These are Capital Area’s champions for workforce and economic development. Private sector members that represent employers must be appointed from among individuals nominated by local business organizations and business trade associations.
If you are interested in serving, apply here.
To review Board By-Laws click here.
General Counsel, Global Knowledge Training, LLC
Brian Holland joined Global Knowledge as Secretary and General Counsel in February 2003. Prior to Global Knowledge, Brian served as General Counsel to The Dialog Corporation, a publicly-held electronic information publisher with shares traded on the London Stock Exchange. Brian has also held the General Counsel position for both publicly- and privately-held software companies; and was a a litigator with firms in Dallas and Washington, D.C.
Brian earned a Bachelor of Science degree with high honors from California State University, Fullerton and a
Juris Doctor degree, cum laude, from Georgetown University.
Principle Engagement, SAS
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.
North Carolina State University
Director of the Economic Development Partnership, NCSU.
Tom White is the Director of the Economic Development Partnership (EDP) with the Office of Research, Innovation and Economic Development at NC State University. The Partnership is strategically designed to promote and enhance Entrepreneurship and Cluster-Based Regional Economic Development, and interacts closely with the Wake County Economic Development Program, the Research Triangle Regional Partnership and the NC Department of Commerce. The Partnership interacts with corporate recruiters and site selection consultants to help produce capital investment, tax base expansion and job creation throughout North Carolina’s seven Economic Development Regions by effectively linking University resources with key economic development officials at the local, regional and state levels.
As former president of the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce, White served as the chief executive officer of a 1500-member nonprofit business organization. He is a graduate of Duke University (BA, English) with a Master of Public Affairs graduate degree from N.C. State University.
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.
IBEW Local 553
Business Manager of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.
Rob Axford was sworn in 24 years ago as a member of the IBEW Local 553. He graduated form 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.
President, Studio TK
Charlie Bell started Studio TK, a division of Teknion, in 2012. Studio TK collaborates with international designers to create seating and table product solutions for evolving social work environments. Studio TK serves corporate clients throughout the world.
Prior to joining Studio TK, Charlie was with HBF, a manufacturer of office seating and wood products, for over 20 years. He held various positions including President and Vice President of Sales and Marketing.
Mr. Bell holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wake Forest University and a MBA from UNC Chapel Hill.
Johnston County Youth Services
Executive Director, Johnston County Youth
Deborah Bolin has served as the Executive Director of Johnston County Youth Services since 2002. She began her career with the agency in 2001 as the teacher in the Structured Day (Suspension) Program.
Ms. Bolin graduated from North Carolina State University (NCSU) in 1984 with a B.S. degree in Mathematics. In 2000, she received an additional B.S. degree from NCSU in Secondary Mathematics Education. While she attended NCSU, Ms. Bolin was awarded the “Outstanding Senior in High School Mathematics Education” award and the “Outstanding Mathematics Education Student” award.
Since 1992, Ms. Bolin has been involved in community-based programming which includes the development and supervision of elementary tutorial and adult literacy programs in low-income neighborhoods. She has also served as a Guardian ad-Litem volunteer and is currently a member of the South Campus Advisory and Community Councils, the School Health Advisory Council, the NC Association of Community Restitution Programs, and the Capital Area Youth Council.
Johnston Community College
Dean of Economic and Workforce Development, Johnston Community College.
Prior to joining Johnston Community College in 1999, Joy Callahan worked as the Associate Director of Cooperative Education at North Carolina State University.
Joy holds a Masters of Education from East Carolina University.
She is a graduate of Leadership North Carolina, the North Carolina Community id College Leadership Program and Leadership Johnston County and was a co-founder of Junior Leadership Johnston County, a leadership program for rising high school juniors. She has also served as the president of the North Carolina Community College Adult Educators Association.
She was instrumental in the design and construction of the Johnston County Workforce Development Center in Clayton, a 30,000 square foot facility designed to train and educate the workforce predominately in the biotechnical field, and is responsible for the daily operations of the Center.
Joy is the Past President of the Rotary Club of Central Johnston County, where she has been a member since 2000. She currently serves as the Membership Chair. She is married to Jon and they have two daughters.
President, Superior Tooling
Robert Earnhardt is President and Owner of Superior Tooling Inc. He has worked in this trade for over 40 years. He is chairman of NCTAP, an apprenticeship program designed to develop experts needed in the modern workforce. Robert is a member of the National Board of Directors of the American Mold Builders Association.
Mr. Earnhardt resides in Wake Forest, NC.
