Board of Visitors

The Board of Visitors serves NC State University by providing advice to the Chancellor, and through the Chancellor, to the Board of Trustees. The Board of Visitors is composed of thirty members appointed by the Chancellor. The Board of Visitors has the following functions:

  • assists the Chancellor and the Board of Trustees in ensuring that NC State University’s relative standing among the premier universities in America is maintained and enhanced,
  • serves as advocates for NC State University in achieving its educational purposes and accomplishments,
  • and brings visibility and contacts to the campus from distant areas.
The NC State Board of Visitors

The next Board of Visitors meeting will be held on Friday, March 5, 2021 beginning at 10:00 a.m.


General Raymond T. Odierno, US Army, Retired, Chair (2016-2024)

General Raymond T. OdiernoGeneral Raymond T. Odierno culminated nearly 40 years of military service as the 38th Chief of Staff of the United States Army from 2011 to 2015. He commanded at every echelon with duty worldwide. After graduating from the United States Military Academy at West Point, he served in U.S. Army Europe as an executive officer including deployment for DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM. He was the Deputy Commanding General, Task Force Hawk in Albania during the war in Kosovo. He commanded the 4th Infantry Division during IRAQI FREEDOM in 2003-2004 including the capture of Iraq’s deposed dictator, Saddam Hussein. From 2006-2010 he served as the Commanding General, Multi-National Corps – Iraq, the operational commander of the surge forces, and as the Commanding General, Multi- National Force – Iraq, subsequently US Forces – Iraq, after which he commanded US Joint Forces Command. Other significant assignments include Arms Control Officer, Office of the Secretary of Defense, and Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff where he was the military advisor to Secretaries of State Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice. General Odierno currently provides strategic advice and global insights as a Sr. Advisor to JPMorgan Chase & Company; the Commissioner of the NFL; Teneo Holdings, LLC; Virtu Financial, Inc.; and is Chairman of the Board for Eastern Airlines. He also serves on the Board of Trustees for the Institute of World Politics and the Patriot Foundation.

General Odierno holds a BS degree in Engineering from West Point, an MS in Nuclear Effects Engineering from North Carolina State University, and an MA in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College. He also holds three honorary doctorate degrees.

W. Dwight Armstrong (2016-2024)

W. Dwight Armstrong
Dr. Dwight Armstrong built a career in the swine nutrition area beginning at Akey, Inc., in Lewisburg, Ohio, where he served as Director of Nutrition, Director of Sales and, finally, President. In 2000, the company was sold to Provimi, located in the Netherlands. There, Armstrong served as CEO of North American Nutrition Companies, Director of the Americas and Global Group Vice President. In 2008, he retired from Provimi to start his own consulting business in the animal nutrition and agribusiness areas which he continues today. In 2009, Armstrong joined the National FFA Organization as Chief Operating Officer and was later named Chief Executive Officer of both the National FFA Organization and the National FFA Foundation where he served until his retirement in June 2016.

Dr. Armstrong earned a bachelor’s degree in Agriculture from Murray State University and master’s and doctoral degrees from Purdue University in Animal Science. He served on the faculty at NC State in the Animal Science Department from 1975-1982.

Johnny Barnes (2018-2022)

Johnny BarnesJohnny Barnes is President of Barnes Farming Corporation and FarmPak Products, LLC. FarmPak is the nation’s largest grower, packer, shipper, and exporter of sweet potatoes. He farms and own property in five counties in eastern North Carolina. FarmPak is Nash County’s 13th largest employer. Currently, Barnes is President, American Sweet Potato Marketing Institute; Chairman, NC Farm Bureau Labor Committee; on the Board of Directors, Nash County Farm Bureau; on the Board of Directors, N.C. Sweet Potato Commission; and a Board Member, North Carolina Peanut Growers Associations.

Barnes earned a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Economics from North Carolina State University. He has completed the Executive Program for Agricultural Producers at Texas A & M; the Phillip Morris Agricultural Development Program Fellow; and leadership training at Center for Creative Leadership.

