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New Hanover Community Endowment announces Community Advisory Council members

New Hanover Community Endowment

The 18-member council of 'ambassadors' will act as a "liaison" between the Endowment's board and the community. Although they will not be a voting body, the Community Advisory Council will advise Endowment staff on key areas of interest, according to Endowment President and CEO William Buster.

The New Hanover Community Endowment (NHCE), which oversees the $1.25 billion endowment fund resulting from the sale of New Hanover Regional Medical Center to Novant, announced the membership of its community advisory council (CAC).

The council members, referred to by NHCE as “ambassadors,” are intended to act as “a liaison between the Endowment and the community,” according to NHCE. The council will also “advise staff on challenges and opportunities” in NHCE’s main areas of investment — education, health and social equity, public safety, and community development.

Related: New Hanover Community Endowment is looking for applicants for its new Community Advisory Council

The CAC is a non-voting body and won’t have a direct say on specific grants, according to an interview with NHCE CEO William Buster in late March. Buster said that the CAC’s quarterly “working meetings” would not be open to the public, but promised transparency, adding that information about the work the ambassadors were doing would be shared online.

NHCE initially announced there would be up to 15 members, but has now increased that number to 18, selected by the NHCE Board of Directors. According to NHCE, the increased size of the board was due to the "strong response" during the application period.

The CAC members announced this week are:

  • Jamie Stokely, Director of Helping Hands of the Cape Fear Region 
  • Maurice Locklear, Lightbeam Health Solutions, Chief Medical Officer, Cape Fear Clinic, CMO 
  • Joe Finley, Retired, Co-founded CastleBranch 
  • Gustavo Rodea, Founded Rodea’s Enterprise Inc. 
  • Susie Sewell, Director of the Camp Schreiber Foundation 
  • Frankie Roberts, Executive Director LINC, Director of Men’s Ministry 
  • Brandon Cagle, Global Ambassador, Castle Branch
  • LeShonda Wallace, Novant Health Infection Disease Specialist 
  • Natalie English, President & CEO, Wilmington Chamber of Commerce 
  • Yasmin Tomkinson, Cape Fear Literacy 
  • Dawn Ferrer, Executive Director at A Safe Place 
  • Peter Nemmers, Director of Training Development, National Association of Safety Professionals 
  • Raul Zamora-Duprey, MedNorth Health Center, Behavioral Health Clinical Care Consultant
  • Sara Hobgood, Novant Health NHRMC 
  • Quanesha Mullins, Wilmington Housing Authority, Creekwood South Case Manager 
  • Marrio Jeter, Director of Programs and Operations for Communities in Schools
  • Jane Morrow, Executive Director of Smart Start 
  • Chaz Springer, Assistant Director of Marketing TRU Colors 

The CAC appointees will be divided up into three groups, serving one, two, or three-year terms to establish a board with staggered turnover; according to a spokesperson, NHCE hasn’t released which members will serve for which term lengths.
According to NHCE, “CAC members were selected through a rigorous application process. The balance of gender, race, and ethnicity was considered to ensure the demographics of the community are reflected.”

Ben Schachtman is a journalist and editor with a focus on local government accountability. He began reporting for Port City Daily in the Wilmington area in 2016 and took over as managing editor there in 2018. He’s a graduate of Rutgers College and later received his MA from NYU and his PhD from SUNY-Stony Brook, both in English Literature. He loves spending time with his wife and playing rock'n'roll very loudly. You can reach him at BSchachtman@whqr.org and find him on Twitter @Ben_Schachtman.