Board of Directors

 
Dede Carney is a broker and realtor with Carney & Co. Realtors, Heritage Properties, where she has worked for more than 25 years. Dede has served on the Board of Directors at the Greenville-Pitt County Chamber of Commerce, the National Low Income Housing Coalition, and Self-Help Credit Union. She founded the Pitt County Housing Coalition, and also served as a member of the City of Greenville Affordable Loan Committee. Dede has been an active Life member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., specifically working on Political Involvement and Economic Development Committees. Dede received her B.S. from James Madison University and a Masters in Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
 
Narendra Ghosh is an attorney with the Patterson Harkavy law firm in Chapel Hill. He graduated from Harvard University, summa cum laude, and from the New York University School of Law, magna cum laude. Before attending law school, Mr. Ghosh was a computer programmer for several companies in Silicon Valley. After graduation, he was a law clerk to the Honorable A. Wallace Tashima of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and to the Honorable Emmet G. Sullivan of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. Mr. Ghosh is active with the North Carolina Advocates for Justice, the North Carolina Bar Association Labor and Employment Section, and the AFL-CIO Lawyers Coordinating Committee. His areas of practice include employment law, labor law, workers’ compensation, civil rights, and appellate advocacy. He has worked in with attorneys at the Justice Center on the lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the State’s private school voucher program.
 
Frank Goldsmith is a founding partner with the Goldsmith, Goldsmith and Dews law firm in Marion. He graduated from Davidson College and received his JD with honors from UNC Chapel Hill. Mr. Goldsmith was commissioned as an Infantry lieutenant and then served as a captain in the US Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps. Mr. Goldsmith’s work includes representing inmates on NC’s Death Row and detainees at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. He has litigated cases at all levels of the state and federal court system, including the US Supreme Court, and is a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers. Mr. Goldsmith has served on the Boards of Governors of the NC Bar Association and the NC Advocates for Justice, as president of the 29th Judicial District and the McDowell County Bar Associations, the boards of Catawba Valley Legal Services, NC Prisoner Legal Services, and the ACLU of NC. At the ACLU of NC he served both as president and later as chair of its Legal Committee. In 1987, the ACLU of NC honored Mr. Goldsmith with its Frank Porter Graham Award. Mr. Goldsmith was one of five North Carolina attorneys profiled in a 1999 series of articles in The NC State Bar Journal entitled “Searching for Atticus Finch.”
 
Karen Gottovi is the retired Director of the NC Division of Aging and Adult Services, where she served as director from 1997-2006. Prior to working with the Division of Aging, she served in the General Assembly from 1991-1994, and was the New Hanover County Commissioner from 1976-1984. In 2009-2010, Karen served on the Board of Directors of the Women’s Forum of NC and on the Executive Council of AARP.  She was awarded Legislator of the Year in 1993. In 1972, Karen became president of the League of Women Voters in New Hanover County, the first one of the provisional chapter. She currently serves as a volunteer for AARP advocacy. Karen graduated from Wells College and earned an MS in Library and Information Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
 
Lisa Grafstein leads the Community Access Team at Disability Rights NC, working on issues related to employment and access to public places. Prior to joining Disability Rights NC, Lisa was in private practice, working primarily in the area of employment law. Since 2007, she has been included in Business North Carolina’s “Legal Elite,” including its employment law Hall of Fame, and has been included in North Carolina Super Lawyers and Best Lawyers in America for employment law. She received the 2012 Gwyneth B. Davis award from the NC Association of Women Attorneys. Lisa has served as Chair of the Labor and Employment Law Section of the NC Bar Association, and as President of the NC Association of Women Attorneys. Lisa received her undergraduate degree from Northwestern University and her law degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has managed several campaigns for appellate seats in NC.
 
