Our Members

Board Members

John R. Belk


“BEST NC is helping lead a movement towards excellence in education for all students in North Carolina. Collaboration throughout our state is critical to making the bold improvements in policy we need, and I am honored to a part of BEST NC and their work to focus leaders on our students for the future of our state.”



Brenda Berg


“As an entrepreneur and mother of two North Carolina public school students, I understand the importance of providing our North Carolina students with the best education in the nation.  More than any other state, North Carolina has the history, capacity and the will to transform education and BEST NC provides the vision and continuity to make it happen.”

Charles Bowman


“BEST NC has been a credible voice for the North Carolina business community as we continue strengthening our public education system and provide the foundation for long-term economic growth.”

Ann B. Goodnight


“A strong public education system is the foundation of a prosperous economy. Our students need and deserve a quality education from early learning experiences through higher education. Members of BEST NC are keenly focused on this goal, and we will work together for the benefit of our state-wide community.”

Kelly King


“Growing up, I attended public school in eastern North Carolina and was blessed to have teachers impress upon me the importance of a solid education, which continues to have a profound impact on my life. And as a board member of BEST NC, I want to work with others to ensure education remains a top priority for our state. Not only do our children depend on it, the success of our communities, industries, state and national economies do, as well. There is no greater investment in North Carolina than that of our children’s education.”

Walter McDowell


“I am proud to serve as the Board Chair for BEST NC because I know that the North Carolina education system can be the best in the country and can produce the most talented labor force in the nation. Developing a productive, driven, and educated citizenry should be a priority for all business owners, and BEST NC is exactly what North Carolina needs to link dedicated business leaders to high quality education reform and practice.”

Art Pope


“One of my top priorities is reforming teacher pay, so that all teachers receive better compensation while providing opportunities for additional earnings for teachers who take on the greatest challenges.”

Chuck Purvis


“Having spent my entire career in credit unions, I’ve seen first-hand the difference even a small change in someone’s earning potential can make on their overall financial outlook. I also know that the key to unlocking that potential is solid educational foundation. As their future employers, it’s in our best interest to ensure North Carolina’s students have the opportunity and the resources to succeed in the classroom and beyond. As their fellow North Carolinians… their family, friends, and neighbors… it’s our duty. That’s why I’m proud to support BEST NC and serve with people who share in that vision.”

John Replogle

Partner, One Better Ventures, LLC

“I believe public education is the key to unlocking the full potential of every individual and the cornerstone to building a stronger, more innovative and competitive nation”

Pat Riley


“The value of a residential home and appreciation of that home is in direct proportion to the perceived value of the education received at the school at the end of the street.’ For my 44 year real estate career, this is all I hear and heard in all five states that I worked in. Families and business have the same goal…. to raise the bar and better prepare students for the jobs of the future!”

Thomas Vaidhyan


“A good education is unquestionably the best instrument that contributes to the success of an individual or a society, a state or a nation. NC is now at a crucial juncture in the development of the nation, since it has the potential to capitalize on its inherent strength in education and business, so as to make it one of the leading states in the fast growing globally competitive 21st century economy. I believe BEST NC with its non-partisan representatives from the vast majority of businesses in NC and its pragmatic and socially beneficial best practices-driven approach, makes it the pivotal link in the enhancement of NC public education.”

Paul Wiles


“I spent my entire working career in healthcare leadership. It became more and more apparent to me that there are direct and strong correlations between the health status of many people and their literacy levels. A well educated populace is able to better understand their health issues, and work in good jobs which keep them well above poverty levels and provides them with insurance for when they have unavoidable health care needs. I believe our public education system in North Carolina is failing to meet the educational needs of many of our citizens and thus leaving them vulnerable to diminished health and lower economic achievements. With more free time as a retiree, I joined the BEST NC efforts to encourage our elected leaders that we must do a better job of educating our citizenry.”

Board Advisors

Anna Spangler Nelson

Chairman, Spangler Companies, Inc.

Richard "Stick" Williams

President (Retired), Duke Energy Foundation


Jack Bailey

US President, Glaxo Smith Kline

John Belk

President (Retired), Belk Stores

Erskine Bowles

Charles Bowman

Market President for North Carolina and Charlotte, Bank of America

Richard Brenner

Vice Chairman, Amarr

John Burress

(Retired), Business Owner

Gerald Petkau

CEO (Interim), BCBSNC

Tom Darden

CEO , Cherokee Fund

Frank Dowd

Chairman, Charlotte Pipe and Foundry

Don Flow

CEO, Flow Auto

David Fountain

Senior Vice President, Duke Energy

Allen Gant

Chairman & CEO, Glen Raven, Inc.

