The Board of Directors of Special Olympics North Carolina elected six new members with terms beginning in 2020, according to Keith L. Fishburne, president/CEO of Special Olympics North Carolina.
Beginning new terms on the SONC Board of Directors are Katie Nordeen of Winston-Salem, Allen Oliver of Kure Beach, Leslie Packer of Raleigh, Ken Smith of Raleigh, Catrina Thompson of Winston-Salem and Tony Wolfe of Cherokee. All members will serve a three-year term from Jan. 1, 2020 through Dec. 31, 2022.
Nordeen is a former Board member (2013-2018) and has a niece with an intellectual disability in Minnesota. She has participated in Over the Edge and the Triad Chill Polar Plunge fundraisers for SONC. In her professional role as a news anchor for FOX 8 in the Triad, she regularly emcees many Special Olympics events, including local and state-level opening ceremonies and the upcoming Triad Chill Polar Plunge on Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020.
Oliver is a former SONC Board Chairman (2014-2015) and has continued on to serve on the SONC Finance Committee (2015-present). Oliver currently serves as a town commissioner for the Town of Kure Beach. In this role, he is responsible for the oversite of the finance and recreation departments for the town. Prior to this role, Oliver spent his career in local government primarily working in parks and recreation before retiring as an assistant city manager for the City of High Point. He also volunteers locally as an official for Special Olympics flag football.
Packer is a partner of the Raleigh-based law firm Ellis & Winters LLP, practicing in the areas of commercial litigation, product liability and medical malpractice defense. Packer is a member of the North Carolina Bar Association, the NC Association of Defense Attorneys and other legal organizations. She served as the Secretary of the Board for the 1999 Special Olympics World Summer Games held in the Triangle area of North Carolina. She is a former SONC Board member (2000-2006 and 2013-2018). Packer also served in several leadership roles on the SONC Board, including Chairwoman (2002-2006 and 2016-2017). She is a current member of the SONC Finance Committee.
Smith is an anchor and news reporter for WRAL-TV and FOX 50 in the Triangle. He is a former SONC Board member (2001-2006 and 2011-2016). Additionally, he has served as the SONC Summer Games Opening Ceremony emcee for almost two decades. When SONC began holding the Over the Edge fundraiser in Raleigh in 2010, he was the first television newsperson to rappel for SONC. Smith has coordinated WRAL-TV and FOX 50’s involvement every year since.
Thompson is the chief of police of the Winston-Salem Police Department. She is the parent of a son with autism who has participated in Special Olympics. She will serve as a liaison to the North Carolina Association of Chiefs of Police (NCACP) to inform the NCACP leadership about the work of Special Olympics North Carolina. The NCACP is a law enforcement membership organization that endorses the NC Law Enforcement Torch Run for SONC.
Wolfe is a Special Olympics athlete with Special Olympics Qualla Boundary, which is located on the reservation for the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation. He serves on the SONC Athlete Council (2019-2020) and has been involved in Special Olympics since 1999. Over the years, he has competed in Special Olympics athletics, basketball and bowling. Tony works for Food Lion, where he was recently recognized for 20 years of service to the company.
In addition to the newly elected members above, officers and members of the 2020 SONC Board of Directors are listed below:
Phil Gruber of Raleigh (Chairman), founder, RPG Solutions and divisional CEO, HUB International South
Lewis McLean of Stanly (Vice Chair), support services professional, Hughes Behavioral & Mental Health Services
Chiquana Dancy of Durham (Secretary), director of sports, championships and student services, North Carolina High School Athletic Association
Allen Oliver of Kure Beach (Treasurer), retired, City of High Point
Jason Anson of Fuquay-Varina, vice president, Credit Suisse
Jim Bullard of Mooresville, retired, Wachovia
Perry Flynn of Greensboro, professor, UNC-Greensboro
John Hevey of Cornelius, managing member, Birch Avenue Investments, LLC
Ron Henries of Boone, special education instructor, Appalachian State University
Colin R. Jorsch, Jr. of Fayetteville, civilian instructor, Fort Bragg
Earl Phipps of Pinehurst, chief of police, Village of Pinehurst
Janet Presson of Waynesville, partner, Dandy Properties, LLC and broker, Keller Williams Great Smokies
Dr. Harry Stafford of Chapel Hill, director of the sports medicine fellowship program, UNC-Chapel Hill School of Medicine
Gregory Taylor of Raleigh, senior vice president, TowneBank
Jim Triandiflou (Immediate Past Chair – 2020 Only) of Cary, CEO, Relias Learning
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
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 www.specialolympicsnc.com. Engage with us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.