Executive Director, One Step Further
Former Greensboro Mayor and Bennett alumna, Yvonne Johnson, is a dedicated supporter of Bennett College. Having previously served as Chair of Bennett’s Board of Trustees, she has a multi-tiered perspective of the institution.
President, The Volcker Alliance
Thomas Ross is a native of Greensboro, NC. He has extensive administrative, financial, and higher educational leadership experience as demonstrated in his prior roles as Davidson College President and President of the University of North Carolina System.
President, Women’s College Coalition
Ms. Michele Ozumba is President of the Women’s College Coalition. Michele has extensive leadership experience with organizations focused on the empowerment and well-being of women and girls. She is passionate about the value of a woman’s college education and can share academic programs that have been introduced at other women’s colleges that have helped improve enrollment.
Judy & Howard Berkowitz Professor of Education, University of Pennsylvania
Dr. Marybeth Gasman is the Founder and Director of the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions and is considered one of the leading authorities in the country on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Her work focuses on the history of American higher education, HBCUs, minority serving institutions, African American leadership, and fundraising and philanthropy.
Senior Vice-President, Marketing & Communications, Cone Health
Mr. Chuck Wallington is a business professional with more than 30 years of experience in strategic marketing and communications in the health care, financial services and consumer packaged goods industries. Mr. Wallington is a member of several local and national boards, including the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro and the Institute for Public Relations. Mr. Wallington brings to the Committee a depth of understanding and experience in strategic marketing and communications, strategic planning and strategic leadership. He brings a passion for developing a data-driven strategic plan for Bennett College that will position the College for long-term success.
Retired State Training and Development Leader – North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service
Dr. Bernadette G. Watts is an alumna of Bennett College and boasts a 31-year career with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service within N.C. State’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Watts led training and development programs for extension agents and specialists based in all 100 counties and on N.C. State’s campus. Dr. Watts, former Durham Alumnae President, is an active fundraiser and recruiter for Bennett. As we look to create a more enriching campus, her deep knowledge of student support services can help drive change in that area.
Retired, Elizabeth City State University Chancellor
Dr. Thomas Conway Jr. served the UNC System for 45 years, 32 of which were spent at N.C. State in various capacities, including Vice Provost for Enrollment Management and Services, and Associate Vice Provost for the Division of Undergraduate Affairs. He not only served at Fayetteville State University as Vice Chancellor and Chief of Staff, but also as Chancellor of ECSU, where he oversaw the restructuring of policies and departments to the benefit of the University. A good bit of Conway’s career was spent alleviating concerns raised through internal audits and external reviews, expanding the value of the University through new academic programs, establishing bilateral agreements with other colleges, developing school value through branding, overseeing investments, and increasing enrollment. Conway sits on several boards and has consulted for numerous historically minority institutions. He has written and spoken widely about academic assessment and leadership.
Chair, HBCU Alumni Leadership Roundtable
Abdul Rasheed is a Retired President of the NC Community Development Initiative. He has extensive fund-raising and economic impact experience. He has a keen ability to help HBCUs create revenue streams from their current assets. Mr. Rasheed also brings a wealth of knowledge on governance, student support and administration.
Silver and Associates, Atlanta, GA.
President of a full-service education consulting firm, Dr. Joseph Silver has aided colleges and universities in solving complex problems, accreditation issues, and developing sound strategic planning. Dr. Silver has a distinguished career in higher education including roles as Academic Administrator for the University System of Georgia, President, Provost, Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Professor of Political Science at various institution. Dr. Silver also served as vice president for SACSCOC. He has the reputation of being a transformational leader, sound strategic planner, and a strong academic thinker, with a deep understanding of higher education as it relates to academic affairs, fundraising, administration, finance and governance.