Wake County Public Schools
School to Career Coordinator, Wake County Public Schools
Joy Frankoff facilitates the School-To-Career initiatives which also include coordinating the Business Alliance Leadership Team of Wake County for middle and high schools and working with all of the high school Career Academies in Wake County Public School System.
Joy has returned to WCPSS after serving as the Human Resource Director for the past twelve years for Piedmont Air Conditioning in Raleigh. Before working at Piedmont, Joy worked for sixteen years with WCPSS as the Industry Education Coordinator and also formerly as a teacher. She received her Bachelor of Science and Master’s Degree from NC State University. Joy also has her Principal's Certification and SPHR Certification (Senior Professional of Human Resources).
President & CEO, House-Autry Mills
Craig has worked at House-Autry Mills in Four Oaks NC since 2001 serving in various roles prior to assuming role of president and CEO in 2010. Previously he worked in Food industry for Cargill, Inc., Con Agra, and Southeastern Mills in various roles of operations, quality, and product development. Craig served in the US Army, using the GI Bill to put himself through college after completion of his service.
He serves as co-founder along with his wife, Kelly, and as president of the OAKS Initiative in Fuquay-Varina. Together, they are passionate about grace and second chances. With a yearning to help make a difference for others who also may need grace and a second chance, Craig and Kelly started OAKS Initiative with a vision to impact their community for good.
Craig also serves on the North Carolina Education and Workforce Innovation Commission, the Board of The Welcome Mission (a resource group and shelter for women in crisis in Fuquay Varina), Board of Directors of North American Millers Association and Chairman’s Advisory Council of Grocery Manufacturers Association. Additionally, he serves in a leadership role in Men’s Ministry for Connect Church.
He holds an undergraduate degree is from the University of Georgia and a Masters in Agribusiness from Kansas State University.
Craig and Kelly have three adult children and two grandchildren. They also have two dogs and five backyard chickens.
Craig’s experiences position him well to invest into others to find purpose through the value of work.
Wake County Economic Development
Executive Director, Wake County Economic Development (WCED)
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 is dedicated to continuing to promote North Carolina as a great place to live, work, and play.
Vice President of Talent Acquisition, Diversity, Inclusion and Culture
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 most recently 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.
Executive Director, Dorcas Ministries
Howard Manning is the Executive Director of Dorcas Ministries, an organization whose mission is to provide compassionate assistance to area residents in need through emergency financial assistance, training, scholarships, food assistance and an affordable thrift shop. Dorcas’s goal is to help people become stable and self-sufficient. They have found that unemployment or underemployment is the root cause of economic instability for most of their clients. Howard’s participation on the CAWD Board is a natural link to his daily responsibilities at Dorcas Ministries.
Mr. Manning received his Bachelor degree in Chemistry from St. Augustine’s University. He is married with three adult children and eight grandchildren. He currently resides in Willow Spring, NC.
Innovative Systems Group
President & CEO, Innovative Systems Group (ISG).
ISG is a provider of cybersecurity services. The company is credited with developing one of the first cybersecurity-focused apprenticeship programs in the country. Throughout his career, Tony Marshall has differentiated himself by focusing on the hard to solve business problems and designed technology-based solutions to resolve them.
While Tony's professional life has focused on solving business-related problems, his extracurricular focus has been firmly focused on youth education. Tony has been involved with community outreach efforts involving youth education for his entire adult life. From mentoring programs in the Washington, DC inner city schools to Chairing the Business Alliance in a Raleigh area high school.
Tony resides in Raleigh, NC.
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 in 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 certification in Business/Executive Coach 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.
NC Association of Educators
Vice President, NC Association on Educators
Kristy Moore, a product of NC public schools, is a 16-year educator from Durham, NC. During her 16 years she was a preschool teacher and first grade teacher. She also served as president of the Durham Association of Educators for four years, then transitioned into a district mentor for new teachers.
While serving as president, she served on the state board of the North Carolina Association of Educators as well as on the board of the National Education Association. She now serves as the State Vice President of the North Carolina Association of Educators and has served in this role since July 2016.
Vice President of Quality & Risk Management, Trilliant Networks
Prem Ranganath is responsible for developing and implementing a comprehensive quality strategy for product engineering covering people, process, tools and an enabling culture. Prem provides assurance that execution of the strategy leads to outcomes and unique experiences that support our customers' journey maps for Smart Grid, Smart City and IloT applications.
To empower Trilliant’s customers by connecting the world of things, he uses an intrapreneurial approach for enabling lean, agile solution delivery and a culture of quality. Working with teams to solve problems using design thinking and experimentation and doing part to help them succeed in their professional pursuits are things he truly enjoys.
