Victoria Bartolomeo is the associate director of advancement at the State Policy Network. Prior to this role Bartolomeo was the project manager for advancement at SPN and field director at Americans for Prosperity. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from NC State University.
Alexander Boston is a staff attorney for the Housing authority of the city of Winston-Salem. Prior to being a staff attorney, Boston was a legal intern at Womble, Carlyle, Sandridge, & Rice. He received his JD and his undergraduate degree from Wake Forest University.
Leah Byers is a government affairs associate at the John Locke Foundation. Prior to working with the John Locke Foundation, she was a policy analyst at the Civitas Institute and a former legislative intern for the NC House Majority Leader. Byers received her MPA (policy analysis and education policy) from the University of Kentucky and her undergraduate degree from NC State University.
Josh Coffey is the assistant staff judge advocate in the US Air Force. Coffey was a former litigation attorney with Eggers, Eggers, Eggers, & Eggers, PLLC. He received his JD from Campbell University after receiving his undergraduate degree in political and science and pre-professional legal studies.
James Estes is the regional representative for Thom Tillis (Senator NC). Estes is the former Chief Records Officer and Strategic Projects analyst at the NC Department of Commerce. He received his bachelor’s degree in business administration law from Wester Carolina University.
Thomas Gustaferro was a former ballot access manager in Connecticut and political director for a Texas state senator. He was also a former campaign manager in Plano, Texas. Gustaferro earned his undergraduate degree from UNC Wilmington.
Sumit Gupta is the former deputy commissioner at the NC Industrial Commission and a former general practice partner at Stewart, Schmidlin, Bullock, & Gupta. Gupta is also the former assistant district attorney for the 11th judicial district of NC. He received his JD from Wake Forest University School of Law, his MBA from the Babcock School of Management, and his undergraduate degree from UNC Chapel Hill.
Patrick Kea is the technical lead at Lenovo as well as an event photographer at Another Pat Kreation and ISS – Raleigh Chapter. Kea was a former technical support specialist and technical support representative at WorkSmart. He received his AAS from Athens Technical College in Networking and Computer Support.
Sebastian is currently the Vice President at Triad Golf Today. Prior to working at Triad, he was a policy advisor at the North Carolina General Assembly and a campaign manager for Jon Hardister. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in political science and government from Texas A&M University.
Brian Liebman is a law clerk to the full commission at the NC Industrial Commission. Prior to this position Liebman was the former special deputy commissioner at the NC Industrial Commission and the former Deputy Commissioner Section and President of the Friends of Residents in Long Term Care. Liebman is also the author of “The Watchman Blinded: Does the NC Public Records Law Frustrate the Purpose of Police Body Worn Cameras?” He received his JD from UNC Chapel Hill and his undergraduate degree from NC State University.
Matthew Mercer is the editor in chief at the North State Journal. Mercer also serves as the event organizer for the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign. He is the former fundraising manager at Outdoor Heritage Advisory Council and was an account and project manager for the Results Company. Mercer received his Bachelor of Arts in political science from UNC Charlotte.
Jason Minnicozzi is the assistant public defender for New Hanover County’s public defender office. He is also an adjunct professor at the University of Mount Olive. Prior to his current roles, Minnicozzi was the assistant district attorney for Brunswick County’s district attorney’s office and former senior associate at McAngus, Goudelock, & Courie. He received his JD from Campbell University and his undergraduate degree in Criminology from NC State University.
Erick Odom is a contract negotiator and analyst at IQVIA. He was a former law clerk at Adams, Howell, Sizemore, & Lenfestey, P.A. and former document reviewer at Consilio Services. Odom received his JD from NC Central University School of Law and his undergraduate degree from UNC Pembroke.
Joshua is a contributing columnist for the Carolina Journal. He is also a former accounting consultant at Wells Fargo and a former senior auditor for KPMG. Peters received his doctorate from UNC Chapel Hill after receiving his master’s in data science and analytics from UNC Charlotte and undergraduate degree from NC State University.
Jordan Roberts currently is a government affairs associate with the John Locke Foundation. Formerly he was a policy analyst (health policy) for the John Locke Foundation and was on the 2018 Watauga County Board of Elections Precinct Judge. Roberts received his Bachelor of Science and his master’s degree in Political Science and Government from Appalachian State University.
Tyler Sain is a senior political analyst at Stand Together. Before Sain was in his current role, he served as the partnership advisor for Stand Together and the former local director for the Concerned Veterans for America. He also formerly served as a city council member for the City of Morganton Historic Preservation Commission. Sain received his undergraduate degree in History and Political Science from Gardner-Webb University. He also has a certificate in grant writing, non-profit, public, organizational management from Western Carolina.
Marcus Spake is the managing attorney at Stewart Law Offices and serves as the Vice Chairman for Community Charter Schools. Formerly Spake was an insurance defense attorney (workers compensation) at Wilson, Jones, Carter, & Baxley and was the former director of Worker’s Compensation (Attorney) at the Law Office of Stefan R. Latorre. He received his JD from Charlotte School of Law and his undergraduate degree from Appalachian University.
Jack Wagstaff is a police officer with the Durham Police Department. He has been a member of the Durham Family Justice Center and the Patrol Beat Realignment Committee. Wagstaff earned a Bachelor of Science in business administration (and Spanish) from the College of Charleston prior to earning his MS from Liberty University in criminal justice public administration.
George Wass is the current field director for Vanguard Field Strategies. He is also the former constituent representative and political advisor for Ted Budd. Before working for the NC Representative, he was the state operations manager for Americans for Prosperity. Wass earned his AA in political science and government from Surry Community College.
Adam Wilson is the training coordinator for the Gastonia Police Department shift tactical team and patrol training sergeant. He is also the commissioner for the NC Human relations commission. Wilson was a former SWAT operator and special investigations detective for the Gastonia PD. Prior to receiving his doctorate from NSU-FL, Wilson earned his master’s in criminal justice and undergraduate degree from ECU.
Dahlia Ashford is the assistant director for residential education at NC Agriculture and Technical State University (NC A&T). She has experience working with other higher education institutions, including the University of Arkansas, Virginia Commonwealth University, Eastern Kentucky University, and the University of Central Arkansas. She graduated from Mississippi State University with a BS in biological and physical sciences and from the University of Central Arkansas with an MS in college administration.
Blake Beadle is a payments product manager at Apiture in Wilmington, NC. He served several roles within Western Union Business Solutions leading strategic accounts and finance, product innovation, and global operations implementation and training. A former investigative analyst with Ruesch International, Beadle earned his BA in political science from UNC-Wilmington and his MBA from University of Maryland University College.
Jennifer Behr works for Electric Supply Co in finance and marketing and owns City of Oaks Consulting. She is a former senior organizer for Chambers for Innovation and Clean Energy, marketing consultant with Direct Mail Systems, Inc, finance director for the NC Republican Party, and finance director for the Richard Burr Committee. She earned a BA in liberal studies from Peace College, where she was the founder and president of College Republicans.
Matthew Cohen is the national field director for the Lincoln Strategy Group. Previously, he was a regional field director and deputy director of GOTV operations for the Republican National Committee, a regional voter supervisor for the NC Republican Party, and the executive director of the NC League of Independent Voters. Cohen graduated from East Carolina University with a BA in political science.
Rita Dorry is an associate with Lewis & Roberts, PLLC in Raleigh, NC. She is a former special deputy commissioner for the NC Industrial Commission, legal research assistant for the NC General Assembly, and volunteer assistant district attorney for the 10th judicial district. Dorry earned her BS in criminology from NC State University and her JD from NC Central University, where she served as senior editor of the Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Law Review.
Daniel Gibson works with Stam Law Firm as an associate attorney, handling business, appellate, and constitutional cases. Before coming to Stam, Gibson was the chief litigation attorney for Cary Law Firm, PLLC, an associate attorney with Cannon Law Offices, and a research assistant at Wake Forest University. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from Campbell University with a degree in government and from Wake Forest University with a JD.
Neal Inman serves as general counsel to the Officer of the Speaker of the NC House of Representatives. He previously served as the election day operations director for the NC Republican Party, a House Rules Committee member in the NC General Assembly, and an agency legal specialist for the NC Industrial Commission. Inman earned his BA in history from Campbell University and his JD from UNC-Chapel Hill School of Law.