Retired, former Secretary of the NC Dept of Administration
Gwynn Swinson’s 31-year career has spanned government, policy and academe. As Secretary of the NC Dept of Administration, she was responsible for a departmental budget of $136 million annually, with 750 employees. She provided oversight and change management to many areas of state government, including construction, real property, facility management, motor fleet, parking, the State Capitol Police, public telecommunications, veterans affairs, energy, historically underutilized businesses and non-public education. Other leadership roles included Duke University Health System, Associate Dean Duke University School of Law, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the State Department of Justice. Swinson also held teaching roles at NCCU School of Law and UNC at Chapel Hill School of Law. Swinson chaired the North Carolina Deferred (457) Plan Board of Trustees and the State Energy Policy Council. Her energy, leadership and commitment will be an asset to the Committee.
CEO, SilverParker Group
Through her corporate and higher educational board of trustee experiences, Esther Silver-Parker possesses a wealth of knowledge on governance, student services, and support initiatives. She has provided stellar leadership for the AT&T Foundation and Walmart. Silver-Parker knows what skills are important to corporate America and can not only help to align curricula with job opportunities, but also leverage her extensive network of relationships on Bennett’s behalf.
Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, KPMG LLP
Michele Meyer-Shipp is an accomplished attorney and C-suite corporate executive who has relationships with corporate and financial communities. These are essential relationships for institutions of higher learning to establish and maintain for their faculty, staff, and students. As a chief diversity and inclusion leader, Michele spends her time guiding organizations through creating strategies to build, retain and advance diverse and inclusive workplaces. She has served on various boards and brings a strong strategic planning background to this Committee.
United States Postal Service
Brandy Osimokun is an attorney with USPS, specializing in corporate and employment/labor law, and she is a Bennett alumna. She continues to demonstrate her support for Bennett through the creation of strategies for engagement and fundraising by the alumnae. Osimokun is accomplished at facilitating decision making based on solid research and developing creative solutions to significant challenges. Osimokun advocates for (1) the development of relationships between Bennett and graduate/doctoral programs, corporations and alumnae to create a pipeline for Bennett students to have a professional/academic landing place after graduation and (2) defining Bennett’s unique attributes for its continued longevity and evolutionary growth. She is well equipped as both an attorney and alumna to assess the current situation in order to develop management and operational strategies for Bennett to progress.
Manning & Associates, PLLC
Kathy Manning is an attorney with a strong standing in the Greensboro community. Manning has spent the last 30 years bringing people together to solve problems in our community. Manning has held leadership positions within numerous organizations and has worked tirelessly to spur economic development in Greensboro, to attract new businesses and provide good paying jobs. Her support for Bennett and commitment to seeing women advance is unwavering.
Director, Jubilee Institute & Co-Executive Director, Beloved Community Center
Former University Professor & Research Director, Joyce Johnson is extremely well known and a respected civic leader in the Triad community. She has established relationships with multiple constituents throughout the city and is a staunch supporter of students. Johnson can combine academic, research, and civic leadership experiences to assist Bennett in developing innovative curricula and course offerings, as well as “re-engineering” existing courses to attract new students.
William R. Kenan Distinguished Professor of Strategy & Entrepreneurship
and Director of Urban Investment Strategies, Kenan Flagler School of Business, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Dr. James “Jim” Johnson has extensive experience in higher education. He has a strong understanding of the marketplace and the skills and talents that students should possess. Dr. Johnson has the keen ability to prepare students for an uncertain world.
Founder & CEO, Self-Help Credit Union, Durham, NC
Martin Eakes has a solid footing in the financial and philanthropic world. His expertise in finance and governance is extensive. As a past Guilford College Board of Trustee member, he is a strong supporter of higher education. Mr. Eakes goal is to listen, learn, and contribute to developing a sustainable financial plan for the College.
Assistant Research Professor Epidemiology & Biostatistics Urban Health Collaborative
Dr. Sharrelle Barber is an alumna of Bennett College, UNC Chapel Hill and Harvard University. She has shown a true passion for Bennett College since the days of serving as its Student Government Association President. Dr. Barber continues to be an advocate for student success.