Special Olympics North Carolina Announces 2013 Board of Directors


Four New Members Elected

Raleigh, NC – The Board of Directors of Special Olympics North Carolina elected four new members with terms beginning in 2013, according to SONC Board Chairman Ron Henries.

Beginning new terms on the SONC Board of Directors are Zach Commander of Elizabeth City, Katie Nordeen of High Point, Leslie Packer of Raleigh, and Janet Presson of Waynesville.  All members will serve a three-year term from Jan. 1, 2013 through Dec. 31, 2015.

Zach Commander, of Elizabeth City, has been participating in Special Olympics for 28 years.  Zach became a Sargent Shriver Global Messenger (SONC public speaker) in 1993.  He is a member of the Special Olympics North Carolina Athlete Council that meets to discuss athlete-related issues with the Special Olympics NC president.  He is also the athlete representative on the NC Law Enforcement Torch Run Committee. He has represented his state and country at the 2010 Special Olympics Athlete Congress in Morocco.  He also was selected as one of 10 athletes from across the world to participate in the 2011 International Torch Run Final Leg in Greece.  Zach is also an advocate for people with developmental disabilities. He serves on both the local and state Department of Health & Human Resources Consumer Family Advisory committees.

Katie Nordeen, of High Point is a morning news anchor for the WGHP FOX 8 Morning News.  She moved to High Point in 2010 after working in television in Deluth, Minnesota.  Nordeen’s niece has intellectual disabilities which inspired her service to Special Olympics.  She has raised funds and awareness for several Special Olympics fundraisers and initiatives such as Over the Edge and Spread the Word to End the Word. In addition, she has supported Special Olympics athletes and presented awards at both local competitions and the state-level SONC Fall Tournament.

Leslie Packer of Raleigh is a partner with the law firm Ellis & Winters, LLP.  She is a member of the NC Association of Defense Attorneys and the NC Bar Association.  She previously served on the SONC Board from 2000 to 2006, and was Chairwoman of the Board from 2002 to 2006. Prior to serving on the SONC Board, she was a member and officer of the Board of Directors of the 1999 Special Olympics World Summer Games that was hosted in the Triangle in the summer of 1999.  She is also currently serving on the board of the National Foundation for Judicial Excellence and the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel.

Janet Presson of Waynesville is the founder and president of A Small Miracle Inc., a North Carolina company that provides comprehensive services for children and adults with autism and other special needs.  Her son is a long-time Special Olympics  athlete.  A Small Miracle Inc. is a gold level state-wide partner and has been the presenting sponsor of the state-level Equestrian Tournament for the past eight years. Presson served on the SONC Board previously from 2006 to 2011.

SONC Board members Jim Bullard of Mooresville, Lewis McLean of Stanly, and Scott Shannon of Charlotte were elected for their  second three-year terms, from 2013 to 2015.

“These new members have exhibited great dedication and devotion to the cause,” said Henries.  “I feel strongly each will contribute even further as a Board member and further our goal to serve the athletes in our state and the Special Olympics mission.”

Full listing of officers and members of the 2013 SONC Board of Directors are:

Ron Henries of Boone, (Chair) instructor, Appalachian State University
Dr. Tim Taft of Chapel Hill, (Vice Chair)professor of Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, UNC Chapel Hill
Amy Wurst of North Kansas City, Missouri, (Secretary) vice president, Henry Wurst Inc.
Scott Shannon of Charlotte (Treasurer) managing partner Sequity Capital Solutions

Mary Ann Brown of Lexington, coordinator, Special Olympics Davidson Co. in the Davidson Co Parks & Recreation Dept.
Jim Bullard of Mooresville, retired from Wachovia
Jeffrey Casassa of Oriental, chief, Oriental Police Department (retired)
Zach Commander of Elizabeth City, athlete, Special Olympics North Carolina
Dr. Walt Curl of Asheville, Dept. of Orthopedic Surgery, Wake Forest University Medical Center
Mark Evans of Winston-Salem, senior vice president, First Community Bank
Jim Farrell of Cary, director, Credit Suisse
John Gouldie of Raleigh, past State Deputy, Knights of Columbus
Phil Gruber Jr. of Raleigh, president, RPG Solutions
Lewis McLean, of Stanly, support services professional, Hughes Behavioral Care
Katie Nordeen of High Point, Morning News Anchor, WGHP Fox 8
Allen Oliver of High Point, director, City of High Point Parks & Recreation Department
Leslie Packer of Raleigh,Partner, Ellis & Winters, LLP
Janet Presson of Waynesville, president, A Small Miracle Inc.
Ken Smith of Raleigh, news anchor, WRAL- TV 5
Jennifer Wardlow of Winston-Salem, athlete, Special Olympics North Carolina 

Special Olympics North Carolina offers year-round sports training and competition for more than 38,000 children and adults with intellectual disabilities. These athletes inspire greatness through their success and provide motivation to the thousands of coaches, sports officials, local program committee members and event organizers involved in Special Olympics statewide. SONC offers Olympic-type competition in 19 sports on local and state levels. Visit Special Olympics North Carolina at www.specialolympicsnc.com. Engage with us on http://twitter.com/sonc_beafan; http://www.facebook.com/SpecialOlympicsNC and http://www.youtube.com/BeAFanSONC.