For more than 25 years, Brian Holland has served as the Chief Legal Officer for information technology companies. Currently, he is General Counsel for Sectigo, a public key infrastructure company that enables the secure exchange of data over the Internet and other digital networks.
Brian is a business-first attorney with extensive experience in technology, international law, mergers & acquisitions, privacy, compliance, and risk management. He has headed up the legal departments for both public and private companies. Prior to becoming an in-house attorney, Brian was a litigator in Dallas and Washington, D.C.
Brian has been a resident of the Triangle for over 25 years living in both Johnston and Wake Counties. He’s a founding director of the Research Triangle Area chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel and has been involved with several community organizations. He has been a member of CAWD since 2012.
A native Californian, Brian received his undergraduate degree from California State University, Fullerton. He attended grad school at the University of North Texas. He is a graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center. Brian is admitted to the bars of North Carolina; Washington, D.C.; Texas; and Maryland.
Rodney Carson serves as the primary customer liaison for large-scale fraud and security intelligence solution initiatives with state and local government clients.
His workforce board experience includes his current membership on the Capital Area Workforce Development Board and his previous membership on the 4 Polk County, Florida Workforce Development Board from November 2007 to December 2010.
Rodney has nearly 25 years of experience in several roles revolving around economic development, strategic development, organizational/departmental development and/or restructuring, and strategic partnership development in non-profit, government and Fortune 50 corporations. He is also an accomplished entrepreneur having started and sold several small businesses including a dive shop in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Rodney holds a double major in International Business and Business Finance from the University of Hawaii, Manoa and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Additionally, he holds certifications in economic development and international marketing from the International Economic Development Council and Thunderbird School of Global Management.
White has been active as a volunteer in the Durham and Research Triangle community, having served as president of the Durham Day Care Council, the Durham Literacy Council, chairman of the Durham United Way Campaign and chairman of its board of directors, and a member of the executive committees and boards of both the Durham Workforce Development Board and the Research Triangle Regional Partnership.
He serves on the board of directors for LC Industries as their Secretary-Treasurer, and also is a board member for the Research Triangle Foreign Trade Zone and the Durham Nativity School. He currently serves on the Board of Advisors for the Emily Krzyzewski Center, and was a charter board member and founding vice chairman of the Center to chairman Duke University Men’s Basketball Coach Mike Krzyzewski.
Chanda Armstrong is the Unit Manager for Vocational Rehabilitation. She brings over 12 years of management experience as a customer service manager in retail. She started her career with Vocational Rehabilitation in 2008 in the Henderson Unit, Roxboro office. Chanda has also served as a Unit Manager in Fayetteville., NC.
Chanda holds a master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling and in Rehabilitation Counseling. She is the Liaison for Community Rehabilitation Programs in the local area and has established strong partnerships with community agencies. Ms. Armstrong worked with the Community Workforce Solution and Wake Technical Community College to start the first Project Search with DHHS which partnered with local businesses to assist individuals with disabilities in obtaining employment. She is committed to working collectively to help individuals and businesses across the state of NC gain access to the most skilled and productive workforce system. She is passionate about working and assisting individuals.
She is a member of the NC Rehabilitation Association.
Rob Axford was sworn in over 20 years ago as a member of the IBEW Local 553. He graduated from 553’s JATC in 1999 and has been an instructor with the JATC for 12 years, treasurer of the local for 8 years and the Assistant Business manager for Tony Swift for 2-1/2 years. When Tony had to resign as business manager for health reasons, Rob was immediately selected by the Executive Board as his replacement.
He lives in Hillsborough with his daughter and wife Rebecca Axford who is the JATC training director. When not at work, Rob likes to spend time in the woods behind the house, BBQ, and scuba dive when visiting family in the FL Keys.
Mark Bertoncino leads the customer service team for Bühler Aeroglide, providing parts, services and retrofits for industrial drying applications around the world. Aeroglide was founded in 1940 in Cary NC, and purchased by the Bühler Group in 2008. Founded in 1860, Bühler is a privately owned Swiss company with over 14,000 employees, working to create innovative solutions for safe and healthy food and feed, and ensure better mobility for the future through advanced materials.
