North Carolina Summit Speaker Biographies

1st lady.jpg

Christine Edwards

Christine is currently the Community Relations Coordinator for Mecklenburg County where she coordinates events that offer direct interaction between County staff and the community. Just prior, at Queens University of Charlotte, she served as the Director for Community Programs. In this role, she managed the Knight School of Communication social media platforms growing their pages’ interactions exponentially. In addition to serving as an adjunct instructor and teaching principles of digital literacy and inclusion, she also coordinated communication training for local neighborhoods and civic groups. As a communication professional and freelance blogger, her written work has been published in online publications such as The Charlotte Five, Blavity and ELGL.org

 

 
image15.png

Eric Boyette

Eric Boyette was appointed to the position of Secretary and State Chief Information Officer in April 2017 and currently leads Statewide IT planning and operations. Boyette brings more than 20 years of experience in state government in various roles, with responsibilities ranging from technical to financial practices. Prior to his current role, he held several pivotal roles in the NC Department of Transportation, including Chief Information Officer, Inspector General and Division of Motor Vehicles Commissioner. He also served as the NC DIT Deputy State Chief Information Officer for Solution Delivery. 

The Department of Information Technology’s mission is to promote a stronger North Carolina that connects customers, citizens, business, education and government. The IT professionals at the Department of Information Technology are committed to providing outstanding service to our customers and the North Carolinians they serve.

 
image1.jpg

Michael Abensour

Michael joined Kramden Institute as its Executive Director in August 2011 to lead the organization as it grows and expands in fulfilling its core mission of providing technology tools and training from the Triangle region to the rest of North Carolina. He relocated to Cary after more than thirteen years working in Washington, DC as a campaign manager, political consultant and, most recently, in international government relations.

The Kramden Institute’s mission is to provide technology tools and training to bridge the digital divide. It inspires students to succeed by teaching them critical computer, software and Internet skills. 

 
Pat-Millen.jpg

Pat Millen

Pat is the President of E2D, an organization he founded with his daughter, Franny Millen. Before his work with E2D, Pat was the creator of InternetSoccer.com and spent 25 years in sports marketing honing the skills that have allowed him to succeed in the world of social justice.

Since 2013, E2D and a broad-based coalition of municipal leaders, corporate supporters, community educators, college students, and hundreds of civic volunteers in the Charlotte Region have come together to study the pervasiveness of digital exclusion and to create digital solutions one family at a time. 

 
Amy Huffman.jpg

Amy Huffman 

In her role as a Research and Policy Specialist, Amy has led digital equity and inclusion initiatives and the implementation of a statewide broadband plan. She is also the lead researcher, writer, and project manager for the development of a statewide index Toto measure the heath of broadband in North Carolina counties.

The Department of Information Technology’s mission is to promote a stronger North Carolina that connects customers, citizens, business, education and government. The IT professionals at the Department of Information Technology are committed to providing outstanding service to our customers and the North Carolinians they serve. 

 
bruce clark.png

Bruce Clark

Bruce is the Digital Inclusion Project Manager for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Digital Inclusion Steering Team. He is also the Executive Director of Queens University’s Knight School’s Digital Charlotte project, which advocates for digital inclusion. Through Digital Charlotte, Bruce provides news and resources for teachers, librarians, neighborhood leaders, technology mentors, and other practitioners. Before getting involved with Digital Charlotte, Bruce worked as the Executive Director for the PPL, an independent grassroots initiative.

Launched in 2011, Digital Charlotte is based on the premise that digital literacy skills are instrumental to creating educational and economic opportunities for all. It was developed as a component in the Queens Knight School’s Master Plan to strengthen digital and media literacy  in Charlotte. 

 
J'Tanya Adams.JPG

J'Tanya Adams

J’Tanya is a Regional Manager for the national nonprofit EveryoneOn, as well as the President and Founder of Historic West End Partners in Charlotte. She collaborates with communities and organizations, including the Kramden Institute, to get families connected to the internet. Adams sees her work in closing the digital divide as an avenue to fight for equality.

Spurred by a challenge from the Federal Communications Commission to help connect all people in the United States, EveryoneOn began in 2012 as public awareness campaign and digital inclusion pilot. Since 2012, it has connected more than 600,000 people in 48 states, with the goal to connect one million people by 2020.
 

 
Michele Wiggins.jpg

Michele Wiggins

Michele Wiggins has been working on poverty initiatives for over 10 years. She has been at the Housing Authority of the City of Goldsboro for over 4 years where she is currently the Director of Grant Management. She oversees grant initiatives and special projects for the Housing Authority. She is also a licensed attorney in North Carolina with a JD from Brigham Young University and an MBA with a public administration emphasis from Golden Gate University.

HACG provides housing assistance in Goldsboro, North Carolina by utilizing programs such as Public Housing and Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers funded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

 
Sedrick McCallum.jpg

Sedrick McCallum

Sedrick's banking career has been a journey of growth and learning. Starting at a small, community driven CDFI/Minority-Owned Bank (MOB) out of Durham, North Carolina and winding his way to Woodforest, Sedrick has lived the true CRA experience. He has worked in impoverished areas with institutions focused on financial literacy. He has seen the impact of the housing bubble up close and personal while working with Bank of America's loss mitigation pilot programs. In the two years Sedrick has been with the Bank he has held a series of highly successful roundtables as well as built a relationship with The Support Center, a CDFI that provides small business loans and training to start-ups and existing businesses.

