Special Olympics North Carolina announces 2018 Board of Directors

Five new members elected

The Board of Directors of Special Olympics North Carolina elected five new members with terms beginning in 2018, according to Keith L. Fishburne, president/CEO of Special Olympics North Carolina.

Beginning new terms on the SONC Board of Directors are Jason Anson of Fuquay-Varina, Chiquana Dancy of Durham, Phil Gruber of Raleigh, John A. Hevey of Cornelius and Jennifer Wardlow of Winston-Salem.  All members will serve a three-year term from Jan. 1, 2018 through Dec. 31, 2020.

Jason Anson

Jason Anson is a vice president with Credit Suisse in Morrisville and has led his company’s involvement with Special Olympics North Carolina for 11 years. During this time, he has participated in many Plane Pulls, polar plunges, and volunteered for Summer Games and other SONC events. Before joining Credit Suisse, he was a special education teacher. Anson has his undergraduate degree and a MBA from East Carolina University.

Chiquana Dancy

Chiquana Dancy is the director of sports, championships and student services for the North Carolina High School Athletic Association in Chapel Hill. Over the past five years, she has served as a liaison between the NCHSAA and SONC to implement various activities related to the Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools programs in high schools. Prior to working with the NCHSAA, she was with Durham Parks & Recreation where she developed programs at local recreation centers for teenagers. Dancy has a BA in political science from UNC Chapel Hill and a master of sports leadership from Northeastern University, College of Professional Studies, in Boston, MA.

Phil Gruber

Phil Gruber is the Founder of RPG Solutions and Divisional CEO of HUB International South in Raleigh. RPG, which was founded in 2000, provides corporate employee benefits and human resources services. He is a co-founder of Band Together, an organization that has raised millions of dollars for various charities based in the Triangle since 2001. Gruber has served on the SONC Board of Directors 2004-2009 and 2011-2016. His first involvement with SONC was in 2002 when he sponsored North Carolina athletes attending the 2003 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Ireland. Gruber has a BS in History from UNC-Chapel Hill.

John A. Hevey

John A. Hevey is retired after spending a great deal of his career with Harley-Davidson Motor Company in the roles of director of international finance, vice president of Asia-Pacific and Latin America, and vice president of strategic planning and new business development.  Other positions he held during his career was as president & COO of Buell Motorcycle Company and vice president of Hilco Valuation Services.  In his retirement, he is a private investor seeking innovative and scalable business opportunities and is a managing member of Birch Avenue Investments, LLC. While his daughter was in high school in Milwaukee, WI, he joined her as a volunteer for local Special Olympics swimming events. Hevey has a BBA and MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, School of Business.

Jennifer Wardlow

Jennifer Wardlow has been a Special Olympics athlete since 1990 and became a spokeswoman for Special Olympics when she completed the Special Olympics Athletes for Outreach training in 1993. She got involved in Special Olympics after her high school graduation.  She has competed in many Special Olympics local, state, national and international sports competitions in a variety of sports.  Wardlow served as a Special Olympics International Global Messenger in 2005 and 2006. In this role, she traveled globally on behalf of SOI as an athlete ambassador for Special Olympics. One such trip included China with the US President’s delegation. Wardlow served on the SONC Board of Directors 2008-2013.  Wardlow is a 1989 graduate of Parkland High School in Winston-Salem.

“These new members have exhibited great dedication and devotion to the cause,” said Fishburne.  “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 2018 SONC Board of Directors are:

Jim Triandiflou of Cary, (Chairman) CEO, Relias Learning

Lewis McLean of Stanley, (Vice Chairman) support services professional, Hughes Behavioral Care 

Janet Presson of Waynesville, (Secretary) partner, Dandy Properties, LLC. and broker, Keller Williams Great Smokies
Phil Gruber
of Raleigh, (Treasurer) founder, RPG Solutions and Divisional CEO, HUB International South

Leslie Packer of Raleigh, (Immediate Past Chairman) partner, Ellis & Winters, LLP


Jason Anson of Fuquay-Varina, vice-president, Credit Suisse
Jim Bullard
of Mooresville, retired from Wachovia

Zach Commander of Elizabeth City, athlete, Special Olympics North Carolina

Chiquana Dancy of Durham, director of sports, championships and student services, NC High School Athletic Association

Perry Flynn of Greensboro, professor at UNC-Greensboro

Roy Forrest of Whittset, retired Captain, Guilford County Sheriff’s Office

James Gerhart of Durham, Director of Real Estate, Sheetz, Inc.

Bob Harris of Durham, retired from Duke Blue Devils IMG Sports Network

Ron Henries of Boone, special education instructor, Appalachian State University

John A. Hevey of Cornelius, managing member, Birch Avenue Investments, LLC. 

Colin R. Jorsch, Jr. of Fayetteville, civilian instructor, Fort Bragg

Mandy Mitchell of Raleigh, reporter, WRAL/FOX 50
Katie Nordeen
of High Point, news anchor, WGHP FOX8 

Earl Phipps of Pinehurst, Chief of Police, Village of Pinehurst

Dr. Harry Stafford of Chapel Hill, director of the sports medicine fellowship program, UNC-Chapel Hill School of Medicine

Jennifer Wardlow of Winston-Salem, athlete, Special Olympics North Carolina

Tony “TJ” Washington of Charlotte, treasury service advisor, Bank of America


About Special Olympics North Carolina

Throughout 2018, the Special Olympics movement is celebrating 50 years of joy, courage and empowerment. Since 1968, the organization has used the transformative power of sports to improve the lives of children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Nearly 40,000 athletes in North Carolina inspire thousands of coaches, sports officials, local program committee members and event organizers involved in Special Olympics statewide.  SONC offers year-round training and competition in 19 Olympic-type sports on local and state levels as well as health and wellness initiatives to improve the health status and increase access to community health resources for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Youth become agents of change through Unified Champion Schools, an education and sports based program created by Special Olympics to build an inclusive environment among youth with and without intellectual disabilities as well as empower them to become youth leaders and create change in their community. Visit Special Olympics North Carolina at Engage with us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.


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