Dr. Eric Mansfield previously served in the NC Senate from Cumberland County. He grew up in Columbus, Georgia, and attended Howard University, and the Morehouse School of Medicine. He conducted his surgical and otolaryngology residency at Tulane University’s School of Medicine. He served as a medical officer in the US Army and was stationed at Fort Bragg. After his military service, Mansfield stayed in Fayetteville and established his own office: Cape Fear Otolaryngology, an ear, nose and throat practice. He currently lives in Holly Springs in Wake County.
 
Mal Maynard is director of the Financial Protection Law Center in Wilmington, NC. The center is a not-for-profit public interest law firm that represents borrowers with claims against predatory mortgage lenders, manufactured home dealers, and payday lenders. He has been a leader in North Carolina in fighting for consumer and housing protections, and he partnered with the Justice Center on numerous litigation and legislative efforts regarding predatory lending and foreclosures. Mal has served as co-counsel in several mortgage lending class-action cases that have provided recoveries totaling in excess of $10 million, and he is co-counsel in class-action cases filed in North Carolina against payday lenders that have resulted in settlements for recovery of $44.75 million. He is the 2007 recipient of the prestigious Vern Countryman Award from the National Consumer Law Center and a 2000 recipient of the Justice Center's Defenders of Justice Award.
 
Ann McColl is an attorney who has practiced in the field of education law since 1991. She served as an associate professor of educational leadership at the UNC Charlotte College of Education from 2002 to 2009 and as a visiting and adjunct associate professor of public law and government at the School of Government at UNC Chapel Hill. McColl has served as legislative director for the State Board of Education and as general counsel for the North Carolina Association of Educators. She is currently an attorney at Everett Gaskins Hancock in Raleigh.
 
Juvencio Rocha Peralta, Jr. is a powerful advocate for Latinos, ensuring that they know their rights and that they have a voice regarding the policies that impact their lives. Mr. Rocha Peralta has spent more than two decades as a grassroots organizer and advocate for immigrants’ rights. He is the founder and president of the Association of Mexicans in North Carolina (AMEXCAN), a nationally recognized grassroots organization, which has five chapters and participates in numerous social justice coalitions. He has been instrumental in connecting the immigrant and Latino communities to services and resources and is working on voter education and mobilization campaigns. Mr. Rocha Peralta is a native of Veracruz, Mexico and has lived in North Carolina since 1980. He has a bachelor’s degree from East Carolina University and is the occupational extension coordinator at Lenoir Community College in Kinston.
 
Ray Rapp served for 10 years in the NC House of Representatives before losing in 2012. He has served as alderman and mayor of Mars Hill. He served as the dean of Adult Access and a professor at Mars Hill College. He graduated from UNC Chapel Hill and lives in Mars Hill, Madison County.
 
Suzanne Reynolds is the Dean of the Wake University School of Law. She received her J.D. from Wake Forest and has been a professor of law with the university since 1981. Suzanne has been on the NC Administrative Office of Courts: Task Force on Domestic Violence since 2010, and the Board of Directors, Center for Urban Ministries, Wake Forest University School of Divinity since 2006.   From 2005 to 2007, Suzanne was the co-chair of the United Way of Forsyth County’s Impact Council on Domestic Violence and co-founded the Domestic Violence Advocacy Center of Forsyth County in 1995. Suzanne won Woman of Wisdom from the North Carolina Association of Women Attorneys in 2006, and Women of Achievement given by the General Federation of Women’s Clubs of North Carolina in 2009.
 
Wayne Riggins has worked as an ophthalmologist and optometrist for over 30 years. A retired Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve Medical Corps, he completed his medical internship and residency with the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. He worked as the Chief of Ophthalmology and Assistant Chief in the Department of Surgery at the Womack Army Medical Center at Fort Bragg. He is a trustee at Fayetteville State University and serves on the Board of Directors at Equality North Carolina. He currently works at Cape Fear Eye Associates in Fayetteville.
 
Keith Rivers currently serves on Elizabeth City's City Council and is the president of Pasquotank NAACP, as well as district director with the state NAACP.  Active with local CDCs and affordable housing issues. Keith is a Retired Pharmacy Chief with the U.S. Navy. A graduate of East Carolina University, Keith also runs an adult care facility in Perquimans County. 
 