Marcus L. Belvin (2018-2022)

Marcus L. BelvinMarcus Belvin serves as a Digital Marketing Leader, managing a team of IBM Hybrid Cloud Digital Marketers. His responsibilities include leading the team’s effort to increase digital marketing effectiveness of Hybrid Cloud solutions in support of a multi-million dollar portfolio. Belvin started his career with IBM as a Software Engineer and has since expanded his business expertise through a number of roles spanning marketing (ie. demand generation, category, product), worldwide Offering Management (for PureApplication platform, Patterns), as the Technical Assistant to z Systems Software Vice President Mike Perera, and as a Development Manager in IBM Blockchain Platform leading SREs, Datacenter Design, Deployment Automation, and Security Compliance. He actively participates in IBM’s patenting program, enjoys mentoring MBA candidates and IBM new hires, and serves on various non-profit community boards.

Paul Boney (2014-2022)

Paul BoneyAs Senior Vice President, Board Member, and Principal, Paul Boney is a third generation architect with diverse experience in higher education, state, civic, K-12, and private projects. Boney’s extensive professional and community involvement over the years has included leadership roles in the local, state, and national AIA and other organizations. He is a current member on the National AIA Ethics Council, and a prior Chair of the AIA National Committee on Architecture for Education and was the Chairman of the AIA National Convention. He has served as president of AIA Wilmington and AIA North Carolina, Vice President of the National AIA, and member of the National AIA Board of Directors. Boney has chaired the State Building Commission, and is the current chair of its Innovations Committee. He is currently serving as secretary of the North Carolina Board of Architecture, member of an NC Legislative Study Commission, and member of the Class XXI of Leadership NC. Boney has also chaired the UNC Wilmington Foundation as well as the New Hanover County Planning Commission.

A 1977 graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Design in Architecture from North Carolina State University, Boney has been honored with the North Carolina Governor’s Order of the Long Leaf Pine award, the AIA North Carolina Gold Medal, the AIA North Carolina Deitrick Award, and the AIA National Richard Upjohn Fellowship.

Katyna Borroto-Esoda (2014-2022)

Katyna Borroto-EsodaKatyna Borroto-Esoda serves as the Director of Preclinical Development at SCYNEXIS, where she is responsible for research activities supporting the clinical development of the company’s lead antiviral and antifungal compounds. Prior to joining SCYNEXIS, Borroto-Esoda worked on the HIV, HCV and HBV programs at Gilead Sciences/Triangle Pharmaceuticals and on the HIV program at Burroughs Wellcome/Glaxo Wellcome. During this time, her research focused primarily on the development of drug resistance to antiviral compounds and more recently on the elucidation of the mechanism of action of cyclophilin inhibitors in viral diseases and immune regulation. During her 25-year career in the biopharmaceutical industry, Borroto-Esoda has authored over 200 publications and has served on numerous clinical advisory boards. Borroto-Esoda also served as a member of the Board of Directors to the NCSU Graduate School.

Borroto-Esoda received a BS degree in Biochemistry from North Carolina State University 1982 and a MS in Biochemistry from the University of Georgia in 1988.

Brenda Brickhouse (2016-2024)

Brenda BrickhouseBrenda Brickhouse retired from the Tennessee Valley Authority, in Chattanooga, TN as Vice President of Environmental and Energy Policy and Chief Sustainability Officer. Prior to working at TVA, she served in several capacities with Progress Energy and CP&L. Over 25 years, Brickhouse has served in a variety of roles at NC State including serving as President of the NC Forestry Foundation and the NC State Natural Resources Foundation. She worked on the committee that developed a new business model for the Hofmann Forest, led the effort to merge the Forestry and Pulp and Paper Foundation supporting the college, and served on the most recent Dean Search Committee. She has worked collaboratively with faculty, administration, staff, and volunteers. Brickhouse has a 37-year career in industry that has both informed and influenced her work for NC State through considerable experience in business and organization development and external relations including regulatory and other government agencies, communities, stakeholders, and customers.

Brickhouse earned a bachelor’s degree in Forestry in 1980 and a master’s degree in Public Affairs, Public Administration in 1988, both from NC State.

Kevin Clark (2021-2025)

Kevin ClarkDr. Kevin Clark is currently a Director of Original Animation, Preschool at Netflix. Prior to joining Netflix, Dr. Clark was a professor and founding director of the Center for Digital Media Innovation and Diversity at George Mason University. In addition to his academic experience, he has extensive experience as a children’s media advisor and consultant. Some of Dr. Clark’s credits include: Creative Producer on Netflix’s preschool series, Bookmarks: Celebrating Black Voices; Co-writer on Arthur on Racism short; and Consultant on Amazon’s movie adaptation of Ezra Jack Keats’, The Snowy Day. Dr. Clark holds both a B.S. and M.S. in computer science from NC State University, where he is a 2020 inductee into the Computer Science Alumni Hall of Fame, and a Ph.D. in Instructional Systems from Pennsylvania State University.