For over 35 years Woodforest National Bank has successfully stood among the strongest community banks in the nation, proudly offering outstanding quality customer service since 1980. Woodforest offers both consumer and small business products and services. It is their mission to promote economic growth through community development lending and revitalization, financial literacy programs, employee volunteer involvement in community boards and committees and the Woodforest Charitable Foundation to empower communities to be a better place to live, work and do business.                                      

 
cache owens.jpg

Cache Owens 

As a Community Engagement Specialist, Cache has built capacity in partnership with neighborhood residents, interfaced with city leaders and elected officials, and served as key liaison between the community and Charlotte Mecklenburg Housing Partnership (CMHP). As digital inclusion fellow, she has built and lead digital literacy programs in partnership with residents and innovative organizations striving towards digital inclusion in Charlotte, NC. Before her work with CMHP, Cache worked as a Research Assistant for the Charlotte Action Research Project, focusing on community organizing and outreach.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Housing Partnership, Inc. (The Housing Partnership) is a broad-based, private, nonprofit housing development and financial corporation organized to expand affordable and well-maintained housing within stable neighborhoods for low and moderate-income families in the City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County.

 
kevin poirer.jpg

 Kevin Poirer

In 2012, Kevin worked as a corps member with Teach for America before becoming a high school science teacher in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. In his current role as their technology facilitator, Kevin has worked to get students connected both in school and at home with programs like E2D.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) is located in the Charlotte, North Carolina region and provides academic instruction, rigor and support each school day to more than 146,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade in 17 schools throughout the cities and towns of Mecklenburg County. 

 
kelvin thompson.jpeg

Kelvin Thompson 

Kelvin L. Thompson has been helping students maximize their potential for years. At Central Piedmont Community College, he has served as the Assistant Director of Academic Advising, Professor in Business, and currently serves as the Director of the Single Stop student services. In his role as Director of Single Stop, he has witnessed how the lack of technology can be a roadblock to a student obtaining a degree and achieving upward mobility. The office of Single Stop assists numerous CPCC students with resources for affordable technology.


Single Stop at Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC) strives to transform the lives of students with critical needs by effectively connecting them to support systems and community resources which will assist them in overcoming financial barriers to student persistence and success.                                       

 
Veronica Creech.jpg

Veronica Creech

Veronica, the former Chief Programs Officer at EveryoneOn and current Entrepreneur in Residence for UNC Chapel Hill’s School of Social Work’s Jordan Institute for Families, leverages more than 15 years of experience leading public and nonprofit social enterprise initiatives. Most recently, Veronica led global partnership outreach and engagement for First Book, where she oversaw sector, partnership, and member growth doubling engagement year over year. Before that, she led new business development and program replication for Nurse Family Partnership, where she grew program implementation from one to 11 Southeastern states. Veronica also brings directly relevant broadband and connectivity experience from her time at the City of Wilson, N.C., where she served as Director of Human Relations. During her tenure, the city built its own broadband program and under Veronica’s leadership the city created stellar citizen buy in for the effort which laid a solid foundation for high adoption rates in the program’s first year.     

 
nathan craver.jpeg

 Nathan Craver


Nathan has 17 years of experience in education in North Carolina.  He spent 10 years as a math teacher in Wake County and Winston-Salem Forsyth County schools.  Nathan was the Director of Technology and Innovation for Asheboro City Schools and the Technology Director for Lexington City Schools prior to coming to NC DPI.  While serving in both roles, he was responsible for managing two 1:1 device programs. Now at DPI, Nathan is responsible for managing the North Carolina Digital Learning and Media Inventory and is the DPI lead for the Digital Learning Initiative Systemic Data Approach team.  He also is responsible for managing the statewide professional development for technology and infrastructure leaders.

The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) is charged with implementing the state's public school laws, policies, and procedures governing pre-kindergarten through 12th grade public education. 

 
teddy mcdaniel.jpg

Teddy McDaniel

Teddy McDaniel came to Charlotte after leading the Urban League in Austin, Texas for five years. Prior to joining the Urban League, McDaniel spent 15 years in the financial service industry, concentrating in the Franchise Business sector. From 2004-2008, he was an Asst. Vice President for GE Capital based in Scottsdale, AZ.  In this role, he originated and underwrote over $100 million in real estate and commercial loans to small and medium size franchise businesses. He started his career with Chase Manhattan Bank in New York City and completed a rigorous financial analyst training program.

The Urban League of Central Carolinas is a multi-service, non-profit agency, organized in 1978. Its mission is to empower the community to attain financial stability and social justice in a global economy through education, training, placement and entrepreneurship.                  

 
Dana.jpg

Dana mcdonald, PhD

Dana comes to Goodwill with professional experience in non-profit, consulting, corporate, and education environments. Most recently, she served as the Associate Dean of Re-Careering Services and Workplace Learning at Central Piedmont Community College, where she created a unique community-focused center and model for job search and career transition services. In her current role, Dana serves as the Director of Goodwill University, leading the organization’s efforts to provide integrated training and development programs for clients and team members.

Goodwill University’s mission is changing lives through the power of work. It believes that all people in our region have the opportunity to develop to their fullest potential through family-sustaining employment.