Leadership North Carolina Celebrates Graduation of Class XXVII

Raleigh, NC – On Wednesday, September 23, 2020, Leadership North Carolina held a virtual graduation ceremony for its 27th class.  Dubbed the “Most Adaptable Class Ever,” this group of fifty-five civic and community leaders completed the prestigious LNC program despite tornadoes, a pandemic, and other disruptions. They have officially joined the ranks of LNC alumni and will enjoy their formal graduation ceremony as soon as circumstances allow.

Each year, through a rigorous selection process, LNC chooses a class of established and emerging leaders from across the state to participate in its acclaimed program. Leadership North Carolina’s Class XXVII comprises top leaders from the government, business, nonprofit, and education sectors. A full list of participants follows.

Leadership North Carolina’s mission is to inform, develop, and engage committed leaders by broadening their understanding of and involvement in issues and opportunities facing North Carolina. The Leadership North Carolina Program cultivates a network of individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences who share a deep commitment to their state. There are more than 1200 graduates of the program whose continued ties to LNC and to one another provide them with rich opportunities for serving North Carolina.

Over the course of five two-and-a-half day sessions the members of LNC Class XXVII learned about issues critical to the state through discussions with top officials and professionals, field trips, and experiential learning activities. LNC’s sessions focused on five key areas: economic development, education, environment, government, and health and human services.

LNC sessions are held around the state, highlighting the social, geographic, and economic diversity of North Carolina. The members of Class XXVII visited Boone, Raleigh, Greensboro, Charlotte, and New Bern before the coronavirus postponed their Asheville session and their graduation ceremony. Through LNC’s program, participants gained new insight into North Carolina’s strengths and challenges and developed their own priorities for ways they can improve and empower their communities and the state as a whole.


  • Kara Acree, Policy and Compliance Specialist, Person County Schools, Wake
  • Danielle Andrews, Chief of Staff to the President and CEO, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, Wake
  • Christy Armstrong, Executive Director, Serenity Family Services, Cherokee
  • Barbara Ashford, Director – Natural Gas Community Relations, Piedmont Natural Gas, Mecklenburg
  • David Bohm, Director of Development, Campbell Law School, Wake
  • Clinton Carter, Chief Financial Officer, Huntsville Hospital Health System, Out of State
  • Karen Clough, Chair, Tyrrell County Board of Education, Tyrrell
  • Jacob Crawford, AVP / Regional Partnerships, Atrium Health, Mecklenburg
  • Dawn Daly-Mack, ACO Care Coordinator, Rural Health Group, Northampton
  • Dana Davis, Director, Human Resources, North Carolina Electric Membership Corporation, Wake
  • Stephen De May, North Carolina President, Duke Energy Corporation, Mecklenburg
  • Scott Eckholdt, Market Executive, Dogwood State Bank, Carteret
  • LaPonda Edmondson, Senior Director of Evaluation, North Carolina Healthcare Association, Wake
  • Kathleen Evans, Regional Director, AT&T – North Carolina, Mecklenburg
  • Kim Graham, Community Development Officer, First Horizon National Corporation, Mecklenburg
  • Elizabeth Grovenstein, Vice President/Chief Financial Officer, North Carolina Community College System, Wake
  • Reggie Harper, Manager, Analytics and Business Intelligence, Martin Marietta, Johnston
  • Ryan Homer, Vice President, Branch Office Manager, Fidelity Investments, Guilford
  • Lisa Hughes, County Manager, County of Yadkin, Yadkin
  • Virginia Knowlton Marcus, Chief Executive Officer, Disability Rights North Carolina, Wake
  • Laura Lee, Senior Vice President – Economic Development, Greater Winston-Salem Inc., Forsyth
  • Dewana Little, Business Development Administration Associate, Self Help Credit Union, Buncombe
  • Dean McCall, President, Owner, Roanoke Therapy Services, Martin
  • Susan McCracken, Director of Career Development and Economic Engagement, Appalachian State University, Watauga
  • Elisha McLawhorn, Associate Director of Program Operations, TROSA, Inc., Durham
  • Joe Milazzo II, Executive Director, Regional Transportation Alliance (RTA), Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, Wake
  • Jennifer Mundt, Senior Policy Advisor, North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, Wake
  • TJ Newton, Director, Actuarial Services and Healthcare Economics, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, Durham
  • Sean O’Brien, Senior Vice President, Education, SAS, Wake
  • Tommy O’Connor, CEO, Medicare NC and SC, UnitedHealthcare, Durham
  • Joanne Peters Denny, Director of Media Relations, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Durham
  • Tru Pettigrew, Founder, Tru Access, Wake
  • Rebecca Planchard, Senior Early Childhood Policy Advisor, NC Department of Health and Human Services, Durham
  • Carmen Prevette, Director, Small and Medium Business Solutions – North Carolina, Duke Energy, Wake
  • Carl Rees, Economic Developer, ElectriCities of NC, Wilson
  • Jeff Ross, Community Engagement and Corporate Responsibility Manager, Atrium Health, Cleveland
  • Beth Rubin, Dean, Adult and Online Education, Campbell University, Wake
  • Susanne Schmal, NC Healthy Schools Consultant, North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, Durham
  • Johnathan Shaw, Senior Vice President-Business Development Group, Wells Fargo Advisors, Mecklenburg
  • Matt Smith, Vice President, Development and Strategic Partnerships, Wake Technical Community College, Wake
  • Lee Snodgrass, Director, Facilities Operations, The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Union
  • Eddie Stuart, Vice Chancellor for University Advancement, The University of North Carolina at Wilmington, New Hanover
  • Jeff Sural, Director, Broadband Infrastructure Office, State of North Carolina, Wake
  • Allen Suttle, Director, Business Banking, Piedmont Federal Savings Bank, Forsyth
  • April Umminger, Senior Manager, External Communications, RTI International, Wake
  • Rachel Wade Kahungi, Director, Specialty Field Reimbursement Manager, GlaxoSmithKline, Wake
  • Napoleon Wallace, Senior Fellow, Frontline Solutions, Durham
  • Denise Warren, Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, WakeMed Health & Hospitals, Wake
  • Sherry Washington, Senior Program Coordinator, Central Piedmont Community College, Mecklenburg
  • Kara Weishaar, Director of Government Relations & Association Management, Smith Anderson, Wake
  • Kathryn West, Real Estate Broker, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices YSU, Wake
  • Alicia Williams, Chief Human Resources Officer, DMJ & Co. PLLC, Guilford
  • Anna-Marshall Wilson, Strategic Communications Consultant, Wake
  • Winnie Wiseman, External Affairs, Dominion Energy, Camden
  • Jeff Yelton, Vice President – Higher Education Student Life, Clark Nexsen Architecture and Engineering, Iredell
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