David Davenport (2013-2021)

David DavenportDavid L. Davenport is president of J P Davenport & Son, Inc., a fifth-generation family farm corporation in Pitt County, North Carolina. His family manages 3,500 acres of tobacco, peanuts, corn, cotton, wheat and soybeans, in addition to operating a retail farm supply business, specializing in fertilizer, chemicals and seed. The Davenports are conditioners of Pioneer seed, supplying dealers in the Carolinas and Virginia with a reliable source of soybean and wheat seed. He is Past President of the North Carolina Seedsmen’s Association and the North Carolina Crop Improvement Association. Locally, he has served as chair of the Stewardship Team for Oakmont Baptist Church and has served on the local boards for Habitat for Humanity and the Pactolus Ruritan Club.

Davenport graduated from NC State University in 1988 with a B.S. degree in Applied Mathematics. He has served on the North Carolina Agribusiness Council and the NCALS Research Foundation Board, as well as the Park Scholarship Selection Committee for the Coastal region. He currently is treasurer of the North Carolina Small Grain Growers Association, and is a member of the North Carolina Tobacco Trust Fund Commission.

Erik Dixon (2016-2024)

Erik DixonErik Dixon, Vice President of Engineering at Broadcom Limited, has nearly three decades of business and product development experience in the networking equipment industry, both with end product and software/semiconductor technology. He has spent recent years running global software engineering operations as well as being the General Manager of a software and wireless LAN business as part of Broadcom’s Infrastructure and Networking Group. He joined Broadcom in 2007 after engineering their successful acquisition of LVL7 Systems, Inc. As a LVL7 founder, Vice President of Business Development, Vice President of Sales, and ultimately Chief Executive Officer, he performed multiple roles, including: establishing the strategic objectives and company vision, raising capital, and creating a global sales operation. Prior to LVL7, Dixon was responsible for engineering IBM Corporation’s networking edge product line.

Dixon holds a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from NC State (1988), and a master’s degree from Kenan-Flagler Business School, both earned with honors.

Mike Elder (2021-2025)

Mike Elder is the Head of Business Relations and Regional Business Development for Novozymes, covering North America. Approaching $1 billion in sales in the United States and Canada, Novozymes which has its North American base in Franklinton, North Carolina, is a global biotechnology company headquartered in Denmark. With more than 39 years of experience in industrial biotechnology, Elder began his career as a microbiologist with the company in 1981 where his career progression has spanned a variety of functional disciplines. In 2000, he entered Sales as Global Strategic Account Manager leading regional industry sales teams in North America and South America. As a strategic account manager for 17 years, Elder built his career on developing partnerships, including long-standing relationships with Cargill, Tate & Lyle, Anheuser-Busch, Ingredion, and PepsiCo. He has driven Novozymes business partnerships in 15 countries over the past decade. In his current role, he relies on his deep understanding of Novozymes’ technology and capabilities to find new business partners and opportunities for the company. Elder currently serves on several boards: the North Carolina State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Research Foundation, the North Carolina Biosciences Organization, the Research Triangle Regional Partnership, NC Biotechnology Center Ag Tech Advisory Council and the Industry Advisory Committee for Feed the Dialogue. He also serves on the Plant Science Advocacy Task Force. Elder earned a B.S. degree in chemistry from Gardner-Webb University.

Cristina Fernández Pierce (2018-2022)

Cristina FernandezCristina Fernández Pierce is a healthcare and pharmaceutical attorney, practicing in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. Over the past 33 years, her practice has focused on providing contractual, regulatory and healthcare legal services to corporate clients in the pharmaceutical industry. Fernández Pierce was a past member of the Board of Legal Aid or North Carolina and is a member of the Advisory Board for the Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at North Carolina State University.

Fernández Pierce graduated from North Carolina State University with a degree in Political Science in 1982 and from the University of Georgia School of Law in 1985. She was born in Havana Cuba and is bi-lingual.