Andrew Jones is a managing attorney at Forrest Firm, PC. He has also worked with Rountree Losee LLP, NC Business Court, Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP, and Wishart Norris Henninger & Pittman, PA. Jones earned a BA in political science from Davidson College and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a JD from Elon University School of Law, where he worked for the Elon Law Review and was awarded the presidential scholarship.
Kenny Straub is an associate at NewSpring Capital in Philadelphia, PA. Previously, he was an associate and analyst with Five Points Capital, an analyst with Triangle Capital Corporation, a credit analyst with BMO Financial Group, and a risk management associate with GE Capital. Straub received his degree in accounting and finance from Elon University, where he was a Doherty Scholar, SGA senator, and received the Schneider Family Asian Studies scholarship.
Chris West is the Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) program coordinator at UNC-Chapel Hill. He previously worked as a FERNS editorial board member for Yale University, a communications fellow at the Civitas Institute, and a higher education policy fellow with The James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal. West graduated from Campbell University with a Bachelor’s degree in Christian studies and from NC State University Master’s in innovation, policy, and economics.
Lucy Austin is a special deputy commissioner for the North Carolina Industrial Commission in Raleigh. Previously she served as a senior law clerk for NC Court of Appeals Judge Robert N. Hunter Jr. Austin received her undergraduate degree in psychology from NC State University and graduated cum laude with a doctorate of law from Campbell University’s Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law.
Elizabeth Campos is a sales representative at Twins Creek Distillery in Rocky Mount, Virginia. Before coming to Twins Creek, Campos owned and operated her own CrossFit studio in Eden, NC, and taught social studies at Magna Vista High School in Virginia. She earned a BS in History from Ferrum College in Virginia and her MA in teaching from Hollins University.
Sarah Child is an associate attorney at Storzer and Associates. She’s a former federal judicial law clerk for the US Federal Court and public relations assistant at Rueckert Advertising and Public Relations, LLC. At Roberts Wesleyan College in Rochester NY, Child graduated Summa Cum Laude in communications and was captain of the women’s basketball team. In 2017 she received her Juris Doctorate degree from Regent University School of Law.
Justin Davis is a team leader at Keller Williams Realty Inc. He previously worked with Nease Personnel Services as their business development coordinator and at Tar River United Way as a program developer for Hometown Hires. Davis received his BS in public policy and leadership studies from Eastern Carolina University, where he also served as student body president and assistant director of the Shelton Leadership Challenge.
Joseph E. Houchin is an equity partner and criminal defense attorney at Dysart Willis. A former Blackstone fellow at Alliance Defending Freedom, Houchin has successfully represented clients in state and federal courts, and won the Daniel Corker Horton & Bell Appellate Advocacy competition, among other honors and awards. Houchin earned his undergraduate degree in government and international politics from George Mason and University and his JD from the University of Mississippi School of Law.
Patrick Lally serves as vehicle assignment manager for the North Carolina Department of Administration in Raleigh. He previously served as a district executive for the Boy Scouts of America and worked for Red Wolf Public Sector and the Catholic Diocese of Raleigh. Lally received his BS in political science from the Military College of South Carolina (The Citadel).
Tracey Raupp is a budget analyst for the United States Army Installation Management Command (INCOM). Raupp previously worked as an administrative assistant at Garrison Internal Review & Audit Compliance, USASOC, at Fort Bragg, and served as a unit supply sergeant for four years in the US Army. She graduated from Methodist University with a Bachelor’s Degree in business administration.
Jerrod Rogers is a legal document reviewer for Complex Litigation in Morrisville, North Carolina. He also teaches at Wake Technical Community College and previously worked as an executive career consultant and senior financial analyst at Career Pro. Rogers received his BS in business administration from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and his law degree from Western Michigan University.
Dane Scalise is General Counsel for Griffin-Estep Benefit Group. He also owns and operates ILM Lawyers. From 2016-2020, he served as Deputy Commissioner of the North Carolina Industrial Commission. Scalise serves on the board of directors for several non-profit organizations, including Wilmington Downtown, Inc. and the New Hanover County Bar Association. He obtained a B.A. in English and History from UNC Greensboro and a J.D. from UNC-Chapel Hill’s law school.
Michael Schietzelt joined the John Locke Foundation in 2019 as Criminal Justice Fellow. Schietzelt spent four years in the US Marine Corps, including service as a soloist in the “Commandant’s Own” Drum and Bugle Corps, and is a former clerk for Chief Justice Mark Martin of the Supreme Court of North Carolina. He received his undergraduate degree in music performance from UNC Greensboro and holds a Juris Doctorate from Duke University School of Law.
Matthew Turrentine is the manager of support services for Duke Health Access and has previously held other positions within the Duke University Health System. He graduated from Campbell University with a Bachelor’s Degree in psychology, pre-medicine, and mathematics and volunteered for Family Health Ministries in Leogane, Haiti. As a fellow for the NC Institute of Political Leadership, Turrentine educated community leaders in the ethics of campaigning and governing.
Alfred White is the Regional Vice President at nCino Inc., a cloud-banking company in Wilmington. He worked as a product specialist at the same company, and formerly held positions at First Citizens Bank, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo. He earned his bachelor’s degree in business/corporate communications from Elon University and completed an MBA program at UNC Wilmington. For over four years, White has volunteered as the treasurer board of directors for the Community Boys and Girls Club of Wilmington.
Emmanuel Wilder’s experience as a quality assurance engineer and technical lead for Fidelity Investments informs his current position at Red Hat, where he is a Senior Systems Analyst. He also previously worked for the City of Raleigh’s Parks and Recreation Department. He graduated from Eastern Carolina University with a B.S. in computer science and serves as community director for his fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha.
Augustus Willis is the assistant district attorney for Carteret, Craven, and Pamlico county. Willis has a breadth of experience in law, formerly serving as a staff attorney at the North Carolina General Assembly, a special assistant U.S. attorney for the Eastern District, and a public defender in Wake County. Willis received his undergraduate degree in financial services from East Carolina University and his Juris Doctorate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Brad Young is the executive director for the NC Institute of Political Leadership (NCIOPL). Young is also the former director of external affairs for the NC Office of State Auditor and former press secretary for the Office of State Treasurer. Before entering the public sector, he served as marketing and communications manager for Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Young earned a B.S. in business administration from NC State University and his MBA from Campbell University.
Josh Adams is an associate attorney at Jackson Lewis P.C. in Charlotte, where he represents employers in workplace matters, including litigation and counseling. He’s a former associate at Willson Jones Carter Baxley and Patrick, Harper & Dixon. Adams graduated Cum Laude from Carson-Newman University with undergraduate degrees in economics and speech communication and rhetoric. He obtained his Juris Doctorate from Wake Forest University School of Law.
Andrew Atkins is an associate at Smith Anderson, a member of the firm’s Construction and Commercial Litigation Practice Group, and the commissioner for North Carolina’s Rules Review Commission. Atkins previously served as a judicial clerk to North Carolina Supreme Court Justice Mark D. Martin and as a reporter to the North Carolina Commission on the Administration of Law and Justice. He received both his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Elliot Engstrom is a deputy county attorney at Cleveland County. He has also represented and advised all departments of Cleveland County Government and was a Legal Method and Communication fellow at Elon University. Prior to his fellowship with E. A. Morris, Engstrom served as lead counsel for the Civitas Institute’s Center for Law and Freedom and as director of communications for Young Americans for Liberty. Engstrom received his BA in French from Wake Forest University and his JD from the University of Georgia.
Hope Gilley is a financial advisor at Edwards Jones in Eden, North Carolina. During 2012, Gilley worked as regional director for the Romney/Ryan campaign, leading the “get out the vote” initiative, and in 2015, she was awarded the Ted Jones Prospecting Award. She received her undergraduate degree in Finance and her Masters of Accounting from Wingate University, where she also served as an ad team director and resident director.
Daniel Gore leads capital and resolution planning at Credit Suisse in Morrisville. Formerly he was the chief financial officer at Southern CC, Inc. and co-owner of Grey Area Solutions, where he consulted with clients on emergency preparedness, security, and strategy. For ten years, Gore served his country as an Airborne Infantryman and Army Recruiter. Gore graduated Cum Laude from Methodist University with dual degrees in financial economics and business administration.
Ashley Taylor Jacobs is a grants analyst at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She previously worked as a residential advisor for UNC Horizons and an HR specialist for the NC Office of Human Resources. She is an active member of her community, serving as chair elect for the Durham Crisis Center and a board member for the Durham Partnership for Children. Jacobs earned her undergraduate degree in psychology from NC State University and her Masters in Public Administration from NC Central University.