A native of Delaware, Mark attended Virginia Tech and moved to North Carolina in 2000 to pursue a career in Surveying. This interest quickly shifted to Land Development Management, working on projects in the Raleigh area as well as Burlington. After 8 years, the softening housing market forced Mark to change careers to manufacturing sales and operations at Madern USA in Apex, and then on to Bühler in 2015. Mark also serves as the current Chairman of the North Carolina Triangle Apprenticeship Program, a partnership of 10 local companies dedicated to mutual workforce development through recruitment, education and training of talented high schoolers.
Mark and his wife Michelle have a daughter and twin sons, and they live in southwestern Wake County with their 3 dogs, 2 cats and several chickens and turkeys.
Michael leads and oversees WCED’s economic development program and staff and is the primary partner for providing support to the 12 other municipalities. In his role, Michael is instrumental in creating an environment in Wake County that can grow and thrive and spends most of his time with community partners working to do so.
Previously, Michael served as the Director of Business Recruitment and Expansion for WCED and prior to that, he was a Program Manager at WCED. Before he joined the Raleigh Chamber, Michael led strategic economic development policy efforts for the North Carolina Department of Commerce as the Director of Public Policy.
Michael is a native North Carolinian growing up in Jacksonville before earning a BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a MA in Public Policy from East Carolina University. He and his family are active members of the community and enjoy cheering on local teams like the Hurricanes. He is also active in his children’s sports and enjoys coaching soccer and basketball.
Michael and his family enjoy calling a place like Wake County home and are dedicated to continuing to promote North Carolina as a great place to live, work and play.
Courtney Holcomb is a Human Resources Manager with Bharat Forge Aluminum USA, Inc. In this role, Courtney leads a team providing all aspects of employee life cycle management to include talent management, compensation and employee benefits, training and development, compliance, and workplace safety. Courtney is no stranger to automotive manufacturing, having spent over 12 years in the industry. Courtney is passionate about people and their possibilities; she provides guidance and support to encourage the people she works with to achieve their success.
As a Sanford native, Courtney attended Lee County High School and then earned her associates degree in Business Administration from Central Carolina Community College. She lives in Sanford with her husband Jamie. When not at work, Courtney likes to spend time at their farm, Pine Haven with her many animals, especially the newest addition Hector the donkey. Be sure to ask her about him!
Nicole Jarvis-Miller is responsible for creating innovative, enterprise-wide programs to attract, hire and retain the best talent. She is also committed to creating an environment where all 70,000+ team members feel welcome, valued, respected and heard, through diversity initiatives and Team Member Networks.
Previously, Nicole spent 19 years in various HR leadership roles at IBM, including her most recent role as Global HR Director for a multi-country engineering function in which she provided direction for HR Strategy, Talent Management, Succession Planning and Recruiting. In her tenure at IBM, she held other HR leadership roles including HR Site Manager, Recruiting Manager and Global Recruitment Transformation.
She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the State University of New York at Geneseo and a Master’s Degree in Labor and Industrial Relations from Rutgers University.
Harold Keen is President and CEO of KS Bank in Smithfield. His career has been in banking for the past 45 years serving in Wake and Johnston Counties.
Harold served as an U.S. Army helicopter pilot in Vietnam 1969. He retired from the North Carolina National Guard as a Chief Warrant Officer (4) – Master Army Aviator.
He has served the community as the past trustee of the North Carolina State and Local Government Retirement. Director of the North Carolina Banking Commission. Director and Chairman of the North Carolina Bankers Association. Director and Chairman of the Johnston County Airport Authority.
Harold is a member of Order of the Long Leaf Pine (by Governor Jim Hunt) and a distinguished Citizen of the Triangle East Chamber of Commerce. He received a Bronze Star in the U.S. Armed Forces.
He lives on the family farm in Four Oaks with his wife Barbara. They have two adult children and one (perfect) grandchild.
Vic has over 13 years of experience conducting needs assessments, designing, developing, and implementing customized training courses within workforce development and the biotech/pharmaceutical industry. He provides subject matter expertise in the following areas: workforce development, employability skills training, program management, program evaluation and strategic planning. Vic is a Workforce Development Professional with a Master of Education focused on Educational Management, providing oversight at the Johnston Community College Workforce Development Center and to the biotechnology programs, workforce training, partnerships and initiatives, customized training, and apprenticeship programs.