Vinton E. Fountain, III (2016-2020)

Vinton E. FountainIn 2020, Vinton E. Fountain, III joined CAPTRUST from Fountain Financial Associates, where he served as president and founder for more than 20 years. As a principal, financial advisor for CAPTRUST, Vinton offers his clients the knowledge, experience, and judgment they need to make effective financial decisions. With more than thirty-three years of experience in the financial services industry, Fountain specializes in strategic decision-making, problem solving and financial advice for successful individuals. Fountain formed Fountain Financial Associates, Inc. following successful careers with Wachovia Corporation and the Centura organization. As a professional with significant experience on financial topics, Fountain has contributed articles to the Wilmington Star News and Greater Wilmington Business, has been featured on WWAY for investment perspective and his views have been published in the book, “Successful Financial Planners” by Allen Duck. Fountain is an active participant in his community, having served in a leadership capacity on numerous boards including the Greater Wilmington Chamber of Commerce (Chairman), Wilmington Industrial Development, YMCA (President), Cape Fear United Way, Cape Fear Academy and the Advisory Board for the UNCW Watson School of Education. He has been an officer for Rotary International, the Wilmington Executive Club and an elder for the First Presbyterian Church in Wilmington.

Fountain earned a BA from North Carolina State University in 1983 and is a graduate of Virginia Episcopal School in Lynchburg, Virginia. Fountain is originally from Tarboro, NC.

Kady Gjessing (2021-2025)

Kady GjessingDr. Kady Gjessing is a partner at Quail Corners Animal Hospital in Raleigh where she practices as a small animal veterinarian. The focus of her practice is ensuring older cats and dogs are healthy, comfortable and unafraid. Dr. Gjessing earned her veterinary degree from the College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) at NC State University in 1994. She has been a committed and enthusiastic volunteer board member and an innovative adjunct faculty member at the CVM. She has also advised NC State’s veterinary hospital about hospital policy and veterinary services. Dr. Gjessing made the largest donation to CVM by a graduate to establish the Dr. Kady M. Gjessing and Rahna M. Davidson Distinguished Chair in Gerontology, named for herself and her mother, an animal lover who once served on the CVM’s North Carolina Veterinary Medical Foundation Board. It is the largest endowed chair in NC State University history and laid the foundation for a veterinary gerontology program at the CVM, a first of its kind at a veterinary college in the United States and a focus area that is close to Gjessing’s heart. In 2020, Dr. Gjessing was awarded the prestigious Watauga Medal, which honors individuals who have made significant contributions to the advancement of the university.

Jim Hansen (2018-2022)

Jim HansenJames “Jim” M. Hansen, is the regional president of PNC Bank Eastern Carolinas. As senior regional executive, he is responsible for PNC’s business, strategy, and brand in the market, which includes the eastern half of North and South Carolina, stretching from the Research Triangle to the Outer Banks, down through the South Carolina lowcountry. He also leads all sponsorship and philanthropic efforts to execute PNC’s community-based goals and initiatives for the region. Hansen is chair of the board of the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce. He also serves on the executive committees of the YMCA of the Triangle and the Research Triangle Regional Partnership. He is a member of the board of directors of the North Carolina Chamber, North Carolina Chamber Foundation, and the South Carolina Aquarium. Previously, he has served on the board of directors for the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama and Mercedes-Benz U.S.

Hansen received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in finance and a minor in statistics from North Carolina State University and a M.B.A. from the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Wesley Horne (2018-2022)

Wesley HorneWesley Horne was born and raised in Wadesboro, NC. In 2009, after a 5-year professional golf stint playing on mini tours in the US, as well as aboard on the European Tour, he joined his family’s company, Hornwood, Inc. Hornwood’s Board of Directors nominated Horne President of the company in 2016, where his role is to grow and strengthen the 72-year-old business for the future. The company employs 350 people and serves many markets including athletic & active wear, military, digital print, automotive, reverse osmosis filtration, fleece, aerospace, and footwear to name a few. Horne is a member and former president of the Wadesboro Rotary Club, serves on the board of directors for the Anson County United Way, is a Senior Fellow of the American Leadership Forum, serves on the scholarship committee for the North Carolina Textile Foundation, is a charter member of the NCSU College of Textiles Dean’s Young Alumni Leadership Council, and is a member of YPO.

After completing high school at the McCallie School in Chattanooga, TN, he entered NC State in the Fall of 1999. He was a 4 year letter winner on the golf team and earned Academic All-American. He graduated in 2004, Summa Cum Laude with a degree from the College of Textiles in Textile Apparel Management. He earned a MBA from the Wake Forest University School of Business working professional program, graduating with distinction; the highest honor the school awards. He also enjoys downhill skiing. Horne lives in Charlotte, NC. He is an aviation enthusiast as he is a private pilot flying a Piper Cherokee 180 and Cessna 172.