Michael McKnight practices law at Ogletree Deakins in Raleigh, where he specializes in employment and OSHA counsel for businesses and nonprofits. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his law degree from Campbell University. McKnight is treasurer of the NC Center to Reduce Underage Drinking and previously served as general counsel for the NC Republican Party.
Ashley Moore is a deputy commissioner at the North Carolina Industrial Commission. She formerly served as law clerk to Chairman Allen, Commissioner Linda Cheatham, and Vice-Chairman Yolanda K. Stith. Moore also practiced family and real estate law at McWilliam, Henderson & Wall in Garner. She earned her undergraduate degree in communication studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her Juris Doctorate from NC Central University.
Asia Prince is an assistant US attorney for the United States Attorney’s Office. In 2018, he served as campaign manager for Judge Andrew Heath, and before that he worked as director of claims administration for the North Carolina Industrial Commission. In his free time, Prince is a volunteer judge for Capital Area Teen Court. Prince graduated from UNC Greensboro with a BS in business administration and received his Juris Doctorate from UNC-Chapel Hill.
Angela Sherrod is an enrolled agent and tax accountant at KB Morgan PLLC in Greensboro. A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Sherrod previously worked for the Internal Revenue Service. She serves on the board of directors of Triad Local First and formerly served as president of the Greensboro/Winston-Salem chapter of Mocha Moms.
Michael Silver is a deputy commissioner at the NC Industrial Commission and a former assistant district attorney in Forsyth County. He is an active big brother in Big Brothers/Big Sisters, an appointee to the North Carolina Domestic Violence Commission, and serves on the board of directors for the Riverrun International Film Festival. Silver received a BS in elementary education from NC A&T State University. He taught fifth grade students for several years before going on to earn his Juris Doctorate and MPA from UNC-Chapel Hill.
Jonathan Strange has spent over ten years at The Strange Law Firm in Fayetteville, NC as a general practice attorney, focusing on criminal defense and civil litigation. He’s also a former assistant district attorney for Cumberland County and social studies teacher for Wake County public schools. Strange attended Louisiana State University, where he received a BS in secondary education. He earned his Juris Doctorate from Campbell University Normal Adrian Wiggins School of Law.
Kevin Daniels is a government and military affairs liaison at Carteret Community College and the director of government relations at the Daniels Development Group. Previously he served as the director of community and constituent affairs for former North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory and as president of the Frederick Douglass Foundation of North Carolina. In his free-time, Daniels is a board member for Carteret County Area Transportation Services and the National Society of Leadership and Success.
Anna Beavon Gravely is the executive director for the North Carolina FreeEnterprise Foundation. Formerly, Gravely was the political director for the campaign to elect Mark Harris for U.S. Senate, the state director at Generation Opportunity, and the director of field operations for Family Action. She has also filled several roles within the North Carolina chapter of Americans for Prosperity. Gravely earned her undergraduate degree in political science, writing, and ethics from Meredith University.
Jefferson Griffin is a District Court judge in Wake County, NC and a former assistant district attorney. He also serves as Captain and JAG officer in the North Carolina Army National Guard. Griffin received his BA in history and political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his law degree from NC Central University. He initially practiced law with the firm Wallace, Morris, Barwick, Landis & Stroud in Kinston, focusing on civil litigation and criminal defense.
Destin Hall is a state representative for Caldwell County – District 87 and majority freshman leader in the North Carolina General Assembly. Hall serves on a variety of committees addressing insurance, finance, K-12 education, and commerce and job development, and is also a practicing attorney with Wilson, Lackey, and Rohr in Lenoir, NC. Hall earned his law degree from Wake Forest University and his B.S. in business from Appalachian State University.
Alex Haynes is an insurance advisor at Hood Hargett & Associates in Charlotte. Haynes formerly served as investor relations manager for the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, director of operations at INVEST COLLEGIATE charter school, and internship coordinator at Rocky Mount prep. He also taught English for two years in Seoul, South Korea. Haynes graduated from Appalachian State University with a BS in industrial and product design.
Andrew Heath is a Superior Court judge in North Carolina. Before taking office in 2017, Heath was a state budget director under former governor Pat McCrory, chairman of the North Carolina Industrial Commission, and an attorney with Hedrick Gardner Kincheloe & Garofalo. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Asheville with a BS in business administration and management, and earned his JD from Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law.
Jamie Liles Lassiter is a public notary and the Executive Director of the North Carolina Conference of Clerks of Superior Court. She previously worked as a grants specialist for the Governor’s Crime Commission, research advisor to the office of the N.C. House Speaker Pro Tem, and a deputy clerk of Superior Court for the NC Administration Office of the Courts. Lassiter has BA in political science and government and a Master of Public Administration from North Carolina State University.
Alex Lewis is the business development manager for industrial contractor Edwards Inc., where he is responsible for developing new business and client relationships. He is the former director of purchasing for Freedom Industries and a team member at City Electric. Lewis received his undergraduate degree in business administration and finance from East Carolina University. His political activities include serving as communications director for the Wilson, NC GOP and a 2012 run for Wilson County Register of Deeds.
Scott McKaig is a general counsel for The Lincoln Network and an adjunct professor of business analytics at Wake Tech Community College. He is a former financial representative with Northwestern Mutual, contracting officer at the NC Department of Information Technology, and community development specialist for the Governor’s Crime Commission. McKaig received his BA in English and political science from UNC Greensboro and his MBA and JD from Campbell University.
Matt Mumpower is a marketing consultant for Mumpower Marketing and works in technology marketing for TransPerfect. Mumpower previously served as the marketing director for Med First Primary & Urgent Care, and has marketing experience with Training Network and Johnson Properties Relators & Auctioneers. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington with a BS in marketing.
Derrick Raphael is the CEO and co-founder of ICON Talent Partners and a compliance manager for Toronto-based company TD. Raphael is also an advisor and board member for several organizations including LawHero, EDGE @ Sheridan, ICUBE UTM, and the Canadian Association of Urban Financial Professionals. A certified foreign legal consultant, Raphael earned his BA in sociology from Princeton, his JD from Duke University School of Law, and his Masters of Law (LLM) from the University of Toronto.
Joanie Reeder is a grant writer at Novant Health and the former development coordinator at Cooperative Christian Ministry in Concord, NC. Before coming to Novant Health, Reeder served as editor of the Kannapolis Citizen newspaper and a reporter at the Salisbury Post and the Elizabeth City Daily Advance. Reeder received her BA in communications from Catawba College and additional certifications from Rowan-Cabarrus Community College.
Arthur Rich manages accounting procedures for GCW Enterprises in Goldsboro, NC. Rich is actively engaged in politics – in 2014, he ran for Congress in the state’s 1st District, and also previous sought the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor in 2012. He earned a BS in economics and accounting from East Carolina University.
Clark Riemer works in the North Carolina General Assembly as a policy advisor and research assistant to the senior house finance chair, and formerly served as a legislative assistant and assistant sergeant-at-arms. Riemer volunteers as a board member for several organizations including the North Carolina Federation of Young Republicans and the Children’s Advocacy Centers of North Carolina. He earned his undergraduate degree in political science from Elon University.
Kelley Rooney is the vice president at Perry Communications Group, Inc in Sacramento, CA, and serves on the executive committee for the Forest County Republican Party. She was formerly the political director for North State Solutions, the political and digital director at Cornerstone Solutions, and the regional field director for the North Carolina Republican Party and Romney for President. Rooney received her BA in political science from the University of Southern Mississippi.
Ryan Simons is the president of the Wilson Chamber of Commerce in Wilson, NC, and previously served as the director of planning and economic development for the town of Selma and a county planner for Dare County. Simons is a board member for several organizations including the Wilson Education Partnership and the Wilson Downtown Development Corporation. He received his BS in urban and regional planning from East Carolina University and his MBA from the University of Maryland University College.
Jessica Thompson serves as counsel at Cause of Action Institute and is a former law clerk for NC Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark D. Martin. A former practicing attorney with Bailey & Dixon and the Brown Law LLP, Thompson has also worked for the Institute for Justice, the Institute for Humane Studies, and the John Locke Foundation. She earned her undergraduate degree in peace, war, and defense and her JD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Jeffrey Zimmerman is a Social Sciences Research Scientist at the North Carolina Justice Academy in Salemburg and formerly served as Director of Processing Services for the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles. He is a former state trooper, Fayetteville police officer, and sergeant in the U.S. Army. He is a graduate of Fayetteville State University and is currently pursuing a law degree at N.C. Central University.
