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Chamber Elects New Board Officers and Members for 2014

Connect Advocate

At the November and December board meetings, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce’s board of directors elected its officers and new board members for 2014. 

 
The Chamber’s board elected as their new officers:

  • Chair: Chris Barnes, vice president at PNC Bank
  • Vice Chair: Bob Saunders, partner at Brooks Pierce
  • Treasurer: Joel Levy, Joel I Levy CPA, PLLC
  • Secretary: Aaron Nelson, president and CEO at the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber
  • Immediate Past Chair: Paige Zinn, principal at Jennings

The Chamber’s board elected as new members of the board of directors:
  • Creighton Blackwell, vice president, branch networks and community engagement at Coastal Federal Credit Union
  • Antwine Jackson, president at Enitech
  • Nitin Khanna, general manager at Sheraton Chapel Hill Hotel
  • Michael Parker, managing partner at BioAsset Advisors
  • Anthony Pugliese, senior vice president & chief operating officer at American Institute of CPAs (AICPA)
  • Jeremy Salemson, chief executive officer at Corporate Investors Mortgage Group, Inc.
  • Wendy Smith, co-owner at Cameron’s
 
Additionally, Jim Dean, executive vice chancellor and provost at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill joined the Chamber board as an ex officio board member. 
 
The Chamber board also re-elected the following individuals:

  • Peter de Leon, University Mall
  • Dr. Brian Goldstein, UNC Hospitals
  • Shawn Slome, Twig
  • Bruce Ballentine, Ballentine and Associates
 
For more information about members of the Chamber’s board of directors or the nomination process, please contact Aaron Nelson at 919.967.7075 or at anelson@carolinachamber.org.
 
The Chapel Hill-Carrboro (NC) Chamber of Commerce is a business leadership organization serving the greater Chapel Hill, NC community.  The Chamber serves and supports the business interests of its more than 1100 members and helps create a sustainable community where they can thrive.  Chamber members employ more than 80,000 in the Research Triangle region. 

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OFFICER BIOS:
 
Chris Barnes is vice president and business banker with PNC Bank and has been in banking for more than 15 years working in Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill.  Chris's role as a business banker is to gain an understanding of each of his client's businesses, their goals and challenges, and the role of cash flow in achieving success in order to help them save time, money or resources.  Chris has been actively involved in various organizations and currently sits on several boards in the area.  He served as Chapel Hill-Chamber of Commerce treasurer for two years prior to being elected as vice chair.  Chris has been married to Brandy, executive director and founder of Diabetes Sisters, for 11 years.  Their daughter, Summer, is 8 years old and loves to sing and dance.  They attend New Hope Church in Durham.


Bob Saunders has a general corporate and tax practice, with a particular focus on tax-exempt organizations, tax-exempt financing and state and local tax planning. His representation of exempt organizations (including charities, trade associations, social welfare organizations and social clubs) range from formation and operation to merger or dissolution. He serves as general counsel for the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce.  He is also the vice chair of the Carrboro Economic Sustainability Commission.   He is also the chair of the Nonprofit Committee of the Business Law Council of the North Carolina Bar Association.
 
Joel Levy has been a practicing CPA for more than 30 years working as a trusted advisor to small and medium sized businesses as well as individuals. He spent four years as chief financial officer of a large manufacturing company and has achieved his Masters in Taxation, received the AICPA’s Personal Financial Specialist Designation and is a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor. In addition to sitting on the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber board, he is also a board member of the Kidzu Children’s Museum.  Joel has been married to Sheila Levy for 41 years and they have two children and four grandchildren.

Paige Zinn is a principal at Jennings, a Chapel Hill company that has specialized in engaging consumers through marketing, branding and PR since 1979. Jennings clients span many industries, but the company does most of its work in healthcare, higher education and the arts/entertainment fields.  In her role as principal, Paige oversees all operations and business development activities.  Paige has been actively involved in a number of business organizations and boards in the area.  She has also written for various business and consumer publications including Women’s Edge and Chapel Hill Magazine.  Paige has two fantastic children, Parker and Orlando, ages ten and eight.  Both attend Frank Porter Graham elementary school.  Her husband, Omar, is a local developer and builder in the area.
 

 
NEW BOARD MEMBER BIOS:
 
Creighton P. Blackwell serves as the Vice President of Branch Networks and Community Engagement at Coastal Federal Credit Union and has held upper level management positions at RBC Bank such as Director of Sales Communications, Community Development Specialist, Manager of Business Banking Strategy, Chapel Hill Market Executive and Banking Center Manager of nine different locations. Creighton also has extensive community service experience serving on non- profit boards such as Triangle Family Services, Orange County Partnership for Young Children, the North Carolina Council for Economic Education, NC Jumpstart, the Membership Service Department Board of the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, the Business Advisory Council of Durham Public Schools, the Foundation for a Sustainable Community, NC Community Shares and the YMCA. He is also currently the Chairperson for the Morrisville Innovation Foundation.  Creighton is a former member of the State and Legislative Committee of the Durham Chamber of Commerce and is recognized as a contributor and partner with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction concerning financial literacy. Creighton also is a graduate of the Leadership North Carolina program and was the founder of the Business and Education Partnership in Chapel Hill and the University Banking initiative which mobilized bankers to present financial literacy topics throughout the Triangle. Creighton is a graduate of the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill as well as the North Carolina School of Banking. He enjoys spending time presenting at public events as well as with his wife and three small kids.
 