James (Jim) F. Goodmon

President & CEO, Capitol Broadcasting Company

Ann B. Goodnight

Director, Community Relations, SAS

Redge Hanes

Chairman, James G. Hanes Foundation

Nelle Hotchkiss

Senior Vice President, North Carolina's Energy Cooperatives

Stan Kelly

Carolinas CEO, Wells Fargo

Kelly King

Chairman & CEO, Truist

James S. Mahan

Chairman & CEO, Live Oak Bank

James Maynard

Chairman & CEO, Golden Corral

Walter McDowell

Chairman, BEST NC

Jim Melvin

Chairman, Bryan Foundation

Allison Moss

President, Stephen L Cornwell Foundation

Katie Morris

CEO, Belk Foundation

David Neill

Business Owner

Tom Nelson

President & CEO, National Gypsum Company

Robert Niblock

CEO (Retired), Lowe's Companies

Ward Nye

Chairman, President & CEO, Martin Marietta Materials, Inc.

Ricardo Oberlander

President & CEO, Reynolds American, Inc.

Laney Orr

Managing Director, The Orr Group, LLC

Art Pope

Chairman, CEO & President, Variety Wholesalers Inc.

Chuck Purvis

President & CEO, Coastal Federal Credit Union

Rick Redden

Executive Vice President, Wells Fargo

John Replogle

Partner, One Better Ventures

Pat Riley

President & CEO, Allen Tate Real Estate

Temple Sloan, Jr.

Executive Vice President, Spangler Companies, Inc.

David Stevens

Mid-South Division President, Truist

John Whitaker

Director, Triad Opportunity I, LLC

Riley Fields

Director of Community Relations, Carolina Panthers

Paul Wiles

President & CEO, Novant Health (Retired)

Ken Gill

President & CEO, CPI Security

Ed Pearce

President, Tencarva Machinery Company

Business Council

Terry Akin

CEO, Cone Health

Greg Alcorn

CEO, Global Contract Services

Marth Ann McConnell

Vice President of Government Relations, Carolinas HealthCare System

Jim Anthony

CEO, Colliers International

Carl Armato

CEO, Novant Health System

John Atkins

CEO, O'Brian Atkins

L.M. Baker

CEO, Wachovia (Retired)

Rye Barcott

Managing Partner, Double Time Capital

Doug Bassett

President, Vaughan-Bassett Furniture Company

Emma Battle

President & CEO, Higher Education Works

Graham Bennett

CEO, Quality Oil Company

Virginia Bowman

General Partner, Northgate Associates

Peter Bristow

President, First Citizens Bank

Mollie Brugh

CEO, Marsh Furniture Company

Steve Burris

President, UNC REX Healthcare

Michelle Butt

General Manager, Hearst

Lida Calvert Hayes

President & CEO, S+L Painting & Decorating, Inc.

Jim Cherry

CEO, Park Sterling Bank

Hudnall Christopher

EVP, Reynolds Tobacco (Retired)

Jack Clayton

Regional President, Wells Fargo

Zach Clayton

CEO, Three Ships, LLC

Derick Close

CEO, The Cotton Factory

Jeff Clark

CEO, Hometown Auto Credit

Sue Cole

Managing Partner, Sage

Rountree Collett, Jr.

President & COO, Bernhardt Furniture

Ned Curran

President & CEO, Bissell Companies

Don Curtis

CEO, Curtis Media Group

Nancy Dunn

Retired CEO

David Falk

Managing Director, Drucker & Falk Real Estate

Christopher Fox


Frank Daniels, Jr.

CEO, News & Observer (Retired)

Richard Daugherty

Retired CEO

Susan DeVore

President & CEO, Premier, Inc.

