Cooper announces appointments to state boards and commissions
On Tuesday, Gov. Roy Cooper announced more than 75 appointments to state boards and commissions. The appointments are some of more than 350 state posts over which the governor has appointment power, ranging from occupational boards to issue advocacy groups.
Among the appointments, state Rep. Michael Wray, D-Gaston, was appointed to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. The newly created North Carolina Board of Barber and Electrolysis Examiners has four members in the appointment announcement, David Williams of Hickory, Michael Tyrone Swinney of Fayetteville, Sherod Holloway of Wake Forest, and Kristina Elizabeth Proctor of Canton.
Among the notable names on the list, Janet Cowell, the former state treasurer, was appointed to chair the North Carolina Board of Science, Technology, and Innovation. Cowell is currently the chief executive officer of Dix Park Conservancy.
Cooper also appointed members of his North Carolina Task Force for Racial Equity in Criminal Justice to include N.C. Supreme Court Associate Justice Anita Earls. Before landing on the high court, Earls founded and is the past executive director of the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, where she litigated civil rights and voting rights cases. Cooper also appointed Attorney General Josh Stein to serve as the Department of Justice representative on the task force.
Other newly appointed members of the governor’s racial equity task force are state Public Safety Secretary Eddie Buffaloe of Elizabeth City; former State Appeals Court Judge Alan Thornburg of Asheville; Billy Gartin of Garner; Henderson Hill of the ACLU in Charlotte, Deb Maxwell of Wilmington; Sen. Mujtaba Mohammed, D-Mecklenburg; Rep. Marcia Morey, D-Durham; Kerwin Pittman of Raleigh; Talley Wells of Chapel Hill; Jeffrey Smythe of Burlington; April Dawson of Haw River; Sheriff Clarence Birkhead of Durham; Quentin Miller of Asheville; Michael Hawkins of Brevard; Regina Parker of Williamston; Kim Gourier Scott of Winton; Orange County District Attorney Jeff Nieman; Nisha Williams of Durham; Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Johnny Jennings; Tracie Campbell of Charlotte; Angela Bryant of Rocky Mount; Emily Coward of Durham; Preston Blakely, mayor of Fletcher; and outgoing state Rep. Ricky Hurtado of Mebane. Information on those appointed can be found here.
For the North Carolina Certification Commission for Tribal Indian Gaming Compact, Cooper appointed Zeb Smathers as a member at large. Smathers is mayor of Canton and a lawyer at his own practice.
Adding to the North Carolina Energy Policy Council, Cooper appointed Susan Munroe, the community engagement manager at TotalEnergies, a company focused on marketing and producing natural gas and renewable energy.
For the state’s Museum of Natural Sciences Advisory Commission, environmental activist Bob Gale was appointed by Cooper. Gale works for Mountain True, a group supported in part by the progressive funder Z Smith Reynolds Foundation.
Additional appointments made by Cooper on Tuesday include:
The Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Act of 2003:
- Grayson Lane Barnette of Lenoir as a member at-large. Barnette is the marketing and communications coordinator for Foothills Conservancy in Morganton.
The North Carolina Brain Injury Advisory Council:
- Dr. Glenn Edward Johnson of Winterville as a member who is a survivor of a brain injury from eastern North Carolina. Johnson is a retired corrections officer.
- Dr. Kevin Burroughs of Concord as a brain injury service provider in the private sector.
The North Carolina State Building Commission:
- Dene’ Alexander of Clayton as a public member. Alexander is an assistant city attorney with the City of Greenville.
The North Carolina State Board of Community Colleges:
- Former state representative Chaz Beasley of Charlotte as a member at-large. Beasley is counsel on the structured finance team at Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, a law firm in Charlotte.
The North Carolina Council for Women:
- Dr. Michelle Meggs of Charlotte as a member at-large. Meggs is executive director of the UNC-Charlotte Women + Girls Research Alliance.
- Pamela Young Jacobs of Bolton as a member at-large. Jacobs is assistant chief and chairwoman of the Waccamaw Siouan Tribe and secretary for American Indian Women of Proud Nations.
- Tara Romano of Raleigh as a member at-large. Romano is executive director of Pro-Choice North Carolina of Durham.
- Chavi Koneru of Raleigh as a member at-large. Koneru is co-founder and executive director of North Carolina Asian Americans Together.
The North Carolina Council on Developmental Disabilities:
- Bethany Dawn Smith of Greenville, a pre-law student serving as secretary of the Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness Advisory Council for Disability Rights North Carolina.
- Tocarra Osborne of Bladenboro, the partnership engagement coordinator of Resilient Bladen in Elizabethtown.
- Keith Carney of Maple Hill of the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services for the Department of Health and Human Services.
The North Carolina Domestic Violence Commission:
- LaKiera Grimes of Durham, associate director of stability programs for the Compass Center for Women and Families in Chapel Hill.
- Dr. Angelia Riggsbee of Charlotte, business manager for youth and family services for the Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services.