James (Jim) W. Dean Jr. is executive vice chancellor and provost for UNC-Chapel Hill.  Dean was appointed as dean of the Kenan-Flagler Business School in 2008. Previously, Dean served in the school’s top academic position, senior associate dean for academic affairs, for a year. He also was associate dean of Executive Development from 2002 to 2007 and associate dean of the master’s of business administration (MBA) degree program from 1998 to 2002. He joined the business faculty in 1997.  Leadership, organizational change, strategic decision making, international management, and organizational performance improvement are the focus of Dean’s research, teaching and consulting. He has published in many of the top academic and business journals. Dean was program director of the National Science Foundation research program, Transformations to Quality Organizations, jointly sponsored by the government and the private sector, and served as an examiner for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award for six years.  He earned his Ph.D. and master’s degrees in organizational behavior from Carnegie Mellon University. He received his bachelor’s degree from The Catholic University.
 
Antwine Jackson is president of Enitech IT Support and Consulting, a managed service information technology company that specializes in providing affordable IT solutions for small to medium sized businesses. He has worked in the IT industry for over 10 years. His client base includes dental/medical practices, law firms, restaurants, and even nonprofits.  He serves on the Young Professionals Network organizational committee and is an alumnus of UNC Chapel Hill. He holds a second degree black belt in taekwondo and was a bronze medalist at the 2007 US Open, 2007 Collegiate National Championships and 2009 USA National Championships for sparring.
 
Nitin Khanna has over 18 years of hotel operations experience. Currently, Nitin is the General Manager for the Richfield Hospitality overseeing the operations of Sheraton Chapel Hill and Carolina 1663 restaurant. Before working for Richfield, he was the VP of operations for Soleil group, a hotel management company. During his tenure, he has managed the operations, profitability, conversions and development of over $75 million in hotel assets with revenues over $30 million. He has managed hotel portfolio including full and select service flags from Starwood, Hilton, IHG and Choice Hotels. He is an active East Chapel Hill Rotarian and has served as the Board Member and President of the Triangle Hotel & Motel Association. He graduated with a hospitality and business degree from Les Roches in Switzerland. Nitin moved to North Carolina eight years ago with his wife Tina, and has two boys, Akul (7) and Arnav (5).
 
Michael Parker is a managing partner of BioAsset Advisors, a strategic consultancy that assists pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies with business development and product strategy, a company of which he is a co-founder.  Michael has extensive consulting experience and prior to starting BioAsset he worked in a number of consulting firms, including Bionest Partners, Monitor Group, and KPMG.  Michael returned to Chapel Hill three and a half years ago after a hiatus of some 35 years, having attended graduate school at UNC in the 1970s.  Michael is active in Chapel Hill affairs, serving as chair of the Transportation Board, a co-chair of the Central West Steering Committee, and a Board Member of the Friends of the Downtown.  He is married to Linda Prager, a potter and jewelry designer. They have a married daughter, Stephanie, who lives in Missoula, MT.
 
Anthony Pugliese, CPA, CGMA, CITP, joined the AICPA in 1997. Previous to joining AICPA, Pugliese was a manager in the Audit Practice of Deloitte & Touche, LLP in New York.  He is currently AICPA’s senior vice president & chief operating officer. His responsibilities encompass finance and accounting, membership, member service and operations, information technology, member specialization & credentialing, academic and career awareness, continuing professional education, publications, conferences & web-events, business process reengineering, internal audit and other areas.  Anthony acted as overall project manager for AICPA’s relocation of its operations to Durham from New York, currently employing more than 500 persons. He is the past chair of the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce, and he served on the Board of Directors for the North Carolina Chamber of Commerce and the Research Triangle Regional Partnership. Anthony also supports Habitat for Humanity and the Durham public school system.  Prior to joining AICPA Pugliese served as Audit Manager at Deloitte & Touche, LLP, in New York from 1989-1997. While at Deloitte & Touche he participated in the firm's management development program at its national headquarters in Wilton, CT, assisting in the design and execution of the firm's international audit methodology software. Pugliese served Deloitte & Touche clients in the banking, insurance, investment company and manufacturing sectors. He has a bachelor's degree from the University of North Florida.
 
Jeremy M. Salemson is the chief executive officer of Corporate Investors Mortgage Group, Inc.; a company he co-founded in 1996 with Jennifer Salemson.  Corporate Investors Mortgage Group, Inc. is a boutique, full-service residential mortgage banking firm offering home loan services to customers that are purchasing or refinancing primary, secondary or investment properties in North and South Carolina.  Jeremy is currently in his second year of graduate school at Duke University, pursuing a Masters Degree in Liberal Arts (MALS).  In addition to work and school, Jeremy is raising his two incredible children, Kate and James Henry.  Jeremy is an avid triathlete and loves playing tennis and soccer.
 
Wendy Smith is co-owner of Cameron’s along with her twin sister, Bridget Pemberton-Smith. Cameron’s, founded by Danny Cameron in 1977, has been voted the best gift store in the Triangle as well as the best place to find a last minute gift. This wonderland of gifts caters to the artsy, funky and edgy nature of the Chapel Hill and Carrboro residents.  Wendy first started working at Cameron’s in 1991 and then in 2002, she and her sister purchased the store.  In recent years, the sisters have strove to find lines that incorporate philanthropy into their business plans, lines that are earth friendly and lines that are locally made.  Wendy and her husband, Andy, both grew up in Chapel Hill. They have two children, a daughter, Ivy, who attends Smith Middle School and a son, Duncan, who attends Northside Elementary.
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