Kevin Ceglowski practices employment law as a partner at Poyner & Spruill LLP. Ceglowski is also on the board of directors for SAFEchild Inc, an organization dedicated to combatting child abuse in Wake County, and a volunteer for High Climbers of North Carolina, a leadership development program for high schoolers. He graduated from NC State University with a BS in business management and earned his JD from Campbell University.
Richard Dietz is a judge on the North Carolina Court of Appeals. He previously practiced law at Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton and Covington & Burling LLP. Dietz is a certified specialist in Appellate Practice and a member of the NC Bar Association, the Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference, and the North Carolina Equal Access to Justice Commission. He received his undergraduate degree in finance from Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania and his JD from Wake Forest University School of Law.
Christopher Dooley is a business planning and information analyst for Retail Business Services, as well as a development and visual engineer for A Break Apart. He has previously held positions with US Foods, Mecklenburg County government, and Ahold Delhaize, and also volunteers with Rowan Help Ministries, Special Olympics of North Carolina, and China Grove. Dooley earned his BA in management and operations from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
Beth Friedrich is deputy general counsel at the North Carolina Department of Commerce. Before coming to the Department of Commerce, Friedrich was general counsel to the North Carolina Industrial Commission, special assistant to the general counsel for former Gov. Pat McCrory, and an account executive at DCI Group. She received her undergraduate degree in political science from the University of Georgia, and her JD from North Carolina Central University School of Law.
Katelyn Garlow Griffin is a legislative assistant in the North Carolina General Assembly and a content specialist at ICUC, a social media management firm from Montreal, Canada. Griffin is a former field director and grassroots communications coordinator for Americans for Prosperity and the associate aquatics director at the Jerry Long Family YMCA. She graduated from NC State University with a BA in public relations and journalism.
Pearce Godwin is the founder and CEO of the Listen First Project and the executive director for the National Conversation Project, global nonprofit initiatives dedicated to promoting greater understanding, respect, and cooperation. Previously Godwin was the market research and insights director at The Stone Agency and the director of Raleigh-based organization American Insights. Godwin has a BA in public policy from Duke University and an MBA from UNC’s Kenan-Flagler business school.
Grayson Greco is an executive officer in the North Carolina National Guard and the owner of Master’s Method Solid Craftsmanship. He formerly worked as a business development consultant with Connected Investors and a lobbyist for the Susan B. Anthony List. Greco graduated Cum Laude from UNC Wilmington with a BA in Anthropology and received his MA in ethics from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Hank Henning is a Guilford County commissioner and an account executive at Energy Systems Group. He’s also a former sales representative for Cook Medical and a strategic account manager at Brady, a building solutions provider in Greensboro, NC. Hanning served two tours in Iraq as a United States Marine, and previously worked as an aide to former U.S. Sen. Spencer Abraham. Henning is a graduate of Michigan State University .
Alan Jefferies is a program analyst at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). He was also a human capital analyst and human resource specialist for the EPA and a special projects manager for ReStart, Inc. Jefferies earned his undergraduate degree in political science from East Carolina University and graduated Summa Cum Laude from North Carolina Central University with a Masters of Public Administration.
Hugh Johnson is a senior government affairs manager at WellCare Health Plans. He has experience as a government relations coordinator for the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners, analyzing policy for former governor Pat McCrory, and leading volunteer groups completing projects for Habitat for Humanity of Wake County. Johnson graduated from Wake Forest University with a BA in political science and communications and from Georgetown University with a Masters in public policy.
Misty Odell is a community engagement director for the North Carolina chapter of Americans for Prosperity. She has previously filled other roles within the organization and worked in pharmacy for the Duke University Health System. A board of trustees member for the North Carolina Humanities Counsel, Odell earned a BS in chemistry and graduate degree in organic chemistry from the College of William and Mary.
Ashley Perkinson is an attorney at the Perkinson Law Firm and a lobbyist at North State Strategies. She received her undergraduate and law degrees from UNC-Chapel Hill. Perkinson is a member of the board of trustees at the North Carolina Symphony and serves on the government affairs committee of the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce.
Katie Trout is a marketing and communications officer for the North Carolina Department of Transportation. She previously served as managing editor and communications director at the Civitas Institute, a producer at WBT-AM in Charlotte, and the director of marketing and project management at Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina. Trout graduated from Garner-Webb University with a BA in English.
Tyler Younts is a deputy commissioner at the North Carolina Industrial Commission (NCIC). He’s also a former law clerk for NCIC, staff attorney for the NC Institute for Constitutional Law, and contract attorney for Synergy Legal Professionals. Younts earned his BS in political science from UNC-Chapel Hill, where he was a speaker of the student congress, and his JD from Campbell University’s Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law.
John Amanchukwu is a youth pastor and first assistant to Bishop Patrick L. Wooden, Sr. at Raleigh’s Upper Room Church of God in Christ, where he started as executive director of Upper Room Christian Academy. Amanchukwu previously served as a territory manager for Novartis Animal Health and a senior sales consultant at Carmax Auto Superstore. He is a graduate of North Carolina State University, where he played on the football team and earned a degree in sports management.
Davis Bourland is an investment analyst at FinLab AG in Frankfurt, Germany. He is a former business analyst for ScottMadden Inc. and a former administrative services and project manager for the city of Winston-Salem. Bourland earned his undergraduate degree in communications from Denison University, an MA in communications from Wake Forest University, and an MBA from the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management.
Ellis Boyle practices law in Raleigh as a partner at Knott and Boyle, PLLC and a lawyer at Ellis Boyle Law. Boyle has experience serving as deputy secretary and general counsel to the NC Department of Public Safety, an assistant US attorney for EDNC, and a captain in the United States Army. He graduated from Davidson with a BA in history, where he played on the football team, and earned his JD from Wake Forest University School of Law.
Josh Ellis is the associate vice president for media relations at the University of North Carolina. Previously he was the communications director for Gov. Pat McCrory, deputy secretary for communications and external affairs at the NC Department of Commerce, capitol reporter for WPTF-AM, and a producer at Curtis Media Group. Ellis graduated with honors from UNC-Chapel Hill with degrees in journalism and mass communication.
Wesley Fricks is a board member for the US Chamber of Commerce’s US-Iraq Business Initiative and vice chair of the NC Research Triangle chapter of ASIS International. He is the former vice president of TigerSwan and deputy secretary for interagency affairs at the NC Department of Transportation. An Auburn University graduate in agricultural business and economics and a former White House aide for President George W. Bush, Fricks co-founded the 12th State Forum, a statewide network of conservative professionals.
Lindsay Hollandsworth is the communications director at the John William Pope Foundation in Raleigh. Before coming to the Pope Foundation, Hollandsworth was the programs and communications manager for the Jesse Helms Center Foundation and an administrative assistant for Commercial Defeasance LLC. She received a BLS in organizational communication and management from Wingate University.
Brad Langston is a constituent advocate for the office of US Senator Richard Burr and a board member for Boundless Impact, a non-profit championing inclusive leadership and innovation. He has held staff positions for US representatives Mark Walker, Howard Coble, and Virginia Foxx and campaign roles for gubernatorial, congressional, and legislative candidates. Langston graduated from UNC Wilmington with a BA in political science and history.
Kristen Laster is an instructional assistant in the Wake County public school system. Laster used to be a managing partner for Southern Strategy Group of North Carolina, the vice president of Fetzer Strategic Partners, and a lobbyist for Messer Caparello & Self PA. She earned her undergraduate degree in communication from Western Carolina University, and is also a member of the Theta Iota chapter of the Delta Zeta sorority.
Alanna Linden is the senior vice president of network relations at the National Christian Foundation and also the co-owner of Provision Audio/Video Services. Linden was previously employed with House of Hope of NC and Crossroads Fellowship. She graduated from SUNY-Geneseo with a BA in interpersonal and organizational communication and earned her MA in organizational communication from the University of Memphis.
Derrick Nantz is an assistant professor at Wake Tech Community College, where he teaches philosophy. Nantz earned his undergraduate degree in philosophy and economics from UNC-Wilmington, his MA in philosophy at Georgia State University, and his MBA at Methodist University. His interests include Ancient Greek philosophy, Nietzsche, and business ethics.
