2018-19 Mentors

Annette Atkins

Annette Atkins serves as a Talent Development Consultant at Caterpillar Inc. in Sanford.  Caterpillar Inc. is an American Fortune 100 corporation which designs, develops, engineers, manufactures, markets and sells machinery, engines, financial products and insurance to customers via a worldwide dealer network. It is the world’s largest construction equipment manufacturer.

Shane Alfonse

Shane Alfonse serves as the Operations Manager at Ply Gem where he is responsible for initiating, implementing and sustaining profitable operations of 32 Injection Molding presses, three Paint Lines & all inbound receiving activities.

Dr. David Banks

Dr. David Banks serves as the director of SAMSI. Dr. Banks obtained an M.S. in Applied Mathematics from Virginia Tech in 1982, followed by a Ph.D. in Statistics in 1984. He won an NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in the Mathematical Sciences, which he took at Berkeley. In 1986 he was a visiting assistant lecturer at the University of Cambridge, and then joined the Department of Statistics at Carnegie Mellon in 1987. In 1997 he went to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, then served as chief statistician of the U.S. Department of Transportation, and finally joined the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2002. In 2003, he returned to academics at Duke University.


Dawn Braswell

Ms. Braswell is the Training Manager for Siemens Charlotte Energy Hub in Charlotte, NC. She has worked with the facility’s training department since March 2011. As the Training Manager, she oversees all learning and development for the more than 1,600 employees in this advanced manufacturing environment. Ms. Braswell serves on several boards in the Charlotte area including the Steele Creek YMCA, Olympic High School Advanced Manufacturing Curriculum Board, Southwest Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, and works as a mentor in the Ruth G. Shaw’s Women’s Leadership Program at Central Piedmont Community College. Prior to Siemens, Dawn spent 10 years in higher education, specifically serving as an Associate Dean with the North Carolina Community College System. She holds a BS in Criminal Justice, a MS in Adult Education, and is currently pursuing her Ed.D. in Leadership, Policy, Adult and Higher Education at NC State University. In her free time, she enjoys traveling with her husband, Scott, and their 11-year old daughter, Bailey.

Fallon Brewington

Fallon Brewington is the CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of the Sandhills. She has a vast background in public non-profit and higher education sectors. She is a Certified Professional in Learning and Performance and an adjunct Business and Information Technologies Instructor at Richmond Community College. She has her M.S. in Vocational Education from East Carolina University and B.S. in Business Management from North Carolina State University and is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Adult and Community College Education at NC State.

Seth Carruthers

Seth Carruthers is the Director of Global Technology for the chemical adhesives and coatings business for Lord Corporation. He is responsible for teams of STEM professionals in research, development, and technical service for global product lines that serve automotive, electronics, and industrial markets. These teams constantly work with colleagues and customers across the US, Asia, and Europe. He also serves as the Lord STEM Outreach Executive Sponsor. He graduated from Wake County Public Schools, earned a B.S. Chemistry degree from NC State University, and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin. Seth and his wife have two boys in Wake County Public Schools.

Steve Chase

Steve Chase serves as the CEO at Accelerated Technology Laboratories, Inc., ATLabs is an industry leader in the Laboratory Information Management Systems (LIMS) marketplace. Mr. Chase has significant experience in sales, sales Management, business development, creating and driving new lines of business, acquisitions, financial and operational management, partner and channel development.

Shannon Davis

Shannon Davis serves as the Youth Sales Representative at Carowinds, a 400-acre amusement park.

Rob Goodman

Rob Goodman serves as the Security Supervisor, Intern Coordinator, and Tortal Administrator for the Charlotte Motor Speedway, which is the only race vacation destination where fans can immerse themselves in the heart of NASCAR country. Visitors can attend one-of-a-kind race spectacles such as the Coca-Cola 600, NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and Bank of America 500; take behind-the-scenes speedway and race shop tours; explore the new NASCAR Hall of Fame, and drive an 800-horsepower stock car.