Gail McDougal brings over 20 years of experience in the education arena serving in roles from classroom teacher to positions at the district and state levels. She is currently serving as the School-to-Career Specialist for Wake County Public Schools where she supports the Career Development Coordinators and Career Academy Coordinators in working with business and industry. She has been trained as an instructional coach and holds a teaching license in several areas. She is a former Education Consultant at the NC Department of Public Instruction for the Business, Finance, and Marketing program area. She has served as an adjunct instructor for two community colleges.
Gail has an MBA degree and started her career in industry prior to moving into education. Using her industry experiences, she has transitioned into serving on various advisory boards. She is currently serving as the president-elect for EntreEd, a national consortium for Entrepreneurship Education.
Gail also serves as vice-president for her Homeowner’s Association.
Marsha Mebane has been employed with 3M for 20 years as Human Resources Director supporting the 3 North Carolina facilities: Monroe, Charlotte, and Moncure. She has a demonstrated history of working in the mechanical and industrial engineering industry. She is skilled in HR Policies, Succession Planning, Recruiting, Strategic Planning, Training and Development, and Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS).
Marsha graduated from Columbia Southern University (HR Management). She is a Board member of the Union County Chamber of Commerce.
Originally from Mebane, she is married to Jeff, they have 2 children and 1 grandchild.
Jerilyn Lanham Meckler is managing director of Ankura’s Advanced Human Capital practice. She has extensive experience in the complete breadth and depth of human resource functions, strategy and execution. Areas of focus include evaluating human capital practices and HR structure, organizational culture, talent practices and management, vendor selection and implementation, measuring and driving engagement, and organizational change initiatives, on a global basis. She has applied this expertise to a wide range of companies (public, private, and equity-owned) and in industries spanning manufacturing, supply chain, software, healthcare, education and e-commerce.
Previously, Jerilyn served as the head of human resources for Nomaco, Bell and Howell, and Mims Distributing as well as in HR leadership positions with ModusLink and America Online.
She has a Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Communication from Ohio University (Psychology minor), a Master’s degree in Labor and Human Resources from The Ohio State University, is certified through Prosci as a Change Management Practitioner, and achieved Business/Executive Coach certification through the University of Georgia. She is both SHRM-SCP and SPHR certified and was an instructor in HR content at Duke University for three years. She currently serves on Advisory Boards for Noel Group and Smart International, Inc.
With over 40 years in hospitality, David is the General Manager of the Raleigh Marriott City Center, Raleigh Convention Center’s headquarters hotel. His career has allowed him to open more than twenty hotels throughout the US and Canada in either a property-based or corporate role.
In his previous role as Corporate Director of Food & Beverage with Interstate Hotels & Resorts, David was responsible for the oversight of food & beverage operations of over 250 hotels giving operational and concept guidance throughout a diverse portfolio of hotels and resorts.
Originally from Rhode Island, David and his wife Kim live in Clayton.
There is a relatively small segment of leaders in the business world; individuals who seem able to build relationships, trust, and rapport with almost anyone, and then able to broker the relationships and make connections between people, creating partnerships and alliances, and motivation of forward momentum to get things done.
Jerry Pedley is one of those people, and getting things done and driving results--through collaboration, partnerships, relationships, and example--as a senior manager in the automation industry, it is what he is all about. With an enthusiastic and genuinely friendly attitude, Jerry radiates a sincere passion for delivering value and benefits to his customers.
Jerry is the President of Mertek Solutions a company that designs and builds custom assembly and test equipment. Mertek employs 40 persons in Sanford, NC.
Jerry lives in Sanford with his wife Donna. They have two children Jeremy and Jennifer, 5 grandsons, and one great-grandson. They also have foster grandchildren and great-grandchildren. When not working they enjoy working around their log home and spending time at their home away in North Myrtle Beach and Cape Coral, Florida.
Sarah Stone is the manager of the NCWorks Career Center - Lee County and brings with her over 17 years of experience in the Workforce Development arena. She has been the manager in Sanford for over four years and prior to that, she held various positions with the Department of Commerce including Career Advisor and as a Regional Analyst. Prior to working for the State, her career included both businesses and non-profits. Sarah is a native of the Northeast but has called North Carolina her home for many years. She is a graduate of Guilford College with a Bachelor of Science, in Administration of Justice. Sarah and her husband Rick live in Sanford and have four grandchildren.
