On August 10, 2022, Dr. Gladys Ashe Robinson was elected Chair of the Bennett College Board of Trustees, effective immediately. Dr. Robinson will complete the current designated term of the chair, which ends on June 30, 2023. She is filling the vacancy left by outgoing Chair Kwanza Jones, who  stepped down from the board on August 8, 2022 for family reasons. Ms. Jones, an entrepreneur and philanthropist has been a champion of Bennett and its multi-generational impact on women, families, communities and beyond. She will continue engagement with Bennett going forward, but in a less official capacity.

Dr. Robinson has served as a Bennett College Trustee since 2015. During an earlier tenure as Chair (2016 – 2021), she led the College through its pivotal change in strategic direction, which has created an exciting new framework for the future. She has also played an instrumental role in establishing a powerful long-term partnership with national accrediting body TRACS and will oversee the final phase of Bennett’s transition into TRACS membership, expected this academic year.

The College is governed by a consequential Board of Trustees that meets at least quarterly. The Board is committed to ensuring that it supports strategic long-term goals aligned to the values, guiding principles, and beliefs of the College. As the governing body of the College, the Board of Trustees is charged with policy making for the College and serve without compensation.

The officers of the Board of Trustees shall be the Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, and the President of the College. The President has the responsibility for the day-to-day management of the College.

The membership of the Board of Trustees shall be composed of five (5) to eighteen 18 members. The President of the College, the Chair of the Faculty Senate of the College and the President of the Student Government Association of the College shall serve as Ex-Officio Trustees without the power to vote. The Bishop of the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church or designee and the Chief Executive Officer of the United Methodist Women or designee shall serve as Ex-Officio Trustees with the power to vote.

Board of Officers

Senator Gladys Ashe Robinson, Ph.D., Chair

Deputy Minority Leader of the North Carolina Senate

Senator Gladys A. Robinson, has been elected to her sixth term in the Senate. She is 1st Vice Chair of the North Carolina Legislative Black Caucus and is a dedicated advocate for the people of North Carolina, specifically Guilford County.

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Dr. Pamela Jolly, Chair-Elect

Founder and CEO of Torch Enterprises Inc.

Dr. Pamela Jolly is a graduate of Hampton University, the Wharton School of Business, Boston University School of Theology, and Graduate Theological Foundation.

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Mark Milliron, Ph.D., Vice Chair

President and CEO of National University

Dr. Mark David Milliron is an award-winning leader, author, speaker, and consultant, who works with universities, community colleges, K-12 schools, foundations, corporations, associations, and government agencies across the country and around the world. Effective October 1, 2022, Dr. Milliron will begin service as President and CEO of National University, a San Diego-based nonprofit institution focused on working learners.

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Debra Clark Jones, Secretary

Associate Vice President for Community Health, Duke University Health System  & President, TEQuity

I am a strategic planning, analytics, and management executive with a passion to advance equity. My 30+ years of experience includes work in the health, education, economic development, and technology sectors.

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Suzanne E. Walsh, J.D.

President

Suzanne Walsh is the 19th President of Bennett College, one of two historically black colleges for women in the United States. Prior to that role, she served as the deputy director for postsecondary success with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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Board Members

Zakyha Jones-Walker

SGA President Ex Officio/ Non-Voting

Hello, all! My name is Zakyha Jones-Walker and I am a senior Psychology major with an Entrepreneurship minor from Hopewell, Virginia.

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Jermon Bafaty

Founder and CEO of Platinum Technologies

I have a nineteen-year career supporting the United States Government, most of which was spent as a Technology Operations or Growth executive for Fortune 500 Companies.

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Dr. Ronald Carter

President & CEO of Carter & Associates

Ronald Carter’s expertise spans leadership development, executive coaching, team building, scenario planning, institutional development, and civic engagement.

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Dr. Pamela Jolly

Founder and CEO of Torch Enterprises Inc.

Dr. Pamela Jolly is a graduate of Hampton University, the Wharton School of Business, Boston University School of Theology, and Graduate Theological Foundation.

LinkedIn

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Rev. Rodvegas Marc Ingram, Sr.

Pastor of St. Matthews United Methodist Church in Greensboro, NC

Rev. Rodvegas Marc Ingram Sr., a native of Albemarle, NC and a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, is pastor of the founding church of Bennett College, St. Matthews United Methodist Church in Greensboro, NC. He has been pastoring in the Western NC Conference of the United Methodist Church since 2001.

