WRC is honored to have such a distinguished Board of Directors on the slate for 2017-2018.
Asterisk (*) denotes members who are new to the WRC Board.
Cathy Dusenberry, Board President
I am a native of Wilmington, N.C. and grew up at Topsail Beach. I attended UNC-G and UNC-CH, majoring in Biology. I lived in Hillsborough for 11 years before marrying Reid Dusenberry and moving to Burlington in 1983. After working as office manager in Reid’s orthodontic practice for 12 years, I retired in 1994. First Presbyterian became our church home after our marriage, and we have served as a youth leaders, participated in Peru mission trips for many years and served as elders. I have been an active member of Alamance County Arts Council and FOCUS, a women’s investment group. The arts have been my passion and I enjoy painting in watercolor and acrylics, as well as mosaic tile work, which I was lucky enough to study in Italy. Since retiring, we spend time doing adventure travel, hiking and birding. Together we have five children and nine grandchildren.
Debarah Wilson, 1st VP*
Debarah has been a management consultant since 1991 and was a “start-up expert” for small businesses while living in California. She also helped individuals in career transition through her career management coaching. She relocated to North Carolina in 2001 and has provided job coaching through the WRC, been a volunteer since 2002, a board member in 2003-2005 and is currently serving on the board.
Along with her consulting she has taken positions in local companies providing project management, finance management, and training. She has recently reprised her jewelry design business, Heart Couture, that she started in 1991, and has changed its focus to “giving through spending.” She partners with a local business or organization to sell retail goods with a portion of the proceeds donated to local non-profits.
She also volunteers her time with other non-profits in Alamance County. She is passionate about giving back to the community and her daughter and granddaughter.
Karen Carrouth – Secretary
A native of Wilson, NC, Karen Carrouth and her husband Henry have called Alamance County home for 35 years. She received a journalism degree from UNC-Chapel Hill. For several years Karen was reporter then editor/owner of City-County Newspaper, Magazine, then Alamance Magazine. She calls her current position for the past three years as volunteer coordinator for the Alamance Arts Council the most fun job she has ever had. She manages a base of about 100 active volunteers, produces the monthly newsletter and coordinates the Artful Traveler program at the Arts Council. Her past community service includes serving on the boards for Habitat for Humanity, Alamance Children’s Theatre, Meals on Wheels, Alamance County, Chamber of Commerce, Women’s Resource Center and as an elder at First Presbyterian Church. The Carrouths have three children: Andrew, age 31, a high school football coach; Adam, 27, a project engineer and Emily, 24, who is working managed health care organization. Also they boast of the world’s cutest grandson, Levi Carterwho is now 20 months old.
Andrea Lambert CPA, Treasurer
Andrea Lambert started her career at Gilliam Coble & Moser, LLP in September or 2013. She prepares income tax returns for corporate entities, partnerships, and individuals. She is originally from Stephenville, Newfoundland in Canada. In her time away from the office, Andrea enjoys ice skating, keeping active with her dogs, and spending time with family and friends.
Shawn Baker is the branch and regional manager for Wood Forest National Bank. He also enjoys his time as a Junior Achievement and Meals on Wheels volunteer. Shawn also spent his time as a board member for Boys Town of Louisiana. Shawn and his wife, Anne have two daughters, Isabel and Lizzie.
Erin is with Pinnacle Wealth Management and has degrees in business, economics, and financial planning. She has been a financial planner for 20 years and is ready to be on the board for the WRC. Erin is also involved in the Chamber of Commerce Entrepreneurial Task Force.
Alamance County has been home to Katy since 2010, moving here upon completion of her Masters in Healthcare Administration from UNC-Chapel Hill for a post-graduate administrative fellowship at Alamance Regional Medical Center. She has now been with ARMC and Cone Health for the past 6 years. Katy currently serves as President of the local chapter of the American College of Healthcare Executives, an organization with which she has been actively involved since moving to the Triad in 2010. This is her third year on the board, having previously served in the roles of Secretary/Treasurer and President-Elect. With two degrees from UNC-Chapel Hill, Katy and her husband, and N.C. State graduate, enjoy a friendly rivalry in their “house divided” during football and basketball season!
Vanessa Diggs, PhD*
Vanessa Diggs, PhD is a board certified teacher and teaches as a Special Ed Teacher in Chapel Hill/Carrboro. She received her PhD in 2013 from Hampton University. She has been an educator since starting in 1983 in Baltimore, Maryland. In the past Vanessa has also helped with United Way of Alamance County. Currently she is a Community Organizer for Promise Messengers Inc., a Non-profit that developed an organized free community summer school programs. Which she co-founded in 1998.