Steve Goodson

Steve Goodson currently serves in the position of Vice President of Energy Services at Jones-Onslow EMC which is headquartered in Jacksonville. He started his career with Jones-Onslow in August 1990 as a Communication Specialist and has served in various positions since that time related to marketing, communications, economic development, governmental relations, member services and most recently engineering. Mr. Goodson attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he graduated in 1990 with a BA from the School of Journalism with a concentration in Advertising & Public Relations. He and his wife, Beverly, live in Jacksonville and, as of last fall, are “empty nesters”…their son, Grey, is a freshman at UNC-Chapel Hill and their daughter, Spencer, graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in May and is currently working in Washington, D.C. preparing to attend law school.

Andrea Guzman

Andrea Guzman is a marketing professional with groninger USA. She graduated with honors from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a Master’s Degree in International Studies. Ms. Guzman’s role at groninger USA is key to attracting new customers and helping to further the company’s public relations; therefore, contributing to the company’s stability and growth. She works closely with the Marketing Team in Germany in creating advertising materials and campaigns. Andrea is active in the Charlotte community by working with the Charlotte City Government, the school system, and other entities in promoting and supporting career opportunities in the area.

She also organizes internal events in the company, including visits of private and governmental organizations to groninger USA’s facility. She attends local networking events to grow awareness of the company and promote its apprenticeship program. Ms. Guzman represents groninger USA at the NC Apprenticeship Council Committee as well as at the German Language and Culture Foundation. In addition, she is a huge asset in coordinating external events for the company including trade show exhibitions in major cities throughout the USA and also local recruiting efforts for the apprenticeship program. Before joining groninger USA, she worked at the International House in Charlotte as a Citizen and Diplomacy Intern and as a Graduate Assistant Student at UNCC while finishing her Master’s degree.

Melody Hamilton

Melody Hamilton serves as the Office Manager at Mertek Solutions, an independent family/group-owned company that specializes in machine design for manufacturing, automation, and manufacturing equipment design.

Mike Hess

Mike Hess serves as the ‎Sr. Mgr. of Science and Technology at ‎Novozymes, a company which is unique in its dedication to enzymes and microbes. For more than 70 years, their work with these biological problem solvers has made a big difference in the world.

Trudy Hood

Trudy Hood serves as the Human Resources Manager at Ply Gem in the Gaffney, SC location. Ply Gem is a leader in exterior building products across North America helping homeowners and professionals create custom curb appeal by combining siding, windows, stone veneer, fence & rail, gutters and other accessories.

Janet Jackson

Janet Jackson serves as an Energy Specialist with the Central Electric Membership Corporation,  a not-for-profit electric cooperative owned by the people it serves. As a hometown utility, Central is committed to providing reliable, affordable energy to more than 22,000 homes and businesses in five North Carolina counties, including Chatham, Harnett, Lee, Moore and Randolph counties.

John Lean

John Lean is Manager of Structural Adhesives Technology at LORD Corporations, a diversified technology and manufacturing company developing adhesives, coatings, motion management devices, and sensing technologies with world headquarters in Cary. Mr. Lean has a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Penn State University.

Lindsey Listrom

Lindsey Listrom is the media relations and communications manager for North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives. In this role, she enjoys sharing the cooperatives’ story and finding new ways to connect with members as the industry evolves. In addition to helping advance community programs such as Bright Ideas education grants, she leads the co-ops’ engagement with the Kenan Fellows Program for Teacher Leadership. Ms. Listrom joined the state’s electric cooperatives in 2011 after working in communications and development for a non-profit political research organization. She earned a double major in Journalism and Spanish from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2005 and obtained a graduate-level Certificate in Digital Communication from the nationally acclaimed UNC School of Media and Journalism in 2015. She also has earned the Certified Cooperative Communicator designation.


Amy Maddox

Dr. Maddox is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology at UNC-Chapel Hill. Her lab uses high-resolution microscopy, quantitative image analysis, cell biology, genetics, biochemistry, and developmental biology to study cell division.

Paul Maddox

Dr. Paul Maddox is an assistant professor and William Burwell Harrison Fellow in the Department of Biology at UNC-Chapel Hill. His research in his lab focuses on cell division specifically Mitotic Mechanisms and Chromosome Dynamics.