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Dr. Charlene Green

Anesthesiologist, Anesthesiology Consultants of NC

Dr. Charlene Green is a private practice anesthesiologist and the current President of the Old North State Medical Society.

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Cassandra Jones Havard, J.D.

Professor of Law, University of South Carolina School of Law

Cassandra Jones Havard joined South Carolina Law as a professor of law in Fall 2022 after serving on the faculties of the Temple University Beasley School of Law and the University of Baltimore School of Law.

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Mark Milliron, Ph.D., Vice Chair

President and CEO of National University

Dr. Mark David Milliron is an award-winning leader, author, speaker, and consultant, who works with universities, community colleges, K-12 schools, foundations, corporations, associations, and government agencies across the country and around the world. Effective October 1, 2022, Dr. Milliron will begin service as President and CEO of National University, a San Diego-based nonprofit institution focused on working learners.

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Natalie Renee Parker ’01

Talent and Organizational Strategist, Entrepreneur, HR Leader and Executive Coach (5 Talents Consulting LLC/Wyndham Capital Mortgage)

I am strategic Human Resources (HR) and Organizational Development (OD) leader with over 20 years’ experience in corporate, manufacturing, and non-profit environments alike.

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Senator Gladys Ashe Robinson, Ph.D., Chair

Deputy Minority Leader of the North Carolina Senate

Senator Gladys A. Robinson, has been elected to her sixth term in the Senate. She is 1st Vice Chair of the North Carolina Legislative Black Caucus and is a dedicated advocate for the people of North Carolina, specifically Guilford County.

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Dr. Melba Goode McCallum

Ex Officio/Voting Representative of the United Women in Faith

Dr. Melba Goode McCallum, Deaconess of the North Carolina United Methodist Church, spent over thirty years in education and retired as Vice President of the North Carolina Community College System. After retiring in 2005, Partners In Ministry was born from a vision of service.

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Madieu Williams, J.D.

Strategist, Entrepreneur, Philanthropist

A proven business leader with experience running both corporate entities and international nonprofit organizations. Skilled at navigating complex legal issues and policies from contract negotiations to immigration and worker’s compensation.

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Suzanne Elise Walsh, JD

President

Suzanne Walsh is the 19th President of Bennett College, one of two historically black colleges for women in the United States. Prior to that role, she served as the deputy director for postsecondary success with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

LinkedIn

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Debra Clark Jones

Associate Vice President for Community Health, Duke Health President, TEQuity

I am a strategic planning, analytics, and management executive with a passion to advance equity. My 30+ years of experience includes work in the health, education, economic development, and technology sectors.

Linkedin

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Nicole Washington

Partner, Kirkland & Ellis

Nicole Washington regularly represents some of the largest and most diversified asset managers, as well as numerous small and middle-market managers on the formation of private investment funds ranging from several hundred million to multibillion dollars.

Linkedin

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Cheryl Parquet

Director of Community Engagement, Blue Cross NC

Cheryl Parquet is the Director of Community Engagement. She is responsible for the development and implementation of all corporate-based philanthropic initiatives including community investments and outreach programs, employee volunteerism, and major community initiatives and strategic partnerships to help improve the health and wellness of North Carolinians.

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Mignon Espy Edwards

Lead Creative and Development Strategist for 300 Studios,

Mignon Espy Edwards is a seasoned brand and sales strategist, with over 25-years of experience. Recognized for her unparalleled storytelling, Mignon is a leading business executive known for launching and driving transformative brand growth. She sites her ability to connect pop culture, cultivate meaningful partnerships, unlock revenue growth, and build empowered teams as keys to success.

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Photo by Satsuki "Sunshine" Scoville

Dr. Anna Harrison

Assistant Professor, Curriculum & Instruction, Bennett College Faculty Senate President
Dr. Annie Harrison’s career began in K-12 education, where she worked as an elementary and middle school teacher at several schools in North Carolina. She worked to improve each school community for all of its members, including leading professional development and coaching sessions for teachers and staff.

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Melani (Walker) Dziire, CPA

Founder & Principal, Desired Outcomes
Melani Dziire is recognized as a thought leader and expert in risk management, internal audit, governance and compliance drawing from her extensive background as a senior executive with multiple large banks.

LinkedIn

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BOT Meeting Dates 2023-2024

  • September 9, 2023 – Quarterly Meeting
  • December 9, 2023 – Quarterly Meeting
  • March 9, 2024 – Quarterly Meeting
  • June 14-15, 2024 – Quarterly Meeting & Annual Board Retreat