Neil Oakley is an attorney with Robbins May & Rich and the Alliance Defending Freedom. He resides in Whispering Pines, NC. A former field coordinator for Americans for Prosperity and public school teacher, Oakley received his undergraduate degree from UNC-Chapel Hill, and his law degree from Elon University.
Charles Robinson is the CEO of Charles & Whitney and a business consultant with the Newton Law Group. Before founding his own company, Robinson was the senior business development manager at Logistical Athletic Solutions and the VP of business development at Vstrator. He graduated from Duke University – where he played on the football team – with Bachelor’s Degrees in psychology and marketing and management solutions.
Bill Southern serves as chief district court judge for Stokes and Surry counties and resides in the town of King, NC. A former prosecutor in the district attorney’s office, Southern graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill with degrees in political science and American studies, and earned his JD from the Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law.
Burwell Stark is a manager in the North Carolina Department of Commerce. He has held roles in organizations including Triangle Apartment Association, ValueNet Consulting, Civitas Institute, JR Hill and Associates, and the NC Department of Health and Human Services. Stark is a graduate of Appalachian State University – where he received a degree in English literature – , a proud foster parent, and a certified global career development facilitator.
Rhett Bailey is an ESE learning strategies and resource teacher at West Gadsden High School in Tallahassee, Florida. He previously worked as a substitute teacher and tutor at the Christ Classical Academy, as a team leader at Gutter Glove of North Carolina, and as a coatings technician at Wake Paint and Decorating. Bailey earned his undergraduate degree in religious studies from NC State University and has completed coursework at the Catholic University of America and Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University.
Julie Bryce is co-chair of The Alliance of Women in Tech Leadership, the fractional chief marketing officer for juliebryce.com, and a board member for 10ThousandWidows. Bryce has worked with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, SanDisk, Oracle, Red Hat, WeddingWire, and Axiom. She graduated from NC State University with a BA in economics and was a founding member of the Society for Politics, Economics, and Law (SPEL).
Algenon Cash co-founded Wharton Gladden, where he is chair of the operating committee and fund advisory council. He is also an operating partner for Zestos Burgers and Ice Cream, a columnist for The Winston-Salem Chronicle, and a commercial real estate development course instructor at Winston-Salem State University. An NC State graduate in computer science, Cash is involved in several community groups and causes, including Forsyth Futures, Center for Design Innovation, and the Winston-Salem Foundation.
Duke Cheston previously worked as a writer and reporter for the Pope Center for Higher Education Policy. Cheston received his Master’s degree in Christian ministry at the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and is a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, where he earned a BS in Biology and wrote for The Carolina Review. He has volunteered for UNC Health Care and preached in West Africa with the Timothy Initiative.
Katelynd Day is stay-at-home mom and former office manager at the John Locke Foundation. A graduate of Ursinus College with an MBA from the University of Maryland University College, Day previously worked as assistant director and school liaison officer for the United States Navy’s Child and Youth Programs in South Korea.
Charles Kennedy is a former project manager for AVCON, Inc. and a resident of Cary, N.C. He has experience as an audio visual technician at AVCON, a technician for Technical Innovation, and the head security supervisor for Pfizer Pharmaceuticals.
Donna King is an independent media communications consultant and the host of WPTF Triangle Morning News. King is the former managing editor at the North State Journal, a former press secretary to the US Senate, and worked policy and communications in the North Carolina General Assembly for the majority leader. She graduated from North Carolina State University with a BA in mass communication and journalism.
Brian LiVecchi is a litigation attorney at Cumalander Adcock, LLP. LiVecchi previously served five years as a corporal in the US Marine Corps, two years as a police officer in Rocky Mount, and four years as an infantry officer in the Army National Guard. He has also held positions on the NC Industrial Commission, the NC Department of Transportation, the Wake County Planning Board, and the NC Board of Elections. He’s a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill in peace, war, and defense, and earned his JD from Campbell University.
Ziyi “Milton” Mai models risk management as a quantitative analyst for BB&T. He was previously a summer research fellow at the American Institute for Economic Research and a human resources associate at PICC Property and Casualty Co. Mai received his undergraduate degree in economics from Guangdong University of Finance & Economics and his Master’s and PhD in economics from NC State University, where he also worked as a teaching assistant and columnist for the campus newspaper, The Technician.
B.J. Murphy is the the president & CEO of Magic Mile Media and a publisher for Neuse News. Formerly, Murphy was the VP of operations at Chris Humphrey AllState Insurance, an independent agent for LegalShield Official, and the mayor of Kinston, NC. An East Carolina University graduate, Murphy has served on several boards for the NCWorks Commission, the General Government Legislative Action Committee, and Wharton Gladden & Company.
Bob Numbers is a US magistrate judge in the eastern district of North Carolina. Before becoming a judge, Numbers worked nine years as a business litigation attorney at Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice and chaired the Triangle Lawyers Chapter of the Federalist Society. He earned his BA from Wake Forest University in political science and economics, and graduated cum laude from the University of Notre Dame Law School, where he wrote for the Notre Dame Law Review.
Julie (Gilstrap) Tisdale is a freelance writer for the North Carolina Family Policy Counsel and proud foster parent. She has also worked with the John Locke Foundation as a city and county policy analyst and research manager, a senior research associate at the Centre for Civil Society, and a programs officer at the John William Pope Foundation. Tisdale graduated from Whitworth University with a BA in international political economy and earned her MS in politics from The University of Edinburgh.
Kolt Ulm is a senior appropriations advisor for the North Carolina Senate in the General Assembly. Ulm has served several other roles within the General Assembly, including as a policy advisor and constituent liaison for the Office of the Senate President Pro Tempore. Ulm graduated from Bethel University with a BA in political science, from UNC Greensboro with an MPA, and from NC State University with an MBA.
Jason Abernathy is a realtor and broker at Allen Tate Company. He has experience in city planning for the towns of Cornelius, Newton, and Concord, NC. Abernathy has also served as chairman of the Iredell County Republican Party, and head of the North Carolina Federation of Republican Men. He is a graduate of UNC-Charlotte.
Tommy Adams is a broker at Linville Team Partners, a real estate firm specializing in brokerage and consulting services. He previously worked as a direct sales representative for Cars.com, a real estate broker for APP Real Estate, and secretary of the North Carolina Republican Party. He graduated from Appalachian State University, where he was a member of the intercollegiate golf team, with degrees in finance and economics.
Trey Baldwin works with Cloud Managed Backup at IBM in the Research Triangle Park. He has worked in support at IBM and LogicNow and as an information technology analyst at HCL Technologies. Baldwin also served in the United States Air Force. He earned degrees in network systems administration and information technology from ITT Technical Institute in Durham.
Jana Benscoter is a reporter for PennLive.com in Harrisburg, PA, as well as an editor and writer for Creative Writer’s Bloc. Benscoter previously served as a general assignment reporter and correspondent for The York Dispatch, an editorial assistant for Boston Globe, an executive editor at the Civitas Institute, and the digital content manager for WPMT-FOX43. She earned her degree in English from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Donald Bryson is the president and CEO of the Civitas Institute. He formerly served as the North Carolina state director for Americans for Prosperity, and has worked with other organizations including Parents for Educational Freedom in NC and the Pope Center for Higher Education Policy. A former assistant debate coach at James Madison University, Bryson attended UNC-Greensboro and Georgia’s Piedmont College.
Michael Cote is a technical program manager for Google and a developer for Vanguard. He served over five years in the 82nd Airborne Division as a logistics specialist, rising to the rank of sergeant. Cote has experience as a project manager, technical lead, and chief of staff for Vanguard, and as an SEO specialist for Sabre Hospitality Solutions. A 4.0 student, Cote graduated valedictorian from NC State University with a computer science degree, and completed an MBA program at Drexel University.
Aaron Harper is the president of VetCarolinas and the manager of military and veterans affairs within the Office of Diversity & Inclusion for the Carolinas HealthCare System. He also serves as chairman of the NCESGR Freedom Award Nomination Committee, president of the Marine Corps Coordinating Council of Greater Charlotte, and a volunteer for the Department of Defense. A retired sergeant in the US Marine Corps, Harper earned degrees from North Carolina State University and Queens University business school.
Patrick Holland serves as emergency response coordinator for the Virginia Department of Health. He previously worked for Richmond, VA, and advised the city of Greenville, NC. He received his undergraduate degree from Campbell University, and an MPA from East Carolina University.