Mark Meno

Mark Meno is the Air Vehicle Engineering Department Head for the Department of Navy Fleet Readiness Center East at Cherry Point. The facility is responsible for life cycle support of all helos, tilt-rotors, & VTOL jets in the Navy and Marine Corps Fleet. As air vehicle engineering Department Head, he manages 170 engineers and scientists responsible for providing repair design, engineering investigation, and modification support. Mr. Meno holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Virginia Tech.


Ted M. Natt, Jr.

Ted M. Natt, Jr. has been with St. Joseph of the Pines since October 2015. His responsibilities include writing news releases and grant applications; maintaining the company’s website and Facebook page; and overseeing its volunteer program, community benefit program and Mobile Rural Health program. He earned a Bachelor of Journalism degree from the University of Missouri and an MBA from the University of Louisville.

Christine Paszko

Dr. Christine Paszko serves as a Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Accelerated Technology Laboratories, Inc. and aids in the marketing intelligence for the development of Advanced Laboratory Information Management Systems based on the best available technology.  Dr. Paszko has a B.S. in Medical Technology and a Ph.D. in Molecular Microbiology with from the University of Maryland. She has been working in LIMS and laboratory automation for more than 20 years.

Jerry Pedley

Mr. Pedley is President/Owner of Mertek Solutions and oversees the day to day operation. Jerry also finds time to be very active in local groups and charities. He is on the Board of Capital Bank and a member of Manufacturing Makes it Real through NC State University.

Arlan Peters

Arlan Peters is the Head of Sustainability for Novozymes North America where he develops Novoyzmes’ regional sustainability initiatives, builds organizational capacity, manages Novozymes’ corporate citizenship programs, and engages with external stakeholders on issues relating to life-cycle impacts of biotechnology.

He has represented Novozymes in several organizations including the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, and the Sustainability Consortium where he served as co-chair for TSC’s Corporate Advisory Council.

Prior to his current role, Mr. Peters managed business development projects in animal health and regional marketing for bio-energy in Asia.

Before joining Novozymes, he coordinated community education programs for Japan’s Ministry of Education. He also worked on public-private partnerships for international development at USAID’s Global Development Alliance Secretariat.

He holds a BA in Biology from Oberlin College and was a recipient of the Thomas J. Watson Fellowship to study economic and environmental impacts of aquaculture in Latin America and Asia. He received his MBA from UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School where he concentrated in Sustainable Enterprise.

Mark Pressley

Mark Pressley serves as a Staff scientist at LORD Corporation, a diversified technology, and manufacturing company developing adhesives, coatings, motion management devices, and sensing technologies with world headquarters in Cary. Mr. Pressley has a B.S. in Chemistry from NC State University.

Paula Redick

Paula Redick serves as the Community Relations Manager at Jones Onslow EMC which is headquartered in Jacksonville. Jones-Onslow EMC is a member-owned electric cooperative committed to providing safe, reliable, and affordable electric service with uncompromised excellence in customer service to the citizens of Jones, Onslow, Pender, Duplin, Craven, and Lenoir counties.

Michele Reedy

Michele grew up on a fourth generation farm in Southampton County in southeast Virginia. There her family grew peanuts, cotton, wheat, corn, and soybeans while also raising beef cattle and market hogs. Currently, those farms are in full operation under her guidance. She received a BS degree in Animal Science from Ferrum College and later a Master’s degree in Adult Education with a concentration in Curriculum and Instruction. After working in the agriculture industry she began a career in education teaching in the K-12 classroom for 12 years and moved on to teach at Chowan University for an additional six years. During her tenure in higher education, she utilized agriculture-based content for training pre-service teachers its importance and relevance for engaging math and science curriculum and instruction. She finds her position with NC Farm Bureau Ag in the Classroom extremely rewarding as all of her experience and education are married into one role. Educating K-12 teachers and students the importance of NC agriculture is vital to the growth of this state in addition to meeting the needs of a growing worldwide population.