Raymond Huml (2013-2021)

Raymond HumlDr. Raymond A. Huml, MS, DVM, RAC is Vice President of Medical and Scientific Strategy and Head of Syneos Health’s Rare Disease Consortium.

Dr. Huml has over 30 years of experience in the clinical and biopharmaceutical industries and over 20 years in the Contract Research Organization (CRO) industry. He previously served as Head of Global Biosimilars Center of Excellence and as Head of Global Due Diligence where he identified risks associated with global, product-based investments (including rare disease investments), which resulted in almost $3.0b in capital committed to partnerships of all sizes.

Dr. Huml has authored or co-authored over 70 articles, a dozen book chapters and 3 books on topics such as due diligence, competitive intelligence, biosimilars and muscular dystrophy. He was awarded North Carolina Veterinary Medical Association’s Young Veterinarian of the Year Award and Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society’s New Professional Award. He has also received numerous CRO awards including the Distinguished Performance Award, Clinical Development Services President’s Award and the Chairman’s Award.

Dr. Huml is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer having served in Ghana, West Africa. He holds an MS in Biology from East Stroudsburg University and his DVM from North Carolina State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and has earned the RAC (US) Certification.

Chavonda Jacobs-Young (2021-2025)

Chavonda Jacobs-YoungDr. Chavonda Jacobs-Young is Administrator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service, USDA’s chief scientific in-house research agency. She is currently serving as the Acting Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics and Acting USDA Chief Scientist. Prior to joining ARS, Dr. Jacobs-Young served in several scientific leadership roles including Director of the USDA Office of the Chief Scientist, Acting Director for the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), and Senior Policy Analyst in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. In these roles she transformed USDA’s scientific coordination and made a lasting impact on the conduct, quality, integrity, and access to science for stakeholders. In these roles she also elevated the visibility of agricultural research globally. Dr. Jacobs-Young is a native of Augusta, Georgia. She holds M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Wood and Paper Science and a B.S. degree in Pulp and Paper Science and Technology from North Carolina State University. She is also a graduate of American University’s Key Executive Program. Dr. Jacobs-Young is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration, an If/Then Ambassador for the AAAS, and a 2016 recipient of the Presidential Rank Award.

C. Matthew Keen (2015-2023)

C. Matthew KeeMatthew Keen has been a practicing attorney at Ogletree Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C. since 1987. Ogletree Deakins is one of the nation’s leading labor and employment law firms. He has spent the past six years on the Board of Directors at Ogletree Deakins and became a Managing Director in 2014. Keen is recognized as a leading labor and employment lawyer by The Best Lawyers in America, and was named ”Lawyer of the Year“ in the area of Employment Law – Management in Raleigh by Best Lawyers in both 2012 and 2014. He has been named in the top tier of the leading employment lawyers in North Carolina by Chambers USA America’s Leading Business Lawyers since 2006. He has also been recognized by North Carolina Legal Elite and Super Lawyers. He is one of three lawyers from North Carolina to be inducted as a Fellow in American College of Labor & Employment Lawyers.

Keen earned his B.S. in Textile Management from N.C. State in 1983 and his J.D. from UNC Chapel-Hill in 1987.

Barry Leonard (2014-2022)

Barry Leonard

Barry Leonard is President and CEO of Welspun USA, the largest integrated towel manufacturer in Asia and a leading supplier to 14 of the top 30 United States retailers. Presently he serves on the Home Fashions Products Association Board and serves as president of the North Carolina Textile Foundation (NCTF) Board. Leonard was recognized as the NC State University College of Textiles Leader of the Year in 2013. Throughout his career, Leonard has received many honors and awards for his contributions to the textile industry such as the Distinguished Leadership Award and the Home Textiles Leadership Award. Leonard was named Top 100 Most Powerful Leaders in Home Furnishing by HFN in 2010 and Top Five Future Leaders in Textiles by Textile World in 2001. Leonard is one of the surviving passengers of Flight 1549 bound for Charlotte, North Carolina that went down in the Hudson River in January 2009. Due to this experience, he has spoken internationally about managing crisis and has been featured in the book, “Brace for Impact”.

Leonard received his undergraduate degree in textile technology from NC State University, his master’s degree from the Institute of Textile Technology and attended Harvard Business School as well.

