Easter Maynard grew up in Raleigh, NC. She is the Director of Community Investment for Investors Management Corporation, parent company of Golden Corral Corp. She received her bachelor’s degree from Wake Forest University and her Masters in Social Work from UNC Chapel Hill. She has worked with many nonprofits as staff, a board member, and as a volunteer. She currently serves on the boards of Golden Corral Corporation, the Triangle Community Foundation, Methodist Home for Children, and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Wake County. She has experience on both ends of the funding spectrum, having run a small nonprofit organization and served in various grantmaking roles. Easter and her husband, John Parker, have 3 children.
Patti Gillenwater is CEO of Elinvar, a retained search firm focused on mission driven leadership. As Elinvar’s leader since 1995, Patti has built the Elinvar organization around her belief that great results stem from leadership and great leadership happens when leaders are working in an environment that supports them. “It is with great leaders at the helm that mission driven organizations are able to create good things for all of their stakeholders.”
Since October 2008, Dan Gerlach has served as president of the Golden LEAF Foundation. After working as a budget analyst for the New York State Assembly for five years, Gerlach spent seven years as the director of the NC Budget and Tax Center and seven years as the Senior Fiscal Advisor for Gov. Easley. Dan has served on over a dozen commissions on budget, tax, agriculture and economic development at the state & national level. He formerly served on the NC Network of Grantmakers Board of Directors and currently is actively involved in his church.
Duncan started one of the first community early intervention programs in North Carolina which encompassed a rural, five-county area. He served as local and regional coordinator for services for all children and adults with developmental disabilities, and then was employed as the chief of Community Support Services for the NC Division of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities. For the next twenty-five years, he directed the NC Early Intervention Program with responsibilities in such areas as system planning and evaluation, policy development, resource development, budget management, professional development, and family involvement. During this time, he served as President of the National Infant and Toddler Coordinators’ Association.
After graduating from Catawba College in 1979, Greg began a business career and is currently CEO of Global Contact Services (GCS). GCS provides clients with outsourced staffing and management for customer interactions. He is a graduate of Salisbury High School, Catawba College and has his MBA from UNC-Charlotte. He has served on Catawba College Board of Trustees since 1999. He was selected Alumnus of the Year in 2010, received the Church and College Award in 2015 and delivered the Baccalaureate Homily in 2015.
Sheresa Blanchard has been a practitioner and consultant in early childhood, special education, and early intervention for over 10 years. A native of New Jersey, her professional career is primarily in North Carolina as a special education teacher, NC Rated License assessor and early interventionist. She received Masters (Birth through Kindergarten) and Doctoral (Specialized Education Services) degrees from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. From 2012-2013, she was a member of the North Carolina Early Learning and Development Standards Advisory Team who coordinated the creation of the North Carolina Foundations for Early Learning and Development.
For the last 20 years, Dr. Eric C. Bracy has served in various capacities as a teacher; Assistant
Principal for Elementary and Middle School; Principal and Central Administrator; Superintendent
in Northampton County Schools and Sampson County Schools. Dr. Bracy earned a Doctor of Education in Nova Southeastern University, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida; a Master of Education from Virginia State University, Petersburg, Virginia; Bachelor of Arts, Elementary Education from North Carolina Central University, Durham, North Carolina. He is a member of several professional and local organizations.
Peggy Carter retired as vice president of the Forsyth Medical Center Foundation. She previously served as VP of corporate affairs for Sara Lee Corporation’s apparel operations (now Hanesbrands Inc.) and senior director of legal and regulatory affairs in external relations for RJ Reynolds. She currently sits on boards for Winston-Salem State University’s Foundation (a past chair), Salemtowne Continuing Care Community (past chair), Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at UNC-CH, Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce (a past chair). She also serves on the Provincial Elders Conference of the Moravian Church Southern Province, the Trustees of the Moravian Salem Congregation and the Winston-Salem Capital Campaign Coordinating Committee.
Dr. Kenneth Dodge
Kenneth A. Dodge, Ph.D., is the William McDougall Professor of Public Policy and Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Duke University. He directs the Duke Center for Child and Family Policy, which is devoted to finding solutions to problems facing youth in contemporary society, through research, policy engagement, service, and education. Professor Dodge earned his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Duke University in 1978. He conducts research on the development and prevention of antisocial behavior in children and families and public policy to enhance children’s social development. He has been honored with the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award from the American Psychological Association, the Boyd McCandless Award, the Science to Practice Award from the Society for Prevention Research, and the Senior Scientist Award from the National Institutes of Health. He is married to Claudia Jones, M.D. They have two children, Graham and Zoe.