The North Carolina Education and Workforce Commission:
- Jonah Garson of Chapel Hill as a member with experience working in education. Garson is an attorney with experience representing individuals, nonprofits, and businesses.
- Jairo McMican of Fuquay-Varina, who spent more than 16 years working in higher education split between academic and student services at two different universities and two community colleges.
The North Carolina Board of Examiners for Engineers and Surveyors:
- Toynia Gibbs of Cary as a registered land surveyor. Gibbs is a survey department manager for ESP Associates Inc. in Raleigh, where she has worked for 20 years.
The Financial Literacy Council:
- Erin Wilson of Raleigh as a representative from the North Carolina Department of Labor.
The Historic Hillsborough Commission:
- William Harris of Hillsborough as a member at-large. Harris served 20 years in the Marine Corps and 16 years of federal service as a civilian employee with the Department of Defense.
- Jaquelin Liggins of Mebane as a member at-large. Liggins is a customer service technician for the City of Durham. Liggins has also been commissioned to create large abstract paintings in downtown Hillsborough.
- Adam Warren Cheshire of Hillsborough as a member at-large. Cheshire is the business manager for Orange Family Medical Group.
The North Carolina State Historical Records Advisory Board:
- Scarlett Hargis of Garner as a member at large. Hargis is the paralegal to the general counsel in the Office of the Governor, a role she has held since 2017.
The Juvenile Justice Planning Committee:
- Samuel James Highsmith of Wilmington, the co-founder and Wilmington-area events coordinator for the Alex Highsmith Family Foundation.
- Barbara Parker of Sylva, associate judge in the Cherokee Court, where she serves on the trial-court level.
- Tyrone Ruffin of Aulander, who was recently elected sheriff of Bertie County.
The North Carolina Lottery Commission:
- Ripley Rand of Raleigh as chair. Rand was originally appointed to the commission in September 2021. Rand is a partner at Womble Bone Dickinson LLP in Raleigh.
- Cari Boyce of Raleigh as a member at-large. She recently retired from Duke Energy as senior vice president for enterprise, strategy, and planning. Boyce is currently serving as an adviser in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina.
The North Carolina Medical Care Commission:
- Dr. David Crisler Mayer of Chapel Hill as a member at large. Mayer is a professor of anesthesiology and professor of obstetrics and gynecology for the University of North Carolina School of Medicine and previously served as the school’s division chief of obstetric anesthesia.
The North Carolina Commission for Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services:
- Dr. Regina Dickens of Littleton as a mental health professional. She previously served as the area director of RiverStone, the local mental health, developmental disabilities and substance abuse services agency in Halifax County.
The North Carolina State Museum of Natural Sciences Advisory Commission:
- June Blotnick of Charlotte as a member at-large. Blotnick is an environmental consultant.
- Emily Burkhart of Concord as a member at-large. Burkhart is sirector of tourism and operations at Southern Grace Distilleries.
- Bob Gale of Asheville as a member at-large. Gale is an ecologist with Mountain True.
- Catherine Mattesich Taylor of Raleigh as a member at-large. Taylor is an attorney.
The North Carolina Partnership for Children, Incorporated:
- Francesca Gary of Durham as a member at-large. Gary is senior vice president of government markets for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina.
- Rosa Maria Matthews of Lillington, a stylist consultant at ETCETERA LLC.
- Ashley Neal of Charlotte. Neal previously worked with the Council for Children’s Rights as director of the Custody Advocacy Program.
- Channah VanRegenmorter of Asheville, an officer for health and wellness at Dogwood Health Trust. Prior to joining Dogwood, she was a quality leader at Eleanor Health.
The North Carolina Radiation Protection Commission:
- Dr. Alfonso Anthony Haro III of Pinehurst. Haro is a podiatric foot and ankle surgeon for Ankle and Foot Surgical Podiatry Clinic of Westend.
The North Carolina Recreational Therapy Licensure Board:
- Joan Langella Sutton of Davidson. Sutton is a health center recreational therapy supervisor for The Pines at Davidson.
The North Carolina Sedimentation Control Commission:
- David Beck of Charlotte as a utility company representative. Beck is general manager of coal combustion products engineering for Duke Energy.
The Statewide Independent Living Council:
- Lindsay Dozier of Greensboro as an individual with a disability. Dozier is health promotions coordinator for the Rockingham County Department of Health and Human Services.
- Jordan Franklin Slade of Clayton as an individual with a disability. Slade is a traumatic brain injury and stroke survivor. Slade is an advocate for brain injury survivors and also serves on the North Carolina Brain Injury Advisory Council.
The North Carolina Water Treatment Facility Operators Certification Board:
- Rani Kay Holland of Hickory as a water treatment facility operator.
- La’Meshia Whittington Kaminski of Holly Springs as a member at-large. Kaminski is the executive director, founder, and adviser for TW2 Inc.
The North Carolina State Youth Advisory Council:
- Dr. Regina Gavin Williams of Knightdale as an adult member. Williams is assistant professor in the Department of Counseling and Higher Education at North Carolina Central University.