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Jimmy T. Tate, Ed.D., President

Dr. Tate is the former President, Roanoke Chowan Community College and Chief of Staff at North Carolina Central University; he served nearly 10 years as an elected official as a Pender County Commissioner and Board Chair, and on numerous Boards and Commissions including the Pender Memorial Hospital Board of Directors and Southeastern North Carolina Economic Development Commission. He is extremely dedicated to help rural communities reach their full potential. He has served as a Board of Trustees Member with Elizabeth City State University and Cape Fear Community College and many boards and commissions locally, state, and national levels including previously serving as a member of Duke University Medical School Rural Health Advisory Board. Recently in 2019, he was appointed by the North Carolina Senate, to serve on the State of North Carolina Minority Advisory Committee. Dr. Tate, has conducted extensive research and lectures on rural leadership development. He teaches in the Political Science Department at the University of North Carolina and serves in various other capacities.


Reverend Ronald K. Henry, Sr., M.C.E., Vice President

Reverend Henry is a graduate of Campbell University Divinity School. He is a native of Currie, North Carolina. Reverend Henry has a strong passion for helping others and rural communities. He is currently serving as the Senior Pastor of St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church in Conway, South Carolina.

Mary Lisa Robinson, M.H.A., Secretary and Treasurer

Ms. Robinson, is a longtime native of the rural community of Willard. She also invested the majority of her career achievement in the State of Maryland, where she served in the field of Healthcare Administration Fiscal Services Management. She is a proud graduate of Bowie State University. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Psychology and a Masters Degree in Healthcare Administration. Ms. Robinson, is also a member of the Wallace Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, representing the Business Community.

Mr. Alex Flores, Board Member

President, W and L Demolition, LLC


Melvin Felton, M.A., M.C.E., Board Member

Mr. Felton is a proud graduate of North Carolina Central University. He holds two master degrees in History and Christian Education. He is a long time instructor of history with James Sprunt Community College where he also served as Diversity Specialist working with special needs students and students coming from diverse backgrounds. He serves on the Legal Aid Advisory Board in the City of Wilmington and on numerous other boards throughout the Southeastern region.

Dr. James Arthur Holmes, Board Member

Professor, Shaw University


Ms. Melissa Long, Board Member

Deputy Clerk, New Hanover County Board of Commissioners

Ms. Melissa Long is a native of Wilmington, NC. She is committed to public service and has invested much of her career in Pender County having served as the Clerk to the Pender County Board of Commissioners from 2015-2021. She now serves as the Deputy Clerk to the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners. She is a graduate of Cape Fear Community College and she obtained her certificate in Leadership and Management through the first Pender County Cohort of Mt. Calvary’s Leadership Program. She is a Certified Municipal Clerk as well as a North Carolina Certified County Clerk. She is an active member of Shiloh Baptist Church and a member of the Burgaw Rotary Club. She has a passion for giving back to her community, a community which has shaped the person she is today.


Dr. Ricardo Valdivia, M.D., Board Member

Dr. Valdivia is a native of Peru. He is very proud of his Spanish heritage and helping the community. He serves as the Chief Medical Doctor with San Martin Medical in Rocky Point, NC. He is a very dedicated medical professional and committed to help humanity. He has a special interest in rural health and has practiced extensively in rural health communities.

Reverend John McIntrye, Board Member

A Pender County native, John McIntyre is a graduate of Pender High School. He received the Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from Campbell University. He holds the Master of Arts from Liberty University with additional graduate studies at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. 

John has taught arts in both private and public schools in New Hanover county and has served three local ministries in the areas of Youth, Worship and Lead Pastor. 

Husband to Kim, father to Lia Sophia and Hamelton Fisher, John has been blessed to lead Wrightsville Beach Baptist Church as Senior Pastor since 2015. Under his leadership, Wrightsville has led local volunteers to serve in disaster response from the Cape Fear to the Outer Banks of NC and in both Key West, Florida and southern Louisiana. Wrightsville is engaged in training leaders and investing in Kingdom life in Baltimore, Maryland; Aguailla, Puerto Rico; Larga, Moldova; Bucharest, Romania; Sophia, Bulgaria; Togo, West Africa and Accra, Ghana. 


Duplin County


Mr. Davis Brinson

County Manager, Duplin County


Mr. Alex Flores

President, Flores Trucking and Demolition

Mr. Steve Evans

Director of Community Development, Smithfield Foods

Teyaka Pickett

Branch Manager, United Community Bank

Honorable Jesse Dowe

Chairman, Duplin County Commissioners


Dr. Austin Obasohan

Superintendent, Duplin County Schools

Mr. Devon Hall

Executive Director, R. E. A. C. H. Organization


Mr. Robert Moore

Branch President, Duplin County NAACP

Chief James Crayton

Wallace Police Department


Mr. Ervin Murray

Branch Manager, BB&T Rose Hill

Dr. Philip Gladden

Pastor, Wallace Presbyterian Church

New Hanover County


Ms. Deborah Dicks Maxwell

President, New Hanover County NAACP


Honorable Jonathan Barfield

Member, New Hanover County Board of Commissioners


Major B.D. Blackmon

New Hanover County Sheriff's Office

Linda Thompson

Chief Diversity and Equity Officer, New Hanover County Office of Diversity and Equity


Dr. Raymonde Kleinberg

Department Chair, UNCW Public and International Affairs

Brandon Taylor Panameno

Campaign Field Represenative, NRA-ILA


Sean Palmer

Director, Upperman African American Center, UNCW

Pender County

Dr. Jimmy T. Tate

Committee Co-Chair

President, Mt. Calvary Center for Leadership Development


Mr. Tom Roper

Committee Co-Chair

National Sales Manager, Comcast Communications


Rev. Jonathan Cockrell

Lead Pastor, Renovation Church


Sheriff Alan Cutler

Pender County Sheriff's Office


Mr. Desmond Jordan

Owner, The House of Gains

Honorable Pete Cowan

Mayor, Town of Burgaw

Mr. Charles Chestnut

Title IX Director, Pender County Schools​

Chief Jim Hock

Burgaw Police Department

Rev. Dante' A Murphy

Branch President, Pender County NAACP

Honorable Jackie Newton

Member, Pender County Board of Commissioners

Dr. Arthur Kornegay, Jr.

Pastor, Pike Creek Missionary Baptist Church

Ms. Ruth Glaser

President, Pender Memorial Hospital

Vice President, Post-Acute Care, New Hanover Regional Medical Center

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