NCECF Executive Director Accepted to Leadership NC

Tracy Zimmerman, executive director of the North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation, will join 55 civic and community leaders from across the state who have been accepted to form the 2018-2019 class for Leadership North Carolina, the state’s premier leadership engagement program.

Each year, through a rigorous selection process, LNC chooses a class of established and emerging leaders from across the state to participate in its acclaimed program. Leadership North Carolina’s Class XXVI is made up of top leaders from the government, business, nonprofit, and education sectors.

Over the course of six two-and-a-half day sessions Class XXVI participants will learn about issues critical to the state through discussions with top officials and professionals, field trips, and experiential learning activities. LNC’s sessions focus on five key areas: economic development, education, environment, government, and health and human services. Through LNC’s program, participants gain new insight into North Carolina’s strengths and challenges and explore opportunities for how they will improve and empower their communities and the state as a whole.

LNC sessions are held around the state, highlighting the social, geographic, and economic diversity of North Carolina. The members of Class XXVI gathered in Boone earlier this month for their Orientation session at Appalachian State University. The group will meet in Raleigh in November for the Government session and in Greensboro for the December Education session. The remaining sessions for LNC Class XXVI will be held in Charlotte, Wilmington, and Asheville.


  • Bradley Ballou, Chief of Staff, The University of North Carolina at Wilmington, New Hanover 
  • Jennifer Bell, Education Specialist, SAS, Pender 
  • Cort Bennett, Financial Advisor, RW Baird, Durham 
  • Steve Biggs, Executive Director of Economic Development, Bertie County, Chowan 
  • Shelley Blake, General Counsel, GoTriangle, Wake • Ricky Brown, Retired Executive, BB&T, Alleghany 
  • Schumata Brown, Town Manager, Town of Maysville, Jones 
  • Tara Campbell, Senior Vice President – Lending & Investments, NC Community Development Initiative, Durham 
  • Cheryl Webb Cherry, Business Development Director – Eastern NC, Self Help Credit Union, Pitt 
  • Marshall Cherry, Chief Operating Officer, Roanoke Electric Cooperative, Pitt 
  • Fatima Dean, Vice President of Underwriting, The Redwoods Group, Wake 
  • Joe Deehan, Director, Financial Compliance, Martin Marietta, Wake 
  • Daniel Dent, Senior Vice President, Retail Banking Executive, Capital Bank, Mecklenburg
  • Robert Doreauk, Regional Director, External Affairs, AT&T – North Carolina, Wake 
  • Laura Early, Ordained Elder, United Methodist Church, Bertie 
  • Aimee Forehand, Client Manager, State Health Plan, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, Wake 
  • Brian Franklin, Director, Regulatory Affairs – North Carolina, Duke Energy, Mecklenburg
  • Emily Gangi, Engagement Director, ncIMPACT, UNC School of Government, Durham 
  • Haley Haynes, Deputy Secretary of State, Office of the North Carolina Secretary of State, Wake 
  • Sharon Hirsch, President and Chief Executive Officer, Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina, Durham 
  • McGregor Holmes, Controller, Biltmore Farms LLC, Buncombe 
  • Wendy John, Senior Vice President, Managing Director, Fidelity Investments, Durham 
  • Tia Jones, Director, Operations and Provider Networks, Delta Dental of North Carolina, Wake 
  • Josh Lassiter, Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance, Elizabeth City State University, Perquimans 
  • Kevin Leonard, Executive Director, NC Association of County Commissioners, Wake 
  • Catherine Liao, Assistant Vice President, Government Relations, Duke Health, Orange
  • Mike Mazzola, Executive Director of EPIC, The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Mecklenburg 
  • Mark McIntire, Director, Carolinas Energy Affairs and Stakeholder Engagement, Duke Energy, Wake 
  • Catherine Moga Bryant, Executive Director, NCWorks Commission, North Carolina Department of Commerce, Wake 
  • Kathy Morris, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Gregory Poole Equipment Company, Wake 
  • Amy Murphy Curlis, Director, Communications and Media Relations, Moore & Van Allen, Mecklenburg 
  • Michelle Neal, Director, Citrix, Wake 
  • Maria Ochoa, Owner, Maria M. Ochoa Financial and Insurance Services, Mecklenburg 
  • Christian Overton, Agronomist, Perdue Agribusiness, Camden 
  • Jim Parker, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, North Carolina Community College System, Wake 
  • Vicki Lee Parker, Executive Director, North Carolina Business Council, Wake 
  • Cheryl Parquet, Director, Community and Diversity Engagement, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, Alamance 
  • Michelle Ries, Project Director, North Carolina Institute of Medicine, Wake 
  • Mike Riley, President, Novant Health Huntersville Medical Center, Union 
  • Anne Marie Robertson, Director of Operations, Coastal Connect HIE, Coastal Carolinas Health Alliance, New Hanover 
  • Jinky Rosselli, Vice President, Global Business Analysis and Operations, BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Durham 
  • Kristen Rosselli, Chief Strategy Officer, TROSA, Inc., Durham 
  • Arthur Salido, Executive Director, Community and Economic Engagement and Innovation, Western Carolina University, Buncombe 
  • Ryan Schwiebert, Vice President for Information Technology Services, Wake Technical Community College, Wake 
  • Carmen Shaw, Director, Nursing Practice & Policy, Atrium Health, Mecklenburg 
  • Carol Shields, Executive Director, Roanoke River Partners, Halifax 
  • Venetia Skahen, Executive Director, The Cannon Foundation, Cabarrus 
  • Julie Smith, Assistant to the Chancellor for External Affairs, The University of North Carolina at Pembroke, Bladen 
  • Drew Steel, Tax Manager, DMJ & Co., PLLC, Alamance 
  • Meredith Switzer, Owner, Meredith Switzer Consulting, Buncombe 
  • Kevin Utsey, Principal, Clark Nexsen, Mecklenburg 
  • Kyle Villemain, Speechwriter and Policy Analyst, University of North Carolina System, Orange 
  • Weyling White, Practice Administrator, Roanoke Chowan Community Health Center, Hertford 
  • Sherri Yerk-Zwickl, Associate Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer, Campbell University, Johnston
  • Michael Youth, Government and Regulatory Affairs Counsel, North Carolina Electric Membership Corporation, Wake 
  • Tracy Zimmerman, Executive Director, North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation, Wake

Leadership North Carolina’s mission is to inform, develop, and engage committed leaders by broadening their understanding of and involvement in issues and opportunities facing North Carolina. The Leadership North Carolina Program cultivates a network of individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences who share a deep commitment to their state. There are more than 1100 graduates of the program whose continued ties to LNC and to one another provide them with rich opportunities for serving North Carolina. The Class XXVI roster is available here. To find out more about Leadership North Carolina, please visit: