investigations and a background investigator for the NC State Bureau of Investigations.

Tamara Diane Rabenold of Huntersville as a licensed member. Rabenold is the CEO of Vaudra International, a private investigation firm. 

W. Sam Russell of Statesville as a licensed member. Russell is a private investigator and the owner of Magnum Investigations. 


Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individuals to the Rural Infrastructure Authority:

Joyce Dickens of Rocky Mount as a representative of a tier 1 or 2 county. Dickens is the president and chief executive officer of Rocky Mount Edgecombe Community Development Corporation.

Ricky Harris of Maxton as a representative of a tier 1 or 2 county. Harris was the Robeson County manager until his retirement last year.

Jan Hayes of Sanford as a representative of a tier 1 or 2 county. Hayes is the managing partner for Hayes Group Consulting, LLC.

Karen Kiehna of Mars Hill as a representative of a tier 1 or 2 county. Kiehna is a grants administrator for the engineering firm McGill Associates.

Abdul Rasheed of Henderson as a representative of a tier 1 or 2 county. Rasheed is the CEO of the William C. Friday Fellowship for Human Relations.

Commissioner Jeff Smith of Edenton as a representative of a tier 1 or 2 county. Smith is the past chair of the Chowan County Board of Commissioners.

Bill Webb of Ellerbe as a representative of a tier 1 or 2 county. Webb is the senior partner with the law firm of Kitchin, Neal, Webb & Futtrell, P.A.

Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individuals to the State Building Commission:

Ginger Dosier of Raleigh as a public member. Dosier is the CEO and co-founder of bioMASON, where they manufacture economically viable biological based materials for application in the built environment.

Thomas Headlee, Jr. of Wilson as an electrical contractor nominated by Carolinas Electrical Contractors Association. Headlee is the president and COO of Watson Electrical Construction.

Zena Howard of Durham as a licensed architect nominated by the American Institute of Architecture. Howard is a principal and managing director of the North Carolina practice of Perkins+Will architecture firm.

Katherine Lynn of Chapel Hill as a University of North Carolina System employee nominated by the UNC Board of Governors. Lynn is the senior associate vice president for finance and capital planning for the UNC System. 



Nikki Robinson