Danny Peebles (2016-2024)

Danny PeeblesDanny Peebles is an executive sales leader specializing in strategic and consultative sales processes. He is currently the Business Development Director with InfoPro Learning, Inc. prior to working at InfoPro, he held various positions with Xerox, IBM, GP Strategies Corp., and SAP.

Peebles played football and ran track at NC State. He was a two-time ACC Track and Field Championship’s Most Outstanding Performer (1985, ’86) and was the winner of the Kennett Award as NC State’s top male athlete in 1989. He caught 65 passes for 1,086 yards during his NC State football career. On the track, he was a nine-time All-American, a nine-time ACC champion, and a four-time All-American in the 4×100 relay and 200 meters. In 2014, he was inducted into the NC State Hall of Fame. He was a second-round draft pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 1989 NFL draft. He played three NFL seasons until an injury ended his career.

Peebles has bachelor’s degrees in both Accounting and Business Management from NC State’s Poole College of Management.

Frank Rackley (2018-2022)

Frank RackleyFrank Rackley retired as Timberlands Manager in 2013 after 40 years with Weyerhaeuser Company. Frank has served as a past Board of Directors member on the NC State College of Natural Resources Foundation Board. He has also served as the Executive Vice President of the North Carolina Forestry Association, Past President of the North Carolina Forestry Association Board of Directors and is currently serving on the North Carolina Forestry Association Board of Directors.
Rackley received degrees in Wood Science and Technology and Economics from NC State in 1973. He then earned his MBA from East Carolina University in 1978. His interests involve golf, fishing, hiking, and travel.

Paul Ridgeway (2014-2022)

Paul RidgewayJudge Paul Ridgeway is a Resident Superior Court Judge of the 10th Judicial District (Wake County), North Carolina. For two decades, Judge Ridgeway was engaged in the private practice of law, most recently with the firm of Everett, Gaskins, Hancock & Stevens, LLP. In November 2006 Judge Ridgeway was elected to the Superior Court, and he began his duties as a judge in January 2007. For more than fifteen years, Judge Ridgeway has also been an adjunct professor of law at Campbell University School of Law. In 2002 Judge Ridgeway served as President of the Wake County Bar Association and President of the 10th Judicial District Bar. He has served in a number of leadership positions in the North Carolina Bar Association, including council member of the International Law Section, the Antitrust and Trade Regulation Section, and as chair of the Law Practice Management Section. He served on the Board of Directors of the NCSU Alumni Association for ten years where, for a number of years, he chaired the Caldwell Fellowship Committee. In 2013, he presided as President of the Alumni Association Board. He also serves on the Board of Advisors of the School of Public and International Affairs at NCSU.

Judge Ridgeway received his B.S. degree (’82) and a Masters of Public Administration (’90) from NC State University. He received his juris doctorate, cum laude from Campbell University School of Law (’86), where he served as Editor-in-Chief of the Campbell Law Review.

Jon Rufty (2013-2021)

Headshot of Jon RuftyJon Rufty is a respected custom builder, who has served the region as the premier luxury homebuilder for 26 years. His skillset, experience and commitment to quality carry weight across the residential and commercial building community. Chosen as the builder for NC State’s Chancellor’s new home, The Point, completed in 2011, his work on this project has received many accolades including the National Association of Home Builders “Room of the Year” for the kitchen and a platinum award for “Interior Design: Kitchen” in its 2012 Best in American Living Awards. As one of the area’s forefathers of sustainability, he created the nationally-lauded “HealthyHouse”™ in 1994 in cooperation with the American Lung Association and the NAHB Research Center. This cutting-edge work has driven innovation in the building trades, with sustainable concepts and technologies still being used two decades later. Jon is responsible for Progress Energy’s first EnergyStar structure in North Carolina, as well as the state’s first Institute for Business and Home Safety “Fortified…for safer living ®” home, finished in 2002. Association Distinguished Alumni Award.

A 1977 graduate of NC State, Jon continues to be active at NC State having served in many leadership roles over the years including the Board of Advisors for both the Poole College of Management and General H. Hugh Shelton Leadership Center. Jon served as the 2012-2013 Chancellor’s Circle co-chairs. In addition, Rufty has been recognized as the NCSU College of Management’s Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award received the Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni Award.