Danielle’s work experience spans over 20 years, in all areas and departments of HR, including merger & acquisitions, Engagement & Diversity initiatives, and Global HR Process/Systems implementations. With the opportunity to live and work in 3 different countries (Brazil, Sweden, and US), her activities were developed in the chemical, automotive, aerospace, and biopharma industries, with global exposure.
She is a graduate of Psychology from the Federal University of Parana, Brazil, and holds several HR certifications, including a global-level certification from HR Certification Institute and senior certification from Society for Human Resources Management.
Danielle believes in creating a diversity & inclusiveness environment that promotes a high level of engagement, performance, and effectiveness in teams and organizations.
Melissa Short leads Transitions LifeCare’s talent strategy efforts. Transitions LifeCare is a not-for-profit provider of hospice, home health and palliative care services in seven NC counties. The organization employees about 480 compassionate and dedicated people and served over 7500 patients in 2018.
A native of Roanoke, VA, Melissa first came to North Carolina to attend North Carolina State University where she graduated cum laude in political science. She later continued her education at East Carolina University where she obtained her Master's degree in business administration.
Melissa has spent the bulk of her career in the for-profit healthcare sector but also has direct experience with non-profit and pharmaceutical organizations. She holds two senior level certifications from both the HR Certification Institute and the Society for Human Resource Management.
As an experienced professional, her passion is helping organizations become an excellent place to work. When she’s not working for Transitions, Melissa is spending time with her husband, Brian, a Raleigh native, and their young daughter.
Jill Straight is the Director of Client Services at Dorcas Ministries, a nonprofit human services agency in Cary, North Carolina. Jill oversees the delivery of crisis services, including a robust food pantry, workforce development programs in IT, healthcare, and biotech, as well as a compassionate whole-person focused case management program. Jill is known for her strategic thinking and ability to form creative partnerships.
Prior to joining Dorcas in 2008, Jill worked in higher and adult education program management in the US and the Middle East. She considers herself a Duke Divinity School program junkie where she completed certificates in Non-Profit Management and Christian Leadership. Jill holds a Master’s in Teaching Foreign Languages from West Virginia University. During the pandemic, she completed her Master Naturalist certification to better inform her love for the outdoors.
She lives in Cary with her family, which includes Biscuit the cockapoo, her devoted companion in hiking, birding, and bug-catching.
Craig Sullivan is the President of A.D. Tubi USA and leads the US operations for its parent company, A.D. Tubi Inossidabili based in Casnate con Bernate, Italy. Craig rejoined A.D. Tubi in 2018 and led the efforts to bring manufacturing to the State of North Carolina. A.D. Tubi is a global leader in the manufacturing of welded tubing used in plant equipment such as heat exchangers. This equipment is utilized in Petro-Chemical, Power Generation, Food & Beverage, Oil & Gas, and other plant operations that leverage a thermal cycle.
Previously, Craig spent time with A.D. Tubi from 2008 – 2010 during which he helped launch A.D. Tubi’s North American Sales Office. Craig brings a strong and extensive background in international business with experience working for large public multinational corporations based in Paris, France, and Heerlen, The Netherlands.
Craig holds a Bachelor’s in Marketing from the University of Indiana Wesleyan. He also received an MBA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the Global Executive OneMBA program. Prior to completing his Bachelor, Craig spent 12 years as a Journeyman Pipefitter / Pipe welder building power plants and bio-pharmaceutical facilities throughout the USA.
He is a native of Illinois and relocated to the Southeast in 2010 with his wife and son. Craig has called Chapel Hill home since 2012, except for a brief assignment in Houston, TX. Craig is a lifelong North Carolina Tar Heel fan and avid car enthusiast. He is often found in his pastime at a UNC or Audi sporting event.
Patrick Townsend is a seasoned Human Resources professional with over 25 years of progressive Human Resources experience including Human Resources Information Systems and implementations, Labor Relations, Employee Relations, Compensation, Performance Management, Succession Planning, Talent Acquisition, and Workforce Development.