Josh Holloman is the deputy director for Johnson County Emergency Services. He has served other roles for Johnson County as EMS division chief and an EMS training officer for local communities. Holloman was also a paramedic for Clayton Area EMS and an EMT for Selma Rescue and EMS. He received a Bachelor’s degree in emergency medical care and a Master of health science from Western Carolina University.
Doug Hutton is the VP of training services for Corporate Vision. Hutton’s previous work experience includes serving as global operations director at Mind Gym, vice president of operations at Second City Works, and senior director of development for CEB. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from Wake Forest University with a BA in political science and valedictorian from George Washington University with an MA in political management.
Brett Moore is the vice president of Component Signage, Inc., and an attorney at Dummit Fradin Attorneys at Law. He is a former magistrate judge for the state of North Carolina and attorney at law for M. Brett More, PLLC. in High Point, NC. Moore earned his JD from Elon University; his community service includes Legal Aid of NC and Reading Connections.
Marjorie Morris is a retired health occupations employee living in the Raleigh-Durham area. Morris used to work as a business and technology applications analyst for the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, and has experience in Medicaid administration and HHS included disability determination. She holds a degree in applied sociology from NC State University and attended Texas Woman’s University and Allegheny College.
Jesse Schaefer is an associate attorney at Womble Bond Dickinson (US) PLLC and has served over 15 years in the United States Navy as a surface warfare officer. A former business litigation attorney for Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice in Raleigh, Schaefer earned his undergraduate degree in communication from NC State University and his law degree from Campbell University Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law.
Johnny Shull is a senior consultant for Cardinal Point Analytics. His previous experience includes serving as COO & managing partner at Red Wolf Public Sector and Broadcasting, the manager of academic grants for the Charles Koch Foundation, the president of SurrealNET Inc, and the mayor of Coats, NC. An NC State and Campbell University graduate, Shull was also an instructor for Central Carolina Community College, Wake Tech Community College, and the Charles Koch Institute.
Howard Stearn is the owner of Mindset Safety Solutions and a safety manager for Choate Construction Company. He formerly worked as a safety officer for DECO Demolition and Environmental, The Urban Electric Co., and Sanders Brothers Construction, and the safety and training supervisor for RJ Martin National. Stearn studied civil engineering technologies at Old Dominion University and is an East Carolina University graduate.
Mitch Yelverton is the research agreements manager for the Duke University School of Medicine and a private practice attorney. He previously worked as the assistant team lead for Consilio Services and the director of affinity & volunteer programs for Duke University. He earned his BA in political science from Duke University and his JD from Campbell University. Yelverton is also the governance chair for the YNPN Triangle NC Board of Directors.
Deanna Ballard is the director of public policy for Samaritan’s Purse and a North Carolina Senator representing North Carolina’s 45th district in the General Assembly. She previously served former First Lady Laura Bush, former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, and former Education Secretary Rod Paige. An advisory board member for SHE PAC and Project GOPINK!, Ballard graduated from Belmont University with a BA in hospitality business.
Jonathan Bandy is a financial advisor at Edward Jones in Cary, NC. He was the CEO of Red Advantage and the NC Federation of Young Professional Republics, as well as the former communications director for the North Carolina Office of Human resources and former communications and events coordinator for the NC Governor’s Highway Safety Program. Bandy graduated Cum Laude from High Point University with a BA in political science and criminal justice, and from Northeastern University with an MA in political science.
Chad Barefoot is the vice president for institutional advancement at Louisburg College. A Wake Forest resident, he previously served three terms in the North Carolina Senate, and worked for Cary Reconstruction, Pioneer Strategies Inc, and NC Rep. Skip Stam. Barefoot graduated from Appalachian State University with a BS in political science and from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary with an MA in Christian ethics.
Andy Cagle is the content marketing lead at IBM and the founder and owner of RocketFire communications. Formerly, he worked as a communications and public relations manager at Vitalsource, the director of marketing and communications for Richmond Community College, and the director of marketing and public information for Scotland County Schools. A graduate of UNC-Pembroke and UNC-Chapel Hill, Cagle has written for Civitas Media, Richmond County Daily Journal, and The Southern Pines Pilot.
Abeni El-Amin is the director of adult education at UMCM Suncoast and the president of consulting company Titan & Mogul. She is also an instructor at Bellevue University’s College of Arts and Sciences, and an assistant professor of entrepreneurship at Fort Hays State University. El-Amin holds doctorate degrees from Clark Atlanta University in political science and government, from the University of Cumberlands in education, and from Northcentral University in philosophy.
Chris Faison is the founder and current coordinator of Men of Color Engagement for UNC-Chapel Hill’s Center for Student Success & Academic Counseling. A former public school teacher and administrator, Faison earned both his undergraduate and graduate degrees from UNC-Chapel Hill. He has served as chairman and executive director observer for the North Carolina State Board of Education and a volunteer education policy analyst for the office of NC Senator Angela Bryant.
Matt McCall is the assistant general manager for GoRaleigh, part of Transdev North America. He previously was the COO for the NC Industrial Commission in the Department of Commerce, the Register of Deeds in Iredell County, NC, and an Allstate Insurance agent. A graduate of NC State University, McCall has been vice president of the Iredell County Republican Party and is active in numerous civic and community groups, including Rotary and Civitan.
Brandon Mills is the president and incident commander at Regal Specialists, as well as the owner of RAMPANT, LCC, a web design company. He is the former owner of dba Great Elephant, the former communications director at Fellowship of Christ EPC, and the former web master for the NC General Assembly. A UNC-Wilmington graduate, Mills also studied business at Gardner Webb University and crisis/emergency/disaster management at the University of Pittsburgh.
Brian Rice resides in Birmingham, AL. A passionate motivational speaker and consultant, Rice leads youth and adult development programs throughout Alabama. He has experience with Durr Systems, Inc., Laser Cladding Services, Obara Corporation, and Rockwell Automation. Rice earned his degree in mechanical engineering from Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University, where he played on the basketball team.
Edward Smith is an insurance specialist for Bank of America Investments in Charlotte, and a former school teacher. He is a graduate of Florida A&M University and St. Thomas University law school. Smith served as president of Young Democrats of Mecklenburg County.
Sarah Stogner is the director of business process optimization at MaxPoint, a marketing technology company based in Morrisville, NC. She has also served other roles within MaxPoint, and was an associate at Anthony & Company and the director of cheerleading for the Duke University Athletics Department. In her free time, Stogner volunteers as an advisory board member for The Gloria Borges WunderGlo Foundation. She graduated from Duke University with a BS in Economics.
Kelly Tain is a political consultant based in Washington, DC. Before becoming a consultant, Tain was the communications director and regional coordinator for Dan Bongino for US Senate, the director of federal legislation for the National Pro-Life Alliance, and the precinct organizer for NC State House District 103. She graduated from George Washington University with a BA in international affairs and an MA in political management.
Brett Thompson is an attorney for Strauch Green and Mistretta, PC. An experienced attorney, Thompson has worked for Sterling Law, Thompson Estate Planning & Elder Law, Smith Debnam Narron Drake Saintsing & Meyers, and The Law Offices of Cheryl Davis. He was also an executive producer for News 14 Carolina and a producer for Bay News 9. He graduated from the University of South Florida with a BA in Mass Communications and earned his JD from UNC-Chapel Hill.
Matt Wilson is an IT business consultant at BB&T, where he previously worked as a technical process and ERM systems analyst. He is also a former report developer and senior support analyst for SoftPro, and team lead for Tech Resource Group, INC. Wilson graduated from American Intercontinental University with a degree in Information Technology, and has also attended Wake Tech Community College and NC State University.
Andy Esser is a financial advisor at Edward Jones in Durham, NC. Esser has experience clerking for former federal judge Marcia Morales Howard, and was an associate with Schell Bray Aycock Abel & Livingston and Walsh Colucci Lubeley Emrich & Walsh PC. He earned his BA in economics and JD from the College of William and Mary.
A native of North Carolina, Bill is the Executive Vice President for the John Locke Foundation.
Bill spent the past ten years in the nonprofit sector helping organizations grow and expand their reach through thoughtful, data-driven strategies. Throughout these various leadership roles, Bill has successfully and innovatively transformed organizations to become more effective structurally, financially, and digitally. As Executive Vice President, he oversees the organization’s operations, technology, finance, and human resources.