Machelle Sanders (2014-2022)

Machelle SandersMachelle Sanders is Secretary of the N.C. Department of Commerce where she leads the agency for economic, community, and workforce development. The Commerce Department connects businesses with the site locations, workforce and infrastructure they need to succeed in NC. Commerce also connects local communities with the grants and funding they need to attract new business and ensure future prosperity. Before the Commerce Department, she was the Secretary of the N.C. Department of Administration (DOA), where she oversaw the state agencies whose mission is to provide high quality services effectively, efficiently, and economically to its customers — the citizens, agencies, and communities of North Carolina. Prior to her appointment to the DOA, Secretary Sanders served as Vice President of Manufacturing and General Manager at Biogen Idec overseeing the company’s world-class manufacturing facilities and general operations of the company’s site in Research Triangle Park. She previously held leadership positions overseeing QA, Quality Control, and Manufacturing Operation functions at Biogen Idec and other pharmaceutical and biotech firms including Purdue Pharmaceuticals, L. P. and Diosynth-Akzo Nobel. Secretary Sanders serves on the Board of Trustees of the Kenan Institute for Engineering, Technology and Science. She also serves on several boards of directors including the Biogen Idec Foundation, Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, Public School Forum of North Carolina and North Carolina Biosciences Organization (NCBIO). She is a member of the North Carolina Science Festival Board of Advisors. Machelle is actively involved in Biogen Idec’s Women’s Innovation Network (WIN). She currently co-chairs Biogen Idec’s Diversity & Inclusion Strategic Council.

Secretary Sanders obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry from NC State University and a Masters of Health Administration (MHA) from Pfeiffer University.

Cathy Sigal (2018-2022)

Cathy SigalIn 1981, Cathy Sigal joined Mobil Research and Development Corporation where she developed new catalysts for petrochemical manufacturing. She moved to Merck Research Laboratories in 1984, where she designed and scaled up processes for the production of new drugs and vaccines. She joined the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) in 1998, eventually serving as Director of International Research. In this role, Sigal oversaw JDRF’s international research portfolio and worked to build numerous partnerships with governmental agencies worldwide for the funding of diabetes research. Sigal is now retired but continues to stay engaged in volunteer activities. Currently, she serves as Chair of the American Chemical Society Development Advisory Board. As Chairperson, she has worked to advocate for scholarships for underrepresented students in the field, as well as support other Society priorities such as green chemistry. Sigal was a member of NC State’s College of Sciences Foundation Board for ten years, and for most of those years, she served on the Finance Committee.

Dr. Sigal received her BS degree in Chemistry from North Carolina State University in 1976. During her undergraduate years, she had the privilege of participating in the NC State Fellows Program (now Caldwell Fellows Program). Sigal earned an AM degree in Chemistry from Harvard University in 1978 and an MS degree in Chemical Engineering from MIT in 1981. In 1989, Sigal returned to graduate school at Princeton University to obtain a PhD degree in Molecular Biology (1995), after which she pursued a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Institutes of Health.

Kimberly Siran (2018-2022)

Kimberly SiranKimberly Siran opened her own firm, Coaly Design, in 2005, and has been a licensed landscape architect for 15 years. Siran has practiced land planning and land development with a wide range of projects from large scale master and urban planning, greenway design, and site specific design. Current projects include pedestrian and downtown master planning, an adaptive reuse of a downtown historic building, a 23-lot Habitat for Humanity community in western North Carolina, and commercial site design.

She is also a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Triangle Commercial Association of Realtors, and the Urban Land Institute. Siran is also a licensed real estate broker in the state of North Carolina. In the past, Siran has been an Assistant Adjunct Professor at North Carolina State University, in the College of Design’s Landscape Architecture Department. She is currently a member of the College’s DesignLife Board. She has also given numerous presentations at the College as well as at the annual Urban Design Conference co-hosted by the College of Design. Siran also actively serves the local community. Most recently, she was a member of the City of Raleigh’s Parks, Recreation, and Greenway Advisory Board from 2010 until June of 2016. Upon her Parks Board term expiring, Siran was appointed to the Dix Park Master Plan Advisory Committee. The Committee will work with the consultant over the next 2 years, facilitating the design and community involvement in the planning of the 306-acre proposed park. Siran actively served the local community in the past as a member of the Wake County Planning Board from 1999-2003.

Siran received her undergraduate degree from The Pennsylvania State University in 1995, and her Master of Landscape Architecture degree from the North Carolina State University in 1997. She is a life-member of the Alumni Associations of both Universities.