Mark Rohlinger

Mr. Rohlinger is responsible for the Technical Operations at the Bosch Rexroth Charlotte facility and for the Linear Motion and Assembly Technologies product lines. He began his career with Bosch Rexroth in 1994 as a Product Manager for Ball Screws, and spent his first 10 years in different manager and then director roles associated with Product Management, Application Engineering, and Customer Service. In 2005 he moved into the operations side of the business as Director of Manufacturing Operations. He was part of the effort in growing and doubling the size of the business and eventually became the Director of Technical Operations in 2010. He has received an Associates of Applied Science Degree in Product Development, a Bachelors of Science Degrees in Industrial Technology from the University of Wisconsin – Stout, as well as a Masters of Science degree in Industrial Technology from Northern Illinois University. He has a patent in his name for a ball recirculating element used in a ball screw, and has had a journal article published relating to chaos theory. He is involved heavily in the local community supporting STEM and work force development initiatives. Mr. Rohlinger is married and has three children ranging in age from 12 to 18 years old.

Chris Ruff

Mr. Ruff is the plant manager for Ply Gem in Gaffney, South Carolina. He responsible for the safety, quality, productivity, plant cost, service and human resources for the facility. He holds a B.S. in Business Management from Clemson University.

Dr. Richard L. Smith

Dr. Smith is a Mark L. Reed III Distinguished Professor of Statistics and Professor of Biostatistics in the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He is also Director of the Statistical and Applied Mathematical Sciences Institute, a Mathematical Sciences Institute supported by the National Science Foundation.

James Taylor

James Taylor serves as the communications specialist with Central Electric Membership Corporation,  a not-for-profit electric cooperative owned by the people it serves. As a hometown utility, Central is committed to providing reliable, affordable energy to more than 22,000 homes and businesses in five North Carolina counties, including Chatham, Harnett, Lee, Moore and Randolph counties.

Clifton Vann IV

Clifton Vann IV is CEO of Hyde Park Partners (HPP), the holding company for Livingston & Haven, MRO Stop, AEG International (AEG) and Mass Management. Mr. Vann was named CEO in 2015 after having served in various other capacities within the company since 1982, most recently as President of Livingston & Haven from January 1999 to May 2014. He was tapped to oversee the day-to-day strategy and operations of the four different HPP subsidiaries, which generate $75 million in annual sales, due to his visionary approach to the world of industrial manufacturing, technology, design, and engineering. His 30 years in the fluid power and automation industries have been propelled by his ability to dream big and motivate business leaders, educators, parents, and students to reach beyond traditional borders of the mind and jurisdictions. Through AEG, for example, he is currently championing off-grid solar power solutions that are fundamentally improving the lives of people in Tanzania – in homes, schools, and businesses.

Heather Willoughby

Heather Willoughby is a North Carolina native and grew up in Alamance County. Her father is a nurseryman specializing in ornamental horticulture, and her family farms tobacco, beef cattle, and row crops. She is an NC State graduate with a background in biological sciences and horticulture. After working in horticulture for seven years, she joined the North Carolina Farm Bureau Federation in August 2015. She works as a program assistant to the Ag in the Classroom program under the director, Michele Reedy.


Vaughn Willoughby

As president of Alamance County Farm Bureau, I oversee the activities of our local county farm bureau. We are a non-profit serving farmers and the rural community. Our mission is to promote agriculture and educate the community about agriculture. We work with our elected officials to advocate for agricultural and rural issues and serve as their voice. Myself, as well as all of our board members, are volunteers providing this leadership because we’re concerned and care about the future of farmers and agriculture. I also am the owner and operator of Pritchett Farms Nurseries. We are a nursery and greenhouse operation growing a wide variety of shrubs and greenhouse plants. We sell both wholesale and retail.

Kelly Witter

Ms. Witter, an Environmental Engineer, has worked in EPA’s Office of Research and Development in Research Triangle Park, NC since 1987. As the Director of EPA-RTP’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math) Outreach Program, she collaborates with schools and the community to develop and implement educational outreach programs, particularly in minority and low-income K-12 schools. During her career at EPA, Kelly has also conducted research on indoor air quality in schools and on human exposure to pollutants. Previously, she worked as a Field Engineer for Inter-Mountain Engineering in Avon, CO. Ms. Witter holds a Masters of Business Administration from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University, a Masters of Science from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Duke University in Clay Liners for Hazardous Waste Landfills, and a Bachelors of Science in Geology and Math from Duke University. She is a North Carolina Certified Environmental Educator. thematics (STEM).