Prior to working in the nonprofit sector, Bill spent 10 years as a systems and database engineer. He resides in Raleigh with his wife and two children, and enjoys watching NC State athletics.
Karen Hawkins is a social studies teacher at Woods Charter School and a private tutor. She is a former social studies teacher for Wake County Public Schools and Voyager Academy High School, and was an adjunct faculty member at Campbell University, NC State University, and UNC-Greensboro. Hawkins earned her BA and MA in history from NC State University, and her doctorate in history from UNC-Greensboro.
Gary Hill is the executive director for the Community Academy for Leadership & Life Skills, Inc. He served in the United States Army and was as an assistant professor at Duke University and NC Central University. An active community volunteer, Hill is the vice president of the Jacksonville-Onslow Council for the Arts and the Long Point Community Development Association. Hill graduated from Campbell University with a BA in business administration and earned his MBA from Webster University.
Stephen Lair is the owner of Home Instead Senior Care in Chapel Hill, and a certified senior advisor. His many volunteer activities include Alzheimers North Carolina and Mission Medicine. Lair was honored by WCHL-AM for his community service in 2010. He graduated with degrees in political science and history from Texas A&M University, where he was recognized as the “Aggie Leader of Tomorrow” and served as class president.
Rocky Norkum is the executive director of ministry operations for Charlotte Awake. Before coming to Charlotte Awake, Norkum was a managing partner at the Barnabas Group, the director of ministries for World Worship Church in Charlotte, a registered representative of the Lincoln Financial Securities Corporation, and chairman of the board for the Charlotte Junior Chamber. He attended NC State University and graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill.
James Rich is the senior project manager for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He is the former senior director of construction and property development at Extra Space Storage, vice president of development for AACRE Properties and DeNovo Properties, and capital asset development manager for Salt Lake City Corporation. Rich received a BS in civil engineering from Brigham Young University and an MBA in Real Estate Development from UNC-Chapel Hill.
Brian Rogers serves as president of the Jesse Helms Center at Wingate University. He was the organization’s chief operating officer, and before coming to the Jesse Helms Center, Rogers served as executive director for Defenders of Property Rights, general manager of Century Communications Inc., and director of special projects at The Leadership Institute. Rogers obtained his BA from Wingate University.
Mary Jo Shepherd is a professor of public policy at UNC-Charlotte and chairs the platform committee for the North Carolina GOP. She has experience in the private sector, serving as business manager for Maersk Group and Sea-Land Service. Shepherd earned her BA in political science and government from UNC-Charlotte, her MA in international relations from Baylor University, and her doctorate in public policy from UNC-Charlotte.
Dan Soucek is a managing partner at Government Affairs in Raleigh, NC. He held three terms as a state senator in the North Carolina General Assembly and served almost sixteen years as a Major in the United States Army. Soucek has also worked for Novant Health, Operation Christmas Child at Samaritan’s Purse, and Young Life. Soucek graduated from the US Military Academy at West Point with a BS in computer science.
Ryan Swanson is the residency program director and pharmacy clinical review manager for Blue Cross & Blue Shield of North Carolina. He has served several other roles within the organization, and worked as an assistant pharmacist manager for Kerr Drug, a clinical coordinator for Kerr Health, and the director of professional services for the NC Association of Pharmacists. Swanson graduated in pre-pharmacy studies from Bob Jones University and obtained his pharmacy degree from Campbell University.
Justin Thibault is the senior technical leader at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and resides in Concord, NC. He was previously a project manager with EPRI, an engineer for EPRI solutions, and a simulator technician for Performance Consulting Services. A mechanical engineering graduate of UNC-Charlotte, Thibault is an active member of his community, serving as a development committee member for the Cooperative Christian Ministry and a board member for Construction Health and Relief Acts.
Sherry Ward is the administrator of career and technical education and work study and the school improvement grant project manager for the public school district in Mount Vernon, NY. She previously worked as an educational consultant for the NC Department of Public Instruction and has filled several roles within New York City, Peeksville City, Greenburg Eleven Union Free, and Gwinnett County Schools. Ward graduated from Mercy College with an MS in education and a PD in school administration.
Kim Wheeler directs business engagement for Capital Area Workforce Development and lives in Raleigh, NC. She is a former territory account manager for Capital Associated Industries and regional account manager, human resources associate, and project manager for ATCOM Business Technology Solutions. Wheeler graduated from Meredith College degrees in business management and clothing and fashion merchandising.
Charlton Allen serves as chairman, CEO, and chief judicial officer for the North Carolina Industrial Commission. He was previously an attorney at law for Crosswhite, Ashley & Johnson PLLC, Allen Law Firm, and Poisson, Barnhill, & Seay. A former chairman for the Iredell County Republican Party, Allen received his undergraduate and law degrees from UNC-Chapel Hill, where he co-founded the student magazine The Carolina Review.
Kim Cotten-West is a senior clinical team leader at Syneos Health. She is a former clinical research associate for the Duke Clinical Research Institute and PPD pharmaceuticals, director of clinical trials services for ThreeWire, and senior project manager for PharmaTech Solutions, Inc. Cotten-West graduated from Appalachian State University with a BS in textile science and from UNC-Greensboro with a BS in marketing.
Traci Hood is the marketing and communications manager for Rebuilding Together of the Triangle. Before coming to Rebuilding Together, Hood was the major gifts coordinator for Urban Ministries of Wake County, the executive director of Miracle League of the Triangle, and the vice president of communications at Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina. She graduated Cum Laude from Meredith college with a BA in English Language and Literature.
Jeff Katz is a private investigator in Richmond, VA, and an investigative broadcaster and content developer for WRVA. He previously served as a broadcaster and national talk show host for WRKO Radio, CBS Radio, Clear Channel Radio, Greater Media Charlotte, and Premiere Radio Networks. A sports psychology graduate from Ashworth College, Katz was also a police officer in the greater Philadelphia area for five years and a columnist for the Boston Herald.
Dana Kaufman owns and operates WhistleStop Realty, LLC in Sanford, NC, a firm providing comprehensive real estate services to home buyers and sellers. She has long been active with the North Carolina Jaycees and the Five Star Institute. Kaufman is a graduate of Central Carolina Community College.
Jonathan Martin is vice president of business development at Ceterus Inc., based in Charleston, SC. He is also the former senior financial manager for Americans for Prosperity. Skilled in financial reporting, financial analysis, and accounting, Martin received his BS in accounting and finance from NC State University.
Gideon Moore is the associate general counsel and vice president of mergers & acquisitions for AmeriLife Group LLC, in Clearwater, Florida. He was previously a commercial attorney for Wishart Norris Henninger & Pittman, PA, and a corporate attorney for Morris, Manning, and Martin, LLP. The former chairman of the Mecklenburg County Republic Party, Moore graduated with honors from UNC-Chapel Hill with a BA in History and Political Science, and from Duke University with a JD.
Tom Murry is a captain in the NC National Guard and a relief pharmacist at Walgreens. He served two terms in the NC General Assembly representing district 41, three terms on the Morrisville Town Council, and four years as the chief legal counsel for external affairs in the NC Administrative Office of the Courts. Murry graduated from the University of Central Arkansas in pre-pharmacy studies, the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences with a doctorate in pharmacy, and from Campbell University with a JD.
Laurie (Julian) Onorio is a partner and vice president of strategic communications at Walk West. She served as vice president of government affairs for Walk West and was previously a contract lobbyist at the North Carolina General Assembly, representing a variety of business and association clients. She previously worked for Fetzer Strategies, Jason Deans & Associates, O3 Strategies, and the Stewart Group. Onorio earned a BA in English from NC State University.
Jennifer (Eues) Smith is the divisional merchandise manager for Carters/OshKosh B’gosh. She has worked with Spanx as a senior merchandising manager, with Family Dollar as a manager of global sourcing, and with The Royal Standard as a wholesale division manager. A Louisiana State University graduate in textiles, apparel, and manufacturing, Smith was also an account executive at Ben Sherman and Buffalo Jeans.
Nathanael Snow is an assistant professor of economics at Indiana Wesleyan University and Ball State University, as well as an independent economics consultant. He was previously a consultant at Criterion Economics LLC, a former economist at the International Trade Commission, and a teacher and co-principal at Agape Corner Boarding School. He received his BA from NC State University and his master’s and doctoral degrees from George Mason University in Economics.