Mr. Townsend is currently the Director of Human Resources Administration for Mountaire Farms and has spent the last 14 years as a Human Resources leader with the company. His experience at Mountaire includes creating the Company’s Management Trainee and Internship programs, leading a companywide HRIS transformation project and developing a variety of workforce development initiatives. Prior to Mountaire, Mr. Townsend spent nearly 20 years in Operations and as a Human Resources professional in the Animal Health vaccine and pharmaceutical industry with Intervet and Schering Plough Animal Health. Patrick holds a bachelor’s degree in Biology with a minor in Chemistry from Salisbury University and later pursued a Master’s in Human Resources Management from Wilmington College.
Mountaire Farms Inc. is a 100-plus-year-old vertically integrated food production company providing employment for nearly 10,000 people at facilities in Arkansas, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina. The Company is the fourth largest poultry company in the United States, is family owned and is dedicated to giving back to the communities where we do business.
Patrick and his wife Terry have a daughter and son, and they live in Salisbury, MD with their handsome golden retriever – Finley.
Glenda Underwood brings over 20 years of human resources, talent acquisition, and business leadership. She is a Career Connector & People Partner that is dedicated to mining the best talent from traditional and non-traditional sources. Glenda is a highly dedicated team member with an analytical and strategic business sense, collaborative nature and uncompromising work ethic.
Glenda has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, Leadership and Operational Development from the University of Mount Olive. She also holds a certification in Professional in Human Resources.
Glenda is an active volunteer with Dress for Success of the Triangle and Vocational Rehab NC.
Tamika Walker Kelly has strong roots in the Southeastern region and is proud to call North
Carolina home. Born into a military family, Tamika has applied those lessons of dedication and
service throughout her life. Growing up in Fayetteville, she is a product of the Cumberland
County School System. After graduating from E.E. Smith High School, she attended East
Carolina University, majoring in Music Education with a Minor in Ethnic Studies.
Graduating Magna Cum Laude from ECU in 2007, Tamika returned home to serve the students
of Cumberland County. She taught at Morganton Road Elementary for 13 years as the K-5th
Grade Music Specialist. Tamika is a teacher-leader, as she was the 2015- 206 MRES Teacher
of the Year and 2015-2016 Westover District Teacher of the Year, one of the 10 top teachers in
Cumberland County. As an educator, Tamika was recognized with the Fayetteville Observer’s
40 Under 40 Award in 2018.
Prior to her current role, Tamika served as Vice-President of the Cumberland County
Association of Educators, which put her in direct contact with members throughout the county.
She also served as Political Action chair, to educate members and the community about how
legislation affects the classroom. On the State level, Tamika served as Region 6 Director on the
NCAE Board of Directors. Tamika is currently serving as President of the North Carolina
Association of Educators, the state's largest professional organization for public school
employees. Tamika’s vision is that through our collective work at NCAE, we can continue to
build upon the great legacy of NC Public schools, for the benefit of our youngest citizens.
Ross is a 25-year veteran of Wake County, NC government. He has served as the Director of Wake County’s Northern Regional Center in Wake Forest, NC since 2007. He is a member of the Human Services Senior Leadership Team, County Extended Leadership Team, and serves on various boards and committees in the course of his work. Ross has dedicated his professional life to public service. Prior to being named Director, he worked in a number of other capacities including as a Program Manager with Wake County Human Services and as a Personnel Consultant with the Human Resources Office.
Ross, who hails from Franklin, Pennsylvania, received his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Edinboro University in 1987. Ross is also a graduate of the University of Virginia Senior Leadership course as well as the University of North Carolina’s applied leadership program.
He enjoys volunteering his time as past president of the St. Thomas More Academy HSA, a facilitator of Leadership Wake Forest, past President of his community's HOA, member and frequent speaker at the Wake Forest and Rolesville Chambers of Commerce, volunteer reading coach with Wake County Public Schools, and dedicates many hours annually at the Eastern & Central NC Food Bank, Community Connections sustainable garden, and Habitat for Humanity. He has been recognized with numerous county and professional achievement awards. He takes pride in his willingness to help every individual reach his or her highest personal and professional potential.
Ross is married with one son, and in his spare time enjoys home improvement projects, 5Ks and Sprint Triathlons, spending quality time with family and friends, pursuing his passion for finding the best hamburger in the area, and following his favorite football team, the Pittsburgh Steelers.