Marian F. Earls, MD, FAAP
Marian Earls is the Lead Pediatric Consultant for Community Care of North Carolina, and is the current lead on the state CHIPRA Quality Demonstration Grant for the state. From 1994 to July 2012 she was the Medical Director of Guilford Child Health., a large, non-profit, private Pediatric practice that is the pediatric division of Triad Adult and Pediatric Medicine in Greensboro, North Carolina. She is also a Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrician. Guilford Child Health is a public-private partnership between two community health systems and the department of public health, and serves families at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level. She is a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics for the University of North Carolina Medical School.
Mrs. Greene-Washington is the president of Indigo Innovation Group, a consulting firm dedicated to serving as a thought-partner, advisor and consultant to philanthropic and nonprofit organizations that are committed to accelerating change through system-level approaches, equity, and strategic collaboration. In addition to this role, she is the founder of CoThinkk, a social change philanthropy committed to improving the economic mobility, leadership, health and wellbeing, and education narrative of communities of color in Western NC. Her experience in community economic development has served as a foundation for her strong commitment to targeting systemic change and accelerating efforts at the intersection of economic development, health, and education. Throughout her career, she has taken on projects that address complex issues and led high level, long-term place-based projects and special initiatives.
Olson Huff, MD, FAAP
Olson Huff is a developmental pediatrician who practiced in North Carolina for more than forty years. A well known child advocate, he was the founder of the Olson Huff Center for Child Development and the founding medical director of Mission Children’s Hospital in Asheville, NC. He initiated many programs to assist in the health care of vulnerable populations e.g. the dental program that serves children in rural western North Carolina. He is an author of many scientific articles, regularly writes a blog on children’s health and social justice issues and has written four books, one of which, “How to Enjoy the First 60 Days of Life,” won the gold medal from the Independent Publishers Association. He served the North Carolina Chapter of the Academy of Pediatrics as vice-president and president, was a member of the Academy of Pediatrics National Nominating Committee and the Committee on Federal Government Affairs as well as chair of that committee.
Matty was born and raised in Lima, Peru, where she became an educator, following in the footsteps of her grandmother and mother. She labored in the Venezuelan corporate world and managed her own art gallery in the Dominican Republic before settling with her family in North Carolina in 1987, in search of better services for autism.
Cheryl Parquet is the Director of Community and Diversity Engagement at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC). She is a result driven strategic thinker who excels at bringing diverse groups to help increase engagement within the company and brand awareness throughout the community. She serves as a liaison with professional and community agencies as well as other internal departments to help identify investment opportunities for Blue Cross NC to help improve the health and wellness of North Carolinians.
Cheryl currently serves on the board for East Durham Children’s Initiative (EDCI) and Habitat for Humanity of Durham. She is a Goodmon Fellow and a member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. Durham Alumnae Chapter and The Durham Rotary Club.
Cheryl received her Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 2011, she received her Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Duke University.
In her spare time, she enjoys volunteering with various non-profits in the community, spending time with her family and watching movies.
Harold retired from Mechanics & Farmers Bank (M&F), Durham, NC in 2012 after 14 years as a Senior Vice President in the areas of Credit and Branch Administration. He began his banking career in 1977 with United Carolina Bank (UCB) Whiteville, NC. During his personal and professional growth years at UCB he held several Senior Management positions in the areas of Lending, Mergers & Acquisitions, Regulatory Compliance, and Community Reinvestment. The North Carolina native graduated with honors from North Carolina Central University with a B.A. degree in Business Administration. He is also a graduate of the North Carolina School of Banking Mid-Management and Advanced Management Programs at UNC-Chapel Hill.
Banu Valladares has an extensive non-profit background in education, the arts and humanities, specializing in forming strategic partnerships with national, state and local agencies. She has served with the NC Humanities Council, the NC Arts Council, and SonEdna where she was the Executive Director. Banu moved to Charlotte from Venezuela to attend UNC-Charlotte and called Charlotte home until 2004. She returned to Charlotte in 2014 after posts in the triangle area of North Carolina and Mississippi.
Chuck Willson, MD
Chuck Willson is first and foremost a generalist pediatrician and child advocate. He received his undergraduate degree from Princeton University and MD from the University of Virginia in 1974. After a pediatric internship at North Carolina Memorial Hospital, he entered the US Navy to pay back a scholarship commitment. He served as a general medical officer at Camp LeJeune from 1975 to 1977. Then he returned to the University of North Carolina to complete his residency, serving a chief resident year in 1980.