John C. Fox

Mi-Atlantic Chairman, First Tennessee Bank

Stuart Frantz

President & CEO, Investors Management Corporation

Ed Fritsch

President & CEO, Highwoods

Paul Fulton

Chairman, Bassett Furniture

Hannah Gage

Retired CEO

James Gibson

Executive VP & COO, RTI International

Phil Kirk

CEO (Retired), NC Chamber

Leroy Lail

Chairman & CEO, Hickory Furniture

Mike Lamach

Chairman & CEO, Ingersoll Rand

Andy Brown

President, Twin City Warehouses

Hal Kaplan

CEO, Kaplan Early Learning Company

Dave Katz

President & COO, Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated

Dale Jenkins

Chairman & CEO, Curi Insurance

Burney Jennings

CEO, Biscuitville

Douglas Kahn

Principal, Mistdoda Capital, LLC

Wayne Holden

CEO, RTI International

David Howard

Partner, Windsor Investments, LLC

Robert Ingram

General Partner, Hatteras Venture Partners

Barnes Hauptfuhrer

Chairman, Chapter IV Investors

Jack Hawn

CEO, Zenith Freight Lines

John Hayes

President, Cape Fear World Trade Organization

Wendell H. Murphy

Murphy Family Ventures

Jim Hansen

Regional President, PNC Financial

John W. Davis

Managing Director, Deutsche Bank

Patti Gillenwater

CEO, Elinvar

Bob Greczyn

CEO, BCBSNC (Retired)

Clay Grubb

President, Grubb Properties

Kel Landis

Principal, Plexus Capital

Geoff Lang

VP & General Manager of Global Technology & Operations, MetLife

Scott Levitan

CEO, Research Triangle Foundation

Jane Lewis-Raymond

Partner, Parker Poe

Al Lineberry, Jr.

President, Gainesberry, LLC

Norman Samet

CEO (Retired)

Gregg McAllister

VP of Development, Vision Ventures

Gray McCaskill

CEO, Senn Dunn

John McConnell

CEO, Wake Forest Baptist Health

Dan McCready

Managing Partner, Double Time Capital

DL McMichael, Jr.

CEO, McMichael Mills

Leigh McNairy

Director, McNairy Foundation

Jim Morgan

CEO (Retired), Krispy Kreme Doughnut Company

Chester H. Brown III

President, Brown Investment Properties, Inc.

Reid Murchison

Managing Director, Wells Fargo Advisors

Lynn Murphy

President, Premium 2000

Jim Phillips

Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey & Leonard LLP

Ed Pleasants

Retired CEO

Steve Pond

CEO, The Education Center

E. Ashton Poole

President, Triangle Capital Corporation

Crawford Pounds

Managing Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers

Billy Prim

Prim Water Corporation

Orage Quarles III

President & Publisher, News & Observer (Retired)

Lewis Quinn

CEO, Aym Technologies, LLC

Julian "Bubba" Rawl

Owner, Preston Development

Billie Redmond

Founder, TradeMark Properties

Donna Rhode


Bob Rippy

Owner, Jungle Rapids

Arthur Samet

CEO, Samet Corporation

Frank Saxon

President, Culp, Inc.

J.R. Shearin

Managing Director, Deloitte

Tom Skains

Retired CEO

Sherwood Smith

Retired CEO

Malbert Smith

President, CEO & Co-Founder, MetaMetrics

John Snider

President & CEO, Snider Fleet Solutions

Robert Spilman, Jr.

CEO, Bassett Furniture Industries

Ben Sutton

Founder & Chairman, Teall Capital

Senator James T. Broyhill

Chairman, James T. and Louise R. Broyhill Foundation

Sean Patrick Tario

CEO & Catalyst, Open Spectrum

Pam Townsend

Senior Vice President, Dewberry

Kevin Trapani

President & CEO, The Redwoods Group

Thomas Vaidhyan

CEO, Aten, Inc.

Thomas W. Dickson

Vice President, The Dickson Foundation

Leslie Walden

Fidelity Investments

David Ward, Jr.

Attorney, Ward and Smith, P.A.

William Warden

Retired CEO

Ed Weisiger, Jr.

President & CEO, Carolina CAT

Jordan Whichard

Retired CEO

Paul Cormier

CEO, Red Hat, Inc.

Smedes York

Chairman, York Properties

Charlie Zeigler, Jr.

CEO (Retired), PSNC Energy, Inc.

Larry Shaheen

Attorney At Law. The McIntosh Law Firm

Francisco Alvarado

President & CEO, Marand Builders

Brian Reid

Triangle President, TowneBank

Joe Budd

CEO, The Budd Group