Joey Stansbury is a legislative assistant in the North Carolina General Assembly. He has worked campaign outreach for the North Carolina House Republican Caucus, as an outreach coordinator at the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy, and the North Carolina director for the Bush-Cheney ’04 petition drive. Stansbury graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill with a Bachelor’s degree in political science and government.
John Walker is a real estate instructor at the Superior School of Real Estate and a broker and owner at RE/MAX Diamond Realty in Mebane, NC. He was the chief operating officer for Q International LLC before working in real estate. Walker graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill with degrees in journalism, mass communication, and advertising. He is active in the Alamance County Association of Relators and the Grace Reformed Baptist Church in Mebane.
Patricia Boyd is a Mary Kay consultant, a wellness manager at doTERRA International, LLC, a caregiver for Home Health, and a volunteer community choir director for Mountain Ridge Health and Wellness. She is a former volunteer speaker and event planner for My Hope with Billy Graham and the ladies director for New Hope Community Church. In 2008, she was awarded the North Carolina Activist of the Year by FreedomWorks.
Bill Fields works in commercial banking for JP Morgan Chase and is the cofounder and managing director of First In Education. He has handled asset management, CCB operations, and strategic planning for JP Morgan Chase and served over five years in the US Navy as a lieutenant. Fields graduated from UNC-Wilmington with a BA in Finance and Management, earned his MBA from Columbia University, and received his Master’s in Philosophy and Public Policy from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Brannon Lambert is an independent financial advisor with Canvasback Wealth Management, LLC. He was previously an investment consultant for TD Ameritrade, and a a financial advisor for Merrill Lynch and American Express Financial Advisors. Lambert received his BA in business management from Barton College and his Master’s in trust and investment management from Campbell University. He’s volunteered with the Society for Financial Awareness and the Boys and Girls Club of Wake County.
Michael Owen is a principal consulting engineer in computational fluid dynamics, low frequency electromagnetics, and multiphysics at Mallett Technology and a resident of Durham, NC. Owen specializes in advanced and challenging applications. He earned his BS, MS, and PhD in physics from NC State University.
Erik Root works for The Roger Bacon Academy in Wilmington, NC in curriculum development and policy analysis. Before coming to Roger Bacon, Root was a political science professor and the chairman of the Center for Economic Philosophy at Liberty University, and held professorships with Lewis University and Patrick Henry College. He received his undergraduate and masters degrees from the University of Montana, and his Ph.D. from Claremont Graduate School.
Kathryn (Atkinson) Stansbury is the director of business development for the North Carolina Nursery & Landscape Association. She previously served as director of membership services and the manager of political operations for the North Carolina Home Builders Association. An on-air announcer for WCPE-FM, a classical radio station, Stansbury graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill with a BA in international studies.
Jameson Taylor is the vice president for policy at the Mississippi Center for Public Policy. A three-time Earhart Fellow and a Publius Fellow with the Claremont Institute, Dr. Taylor focuses on state-level policy issues addressing health care and religious liberty, and was the former director of policy and research for the Civitas Institute and the South Carolina Policy Council. He holds an AB in government from Bowdoin College and a Ph.D. from the University of Dallas.
Dion Terry Clark is the NC Works Career Pathways director in Charlotte, NC and the executive leadership consultant for Dr. Dion Clark Consulting. Dr Dion’s other posts include executive director of the Women’s Resource Center in Alamance County, researcher at the Civitas Institute, and policy director for the Office of the Governor of the State of North Carolina. She received her BA from UNC-Chapel Hill, her MPA from North Carolina Central University, and her doctor of education from the NC State College of Education.
Dallas Woodhouse is the founder of Woodhouse Inc, a political and advocacy consulting organization in the Raleigh-Durham area. He previously served as executive director of the North Carolina Republican Party, the campaign launch director for Phil Berger Jr for Congress, and the state director of Americans for Prosperity. Woodhouse received his BA in Mass Communications from Campbell University and his Masters of Arts in American history from NC State University.
Pastor J. Scott Yow Jr was a youth pastor at Holly Springs Baptist Church in Broadway, NC, for sixteen years before becoming their senior pastor in February of 2016. With pastoral ministry experience spanning three other churches and nearly two decades, Yow was an undergraduate student in theologic studies at Carolina Bible School in Fayetteville and pursued graduate studies at Campbell Divinity School and Southeastern Seminary.
Warren Cooksey is the director of outreach and community affairs for the NC Department of Transportation, Division 10. Cooksey is a former council member and planning commissioner for the City of Charlotte, finance officer for Wachovia, asset administrator for First Union Mortgage Company, and chairman of the board for the Charlotte Convention and Visitors Bureau. He earned his BA in history from Davidson College.
Bryan Dixon has spent thirteen years as a certified financial planner and advisor with Edward Jones in Winston-Salem, where he strives to be his community’s number one choice for long-term individual investors. Before coming to Edward Jones, Dixon was a financial advisor for AG Edwards. He earned his Bachelor of business administration and finance from UNC-Chapel Hill’s Kenan-Flagler School of Business.
Jeanette Doran is the president of the NC Institute for Constitutional Law. She previously served as the institute’s executive director and general counsel, and chaired the Board of Review for the NC Division of Employment Security. An Auburn University and Campbell University law school graduate, Doran has also worked in the public defender’s office and UNC-Chapel Hill’s Institute of Government.
Dana (Reason) Evans is a brand manager at North State Media, LLC, owns dana L. Inc., a cosmetics company, and also serves as conference director for the NC Alliance for Public Charter Schools. She is a former Miss North Carolina and a graduate of East Carolina University. Evans previously worked as a Raleigh-based consultant and event planner and currently lives in Wilmington.
As the senior vice president of the John Locke Foundation, Becki Gray directs the organization’s outreach initiatives by providing information, consultation, and publications to elected officials and other decision makers. A frequent panelist on the statewide TV show NC SPIN, Gray writes a monthly column in the Carolina Journal and her op-eds have been published in newspapers across the state. She earned an art degree from Charlotte’s Queens University and a paralegal certificate from Meredith College.
Kent Lassman is the president & CEO of the Competitive Enterprise Institute and a seed round investor for Power Supply. Formerly, he was the vice president at DCI Group, vice president for strategy at FreedomWorks, and a research fellow and director at The Progress & Freedom Foundation. Lassman graduated from The Catholic University of America with a BA in philosophy and world politics and earned his Master’s in Public Administration at NC State University.
Q. Shante’ Martin is an adjunct professor of law at Wingate University and serves as a counsel attorney for Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP. She previously served as general counsel for the North Carolina Community College System, an assistant attorney general for the NC Department of Justice, and a judicial clerk for the North Carolina Supreme Court. Martin received degrees in child development psychology and law from UNC-Chapel Hill.
Heather Mobley is a private practice family attorney representing parents in Department of Human Services hearings. Mobley is an active member of her community, engaged in Cabarrus County Meals on Wheels, The SplashPaw Foundation, and the Cabarrus County Mental Health Task Force. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Appalachian State University in political science and earned her JD from Wake Forest University, where she was a research assistant and law-review editor.
Greg Seamster is a financial advisor at Wells Fargo Advisors in Raleigh. He earned his undergraduate degree in history from Hampton-Sydney College, and his MTIM in trust and investment management from Campbell University. Seamster also coaches youth baseball.
Derek Skinner is the market president for South Charlotte and Union County BB&T. He has served several other roles within the organization, including as a commercial banker, sales & service officer, portfolio manager, and business services officer. Skinner also has experience working for various higher education and foundational nonprofits. He earned his BS and MBA from Wingate University, where he served as director of marketing and programs at the Jesse Helms Center.
Alan Swart is a master backslider at Backslider Gear and a relationship manager at Heartland Payment Systems. He is the former Latino community services coordinator for Smart Start New Hanover County, founder and owner of Folks Cafe, and salesman for Piedmont Engineering Corp. A former Peace Corps volunteer addressing small business development in Matagalpa, Nicaragua, Swart graduated from UNC-Wilmington’s Belk College of Business with a BA in business and from Winthrop University with an MBA.
Ryan Thum is a senior attorney at Swango Law PC. He was previously an associate with Mahoney + Nashatka + Richmond, PLLC and Poole Mahoney PC, vice-chairman of the Montgomery County Planning Commission, and a lawyer at OPN Law. Thum earned his BS in criminal justice from Appalachian State University, his MA in political science from Appalachian State University, and his JD from Campbell University.