Cathy Tamsberg is currently Associate Pastor at the Pullen Memorial Baptist Church in Raleigh, where she formerly served as Minister of Outreach and Adult Education. While at Pullen, Cathy has staffed groups addressing peace and reconciliation, the death penalty, hunger, care of creation and the church’s international partnerships, including Cuba, Zimbabwe, and the Republic of Georgia. Cathy currently serves as Co-Facilitator for Congregations for Social Justice, an advocacy coalition of congregations and nonprofits in Wake County. She worked as staff attorney at East Central Community Legal Services from 1986 to 1997 (currently Raleigh’s Legal Aid office). Cathy has a B.S. from University of North Carolina-Greensboro, a Masters from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and earned her JD from University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. She received her Masters of Divinity from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington DC.
 
Cullie Tarleton represented the 93rd district in the North Carolina House of Representatives – including Ashe and Watauga counties – for two terms, from January 2007-December 2010. After his defeat in 2010, Tarleton served on the State Lottery Commission.  He is a retired broadcasting executive and general manager for WBTV, WBT (AM), and WCCB in Charlotte, and a veteran of the NC Army National Guard and the US Army Reserve.  A native of Union County, he now lives in Blowing Rock.
 
  Greg Weeks is a former judge for the Fourth Division of the Superior Court of North Carolina. He served the court from January 1989 until his retirement on December 31, 2012. In the mid-1990s, he presided over the court proceedings in Robeson County against the two men accused of killing James Jordan, father of retired basketball star Michael Jordan. One of the men pleaded guilty; the other was found guilty at trial. Weeks held some of the state's first hearings on whether racism put convicted killers on death row unfairly and as a result converted the sentences of three to life in prison without parole. Weeks worked several years in private practice and served as an assistant Cumberland County public defender for ten years. He received his law degree from the University of North Carolina School of Law.
 
Dr. Jesse White is the Director of the Office of Economic and Business Development at UNC Chapel Hill, and also is an Adjunct Professor in the School of Government. Prior to coming to UNC in 2003, he served for almost nine years as Federal Co-Chairman of the Appalachian Regional Commission, the longest tenure in the history of the agency. White is also a nationally recognized authority on regional economic development. He is a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration, recipient of the Phillips Medal for Public Service from Ohio University, and a member of the Cosmos Club of Washington, DC. He serves or has served on the boards of Regional Technology Strategies, and Equality North Carolina, and on the advisory boards of Rural LISC, the Appalachian College Association, the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues, the Rural Poverty Research Center, and the William F. Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation. He has an undergraduate degree from the University of Mississippi and a doctoral degree in political science from MIT.
 
John I. Wilson is the former Executive Director of the National Education Association. While at NEA, he championed a minimum salary of $40,000 for every teacher and a living wage for Education Support Professionals. He also launched an NEA initiative to engage the best teachers in sharing ideas on staffing high-poverty, low achieving schools with the most accomplished teachers. He is currently a Fellow at the Pearson Foundation. Prior to NEA, Wilson served as President and later as Executive Director of the NC Association of Educators (NCAE). During his leadership at NCAE, the state saw strengthened teacher training and professional development programs, higher teacher compensation, and increased teacher recruitment. His accomplishments include the development of new support systems for teachers pursuing certification by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. As a result, today NC has more National Board-certified teachers and candidates than any other state. Wilson has been an NEA activist since his days at Western Carolina University, where he served as president of the NEA student chapter. As a middle school teacher of special needs students, he was an active Association leader throughout his 20-year teaching career. He served as president of the Raleigh Association of Classroom Teachers and the Wake County Association of Classroom Teachers, and also served on the NEA Board of Directors and the NEA Executive Committee. He was born in Burlington and graduated with a B.S. degree in education and received a Master's degree in education from the University of North Carolina.