Our board and staff are selected with intentional diversity, from all regions of North Carolina and beyond:
Felix is a CPA and Director of Finance at Participate (formerly VIF International Education) in Chapel Hill, NC, where he has worked since 2004. A native of Kenya, Felix is an enormously dedicated, objective problem solver who always seeks improvement and progress. Prior to immigrating to the US, Felix served as Controller at Tamarind Management Limited in Kenya from 1993 through 2003 and Audit Senior at Khalid and Company, CPA prior to that. Felix holds degrees in Business and Accounting from Strathmore University and Kenya Polytechnic.
Rev. Michael Bailey was appointed in July 2017 as District Superintendent in the Yadkin Valley District (Forsyth County region) of the United Methodist Church. Bailey previously served as the pastor of Christ United Methodist Church in Greensboro, where he served since 2012. Prior to that he served at Mount Zion UMC in Cornelius for ten years, and four years as the pastor of the American Protestant Church of The Hague, Netherlands from 1998-2002. He has served appointments in this conference since 1993. Bailey transferred to the Western North Carolina Conference in 1995 from the Memphis Conference where he began his ministry. He is a graduate of Lambuth University (B.A., 1978) and Pacific School of Religion (M.Div., 1984). He and his wife Lauralee have four adult children spread from NC to California and three grandchildren.
Meredith Garwood is Group Vice President of Strategic Tax for Charter Communications. She leads Charter’s federal and state tax policy for income, property and transaction taxes. She also leads the Company’s tax controversy and property tax groups. Meredith represents the company in national state tax organizations and projects. She has been proactively involved in numerous tax policy initiatives including state tax reform efforts and federal tax reform. Meredith currently serves on the Board of the Council on State Taxation, Board of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Business School and is Treasurer for North Carolina Cable and Telecommunication Association.
Dennis Carroll serves as Provost at High Point University, joining HPU in 1988 to serve as the chair of the Education Department and director of Teacher Education. He led the efforts for HPU to receive NCATE accreditation in 1992. Carroll was named dean of the School of Education in 1998, and then was named vice president and dean for Academic Affairs in 2005. He continues to teach an English literature course each semester.
Carroll earned his bachelor’s degree from HPU and his master’s degree from Wake Forest University. He earned a doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction (English Education) from UNC Greensboro. He completed a minor for his doctoral work in Rhetoric at UNC Chapel Hill, where he also taught English as a graduate student and had a grant to train teachers' assistants in English. Active in the United Methodist Church, Carroll serves on the Board of Ordained Ministry.
Abby Donnelly is founder of The Leadership and Legacy Group, and is an expert at navigating the complex leadership dynamics of succession and exit. She works closely with business owners and C-Suite leaders to:
• Develop successors who can take over and run the business profitably and sustainably
• Facilitate actionable strategic plans
• Intentionally design a purposeful and rewarding ‘Next Chapter’ or next career.
Abby is a 14 year veteran of Procter & Gamble, where she facilitated strategic planning, led category-wide process improvement efforts and held various roles in manufacturing management. She has also been a partner and Executive Coach at Sandler Training in the Triad, NC.
Brad serves as a Constituent Advocate in the office of US Senator Richard Burr, assisting constituents with issues related to the Department of State, immigration, the military, and the Social Security Administration. Brad previously worked in the district offices of Congressman Mark Walker, Congressman Howard Coble and Congresswoman Virginia Foxx. Brad earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Political Science in 2004 from UNC Wilmington.
Dana Lyles currently serves as the Director of the US Regional Office on Multicultural Ministries at the General Board of Global Ministries in Atlanta, GA. In her role, she is responsible for collaborating with United Methodist agencies in efforts to serve US annual conferences for mission programs related to multicultural ministries. Prior to joining Global Ministries in August 2018, Dana served as an assistant principal and high school teacher in Guilford County Schools. Dana received her undergraduate, graduate, and terminal degrees from North Carolina A&T State University. Dana also received her master’s in School Administration from Gardner-Webb University.
Dr. Sudhakar Puvvada is Vice President of the Global Denim Innovation Center at VF Corporation in Greensboro, NC. He is passionate about innovation and is known to drive top and bottom line growth through consumer desired innovations
based on deep consumer insights. Prior to joining VF, Sudhakar has served in multiple roles spanning the innovation continuum of upstream research to “go to market” in numerous product categories, top tier companies such as
Unilever & Ashland specialty ingredients, and in multiple geographies including India, Europe & the US. Sudhakar has a PhD in Surface Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has published over 20 articles in peer reviewed journals. He holds more than 20 patents.
Tom is the Director of the Economic Development Partnership (EDP) with the Office of Research, Innovation and Economic Development at NC State University. The Partnership is strategically designed to promote and enhance Entrepreneurship and Cluster-Based Regional Economic Development. The Partnership interacts with corporate recruiters and site selection consultants to help produce capital investment, tax base expansion and job creation throughout North Carolina’s seven Economic Development Regions by effectively linking University resources with key economic development officials at the local, regional and state levels.
White previously served as Director of the North Carolina Department of Commerce Division of Employment and Training from 2005-2007.
Cindy has over 25 years of Executive Financial Management experience in varied industries. Throughout her career, she has benefited from working for great organizations such as Arthur Andersen & Co., The Fresh Market, Wendover Funding/EDS, United Guaranty/AIG, Coyne Beahm Marketing and VIF International Education. While at VIF, Cindy helped launch the Global Schools Network, a public-private initiative in K-12 education to ensure students are prepared to succeed in the global economy. Through this experience, Cindy discovered a passion for working at the intersection of education, economic development and international relations. Through the Guilford Nonprofit Consortium, Cindy received a certificate in Nonprofit Management from High Point University. Cindy is an alumnus of Leadership North Carolina Class XVII and received the Triad Business Journal Women in Business in 2004.