William Gattis has been the director of the Mayco Bigelow Community Center for 21 years. Prior to that, he was employed with the Burlington City School System. As Director, he was instrumental in securing a $54,000 grant in 2010 from NC Health and Wellness Trust Fund for “North Park in Motion.” He reports that he loves working with people and especially enjoys fund raising.
Paige Berntson Gilliard
Paige Berntson Gilliard is a staff attorney at Children’s Law Center of Central NC (currently working as a GAL on domestic violence and custody cases in Forsyth and Guilford Counties). While living in Minnesota, she was policy advocate for children’s issues. She has volunteered with Orphan Foundation and Parenting Under Two Roods in Alamance County. Also she is a mother of six in a blended family. Her expertise would be in the professional connections and resource referrals she could bring to WRC.
Julie Howe is an Account Executive with AFR Furniture Rental. Over the past several years, she has served as a board member of the Kettering-Moraine-Oakwood Chamber of Commerce in Ohio. While active with the American Heart Association, she was the Silent Auction Committee Chairperson. She has also participated in and volunteered with numerous other organizations. She considers herself to be organized and a good team player. Julie serves on the membership committee with WRC as well as assisting with the Herb Festival.
Joy Isley is currently a vice president at Carolina bank. Since 2006 when she moved to Alamance County, she has served on boards in our community as secretary, treasurer, and president. Some of the volunteer commitments include Twin Lakes Board, Elon Campus Ministry, as well as chair of the Leadership Alamance Alumni Association for the local Chamber of Commerce. Her contributions to the WRC has included serving as Board Treasurer and as a member of various board committees.
Ruth Koester is a longtime volunteer and former board member (2003-2009, 2014) at WRC, previously serving three years as board president. She currently serves on the Herb Festival Planning Committee, Governance and Working Women Wednesday Committees. Ruth is a PhD scientist in the DNA Identification Testing Division at LabCorp with degrees from Cornell University and NC State. She lives in Burlington with her husband Dave and daughters Jenna and Emily. Ruth also serves on the board of the Twin Lakes Community and the Alamance Lutheran Church Council.
Thomasine is currently working at the Small Business Center of Alamance Community College as an Administrative Assistant. Thomasine also volunteers with Pinnacle Ministries, Clothes Closet, Taking It to The Street Outreach, and Family Fun Day.
In January 2004, my dad was hospitalized suddenly and then the dreaded diagnosis that he had 4 to 6 months to live. My dad was capable of making his own decisions and there was no doubt that he wanted to go home. Requiring 24 hour care, it took all the family to create a schedule around work, family, church and other outside activities. I am the oldest of 6 children and as a team, we worked together to maintain a 24 hour schedule and keeping a log book to make notes of when he took medications, meals, personal care and much more. I realized that in my heart, God was leading me in a new direction and journey. I wanted to enable other families to help maintain their loved ones at HOME, wherever they call home. Thru the journey of caring for my dad, I researched and decided that Home Instead Senior Care had the same values and mission that I did and decided to purchase a Home Instead Senior Care Franchise. I purchased Alamance and Randolph County franchises which are independently owned and operated. I am now retired, but my passion has never changed.
Rebecca Parks is employed as a unit manager for Vocational Rehabilitation in Burlington. She is currently serving on the Alamance Area Chamber of Commerce Board (vice chair of Workforce Development and Leadership), United Way, ARMC Charitable Foundation Board, NC Therapeutic Riding Center and she advises an Elon sorority. Despite the extensive community involvement, she feels that she could serve of the WRC board and commented, “My expertise is in connecting people, organizing events, and attention to detail.”
Born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts Dianna attended Mount Ida all-girls school majoring in Art history and English. She also received her graduate degree from UMass in Death, Dying, and Palliative Care. Later on Dianne became the Director of Anatomical Gift Program at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. She is currently serving as the Founding Director of Elon University’s Anatomical Gift Program. Dianna also enjoys kayaking, hiking, biking, yoga, meditation, music, and most importantly her daughter, and her five-year-old grandson.
Jennifer Pettie, CPA
Jennifer Pettie is a CPA and works as senior auditor for LabCorp. She serves as the Lead Mentor in Haiti for “Creating Jobs”, a non-profit that offers consulting and strategic planning to small businesses in developing countries. Additionally, she volunteers as a Curriculum Coach for Partners Worldwide” where she helps develop teaching material for entrepreneurs in developing countries to improve their businesses. She is lead creator for deminimisdata.com, a data analytic review blog. In her free time she enjoys distance running, travel and playing with her dog Artie.