Prem has an MBA (Information Systems) from Marquette University and PhD (Technology & Business) from Capella University. He teaches graduate courses at Marquette University and mentors students to make the connection between academic pathways and career goals. He is also a certified Project Management Professional (PMP), Scaled Agile Framework Consultant (SPC) and Risk & Information Systems Control (CRISC).
He volunteers with organizations that are committed to working on sustainable development, climate change, girls’ education and mentoring startups to connect purpose and profit.
Vice President of Human Resources, Transitions LifeCAre
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, Virginia, 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.
President & CEO, Accentuate Staffing
Accentuate Staffing, a local staffing firm that maintains a 515 person workforce across 220 local Triangle employers. Cindy has over 20 years experience in both staffing agency and corporate recruitment experience.
A Garner native, Cindy earned her Masters in Accounting and Bachelors in Business from UNC-Chapel Hill. She started her career in public accounting with the now Pricewaterhouse Coopers where she earned her CPA designation.
Her recruiting knowledge was gained through experiences at Robert Half International, IBM and for the past 18 years with Accentuate Staffing. Cindy has been recognized with a 40 under 40 Award and Business Impact recognition. Accentuate Staffing has been recognized with a #222 ranking on the Inc500 list along with four Raleigh Chamber of Commerce Pinnacle Awards and six consecutive Triangle Fast 50 Awards.
Focus Design Builders
Project Developer, Focus Design Builders
Jonathan Williams comes to the Capital Area Work Force Development Board as a 29-year resident of Wake County. The majority of Jonathan’s work experience is within the construction and landscaping industries. Jonathan first began working in construction at age 13 for his brother David Williams, Jr. at Williams Custom Building in Wake Forest, North Carolina. At Williams Custom Building Jonathan of worked part-time as a general laborer throughout high school and college. Upon graduating high school in 2005, Jonathan enrolled in Vance-Granville Community College’s two-year College Transfer program. In 2007 Jonathan earned his Associates in Arts degree from Vance-Granville Community College and transferred to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Jonathan graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2009 with a Bachelor's in Arts degree in Management and Society.
After struggling to find work in a dismal job market, Jonathan accepted a 90-day temporary position with a landscaping supplies manufacturing firm in Raleigh, North Carolina. Within three years Jonathan was named Chief Operating Officer of the firm and assisted the firm in navigating through The Great Recession. In his two years as COO, Jonathan’s team set company records in revenue, profit, return on assets, and net profit margin. Following the two-year stint as COO, Jonathan moved on to become a small business strategist working for mentor and friend Fred Lilley at Business Lab, Inc. Jonathan returned to the construction industry in 2015 and now holds the position of Project Developer for Focus Design Builders, LLC, a regional commercial construction firm headquartered in Wake Forest, NC.
Jonathan currently resides in Wake Forest, North Carolina where he grew up. In addition to his role with Focus Design Builders, Jonathan also serves as Vice President of the Koinonia Foundation of Wake Forest. He is a member of the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, the Wake Forest Chamber of Commerce, the Franklin County Committee of 100, and the NAIOP Raleigh-Durham Chapter. Jonathan is a licensed General Contractor and Real Estate Broker in the state of North Carolina.
NC Division of Workforce Solutions
Manager, NC Division of Workforce Solutions, NCWorks Career Center
Edward Charles “Chip” Wood, Jr. began his career with the Employment Security Commission (ESC) in May 1988 as an Employment Interviewer I, working in the Murphy and Franklin offices, serving Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Macon, Jackson and Swain Counties. He became branch manager of the Swain County JobLink in 2000, was promoted to Manager of the Murphy ESC office in 2001 and was selected to lead the Durham office in 2010. Chip was named interim manager in Raleigh in 2018 and officially accepted the permanent appointment in 2019.
He graduated from the University of North Carolina in Asheville with a degree in Management, has served on the ESC Manager’s Council, as President of the North Carolina chapter of the International Association of Workforce Professionals (IAWP), and is a Certified Public Manager.
His experience and credibility with the NC Department of Commerce, Division of Workforce Solutions makes him an asset to both the division and the NCWorks apparatus as a whole.
Chip has a combination of experience and curiosity which allows him to move the operation forward with confidence. He is a leader who strives for continuous improvement in himself and others. Chip has the support of his wife, two children, and Tag, the dog.
D. Ross Yeager
Wake County Northern Regional Center
D. Ross Yeager
Director, Wake County Regional Center
Mr. D. Ross Yeager 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 name 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.
Mr. Yeager, 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.
Mr. Yeager 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.