Chuck Sykes (2014-2022)

Chuck SykesCharles (Chuck) Sykes was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of Sykes Enterprises, Incorporated in August 2004. Prior to his appointment, Sykes served as Chief Operating Officer since July 2003. Sykes joined the Company in 1986, working his way through the ranks and later serving as General Manager of the Americas. His experience in operations, accounting, professional services, recruitment, and sales and marketing enable him to manage SYKES’ client relations and the ongoing success of global operations.

He is very involved in his community, serving the University of Tampa as a member of their Board of Trustees and Administrative Affairs Sub-committee. He also supports Feeding America of Tampa Bay, as a board member. He is a member of the Young Presidents Organization, the Tampa Bay Partnership Executive Committee, the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce Baseball Caucus and the Junior Achievement of West Central Florida Board of Directors. In 2011, he served as the Chair of Greater Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce Executive Committee, and in 2012 he served on the Executive Committee of the Republican National Committee. Sykes is also a member of the Hillsborough County Economic Development Committee and a board member of A Baseball Community. In 2010, Sykes was voted as Tampa Bay’s top business leader in the St. Petersburg Times Annual Leadership Survey of the Business Community.

A native of Charlotte, North Carolina, Sykes majored in mechanical engineering at NC State University.

Pamela B. Townsend (2017-2021)

Pamela B. TownsendPamela B. Townsend, PE is a Senior Vice President for WSP|Parsons Brinckerhoff, a world leading engineering and professional services firm. Townsend is a past president of the Professional Engineers of North Carolina (PENC) and PENC Education Foundation. She is a past director of the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) of North Carolina. Townsend is the current Chairwoman of the joint ACEC/PENC Engineers PAC. Townsend’s service to the State of North Carolina includes a NC House appointment to the Joint Legislative Blue Ribbon Commission to Study the Building and Infrastructure Needs of the State. Townsend served on the leadership team for the development of the STEM WAKE/NC State High School focusing on the NAE Grand Challenges, included in legislation developed by the JOBS Commission. Townsend received a Gubernatorial appointment to this joint legislative commission.

Townsend is a 2016 Distinguished Alumnus of the College of Engineering. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering from NC State (1984 and 1987). Townsend is a strong advocate for NC State and currently serves on the Engineering Foundation Board. She has served on the Civil Engineering Advisory Board, and is a past chair of the Paul Zia Lecture Committee. Townsend holds professional engineering licenses in several states.

Wayne “Gil” West (2021-2025)

Gil WestGil West is the Chief Operating Officer of Cruise, General Motors’ majority-owned autonomous vehicle subsidiary. He joined Cruise not long after retiring as the Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Delta Air Lines, Inc. At Delta he led the team responsible for safe, reliable operations across the globe, including more than 70,000 employees in Airport Customer Service; Cargo; Corporate Safety, Security and Compliance; Delta Connection; Delta Global Services; Delta Private Jets; Flight Operations; In-Flight Service; Information Technology; Operations Analysis and Performance; Operations and Customer Center; Supply Chain Management; and Technical Operations. After joining Delta in March 2008, West led the Delta and Northwest airport and customer service merger integration and helped champion customer service and operational improvements, which have resulted in consistent annual ranking improvements from the Department of Transportation. Prior to Delta, he worked for Laidlaw Transit Services as President and Chief Executive Officer, and also held leadership roles at Northwest Airlines, United Airlines and The Boeing Company. He also currently serves on the boards of the American Cancer Society and Business Leaders for Michigan. West is a key alumni volunteer in the Atlanta area and is a contributor to both the Dean’s Circle and Fitts-Woolard Hall. He also established an endowed scholarship for students in Engineering from his hometown of Hayesville, NC. West is a 2018 Distinguished Engineering Alumni recipient as well as a 2016 inductee into the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department Hall of Fame. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from NC State and his MBA from National University in San Diego.

Contacting the Board of Visitors

Debbie Robertson
Executive Assistant to the Vice Chancellor
External Affairs, Partnerships, & Economic Development

NC State University
Holladay Hall B/Campus Box 7021
Raleigh, NC 27695
Phone: (919) 513-2417

Kevin Howell
Vice Chancellor for External Affairs, Partnerships, & Economic Development

NC State University
Holladay Hall B/Campus Box 7021
Raleigh, NC 27695