Board of TrusteesBoard of Trustees

Board of Trustees

Glenda Abbate Glenda Abbate
Mrs. Abbate and her husband, Florio, reside in Weston, Florida and Banner Elk, North Carolina. Glenda is originally from Texas and graduated from McMurry University in Abilene, Texas, and did graduate studies at Hardin Simmons University, also in Abilene, and Nova Southeastern University in Davie, Florida. She is a retired teacher, community volunteer and fundraiser for children's charities.
Kim Braswell-McPhail

Kim began coming to Banner Elk in 1991 when her parents were part-time residents at Elk River. She attended the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and graduated in 1980 with a B.A. in Business Administration. Upon graduation, she began work with Western Publishing Company; a subsidiary of Mattel, Inc.

Upon leaving Western Publishing, Kim started an automotive collision repair facility in Charlotte, NC. She was the owner and vice president for 25 years. The business grew to become a certified repair facility for Mercedes Benz USA.

Kim retired in 2007 and she and her husband, David, split their time between Hilton Head, SC; Charlotte, and Banner Elk. She continues to serve as a community volunteer for charities in Hilton Head and Charlotte and looks forward to her role in giving back to the community of Banner Elk and Lees-McRae.

Thomas H. Brigham Thomas H. Brigham
Mr. Brigham and his wife, Cecile, reside in Birmingham, Alabama and Banner Elk, North Carolina. Mr. Brigham is the Founding Partner and Chairman of ARK Real Estate Strategies, LLC. Both Tommy and Cecile are Lees-McRae alumni. Tommy is also a 1974 graduate of Emory & Henry College.
Les Broussard Leslie John Broussard
Mr. Broussard is the owner of Banner Elk Café and other area restaurants. He and his wife, Cindy, reside in Banner Elk. He is an alumnus of Lees-McRae College, where he was captain of the soccer team.
Bob Capps Bob Capps

Bob received a BS Degree in Advertising from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia in 1966. For the past three years, Bob has served as the Chairman of the Business Advisory Council of Lees -McRae College.  Other leadership positions held within the Episcopal Church include Senior Warden, Chairman of the Search, Long Range Planning, and Christ the King Endowment Fund, Inc. committees. He is a corporate sponsor of the Charlotte Cycling Team and has a son-in-law serving on the Lees-McRae Cycling Advisory Council. Bob has been married for 45 years to Mary Wright Galt (Polly), has one daughter, Caroline, and two grandchildren living in Charlotte, NC.

Cathy Fields
Mrs. Fields is a graduate of Ball State University in Indiana and served as President and CFO of PS International, Ltd., an international trading company that specializes in bulk agricultural products trading.  She and her husband, Mike, reside in Chapel Hill.

Parker Grubbs Parker Grubbs
Mr. Grubbs is Senior Vice President in the investment department of Center State Bank in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He is an alumnus of Lees-McRae College and he and wife, Katie, reside in Winston Salem.

Ken Haigler
Ken lives in Wilmington, North Carolina, where he is the co-founder and partner of Taft, Taft & Haigler, P.A.  He graduated from Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law.  His business interests include partner/developer in multiple real estate ventures including apartments, condominiums, shopping centers, office buildings, mini-storage, residential neighborhoods and raw acreage.  Ken belongs to the Wrightsboro Baptist Church in Wilmington where he holds the office of finance/stewardship chairman.

Ed Hood Dr. Edward E. Hood, Jr.
A nuclear engineer, Mr. Hood is retired executive of the General Electric Company. He and his wife, Kay, reside in North Palm Beach, Florida and Banner Elk.
Larry Hopkins Dr. Larry Hopkins
Dr. Hopkins is a surgeon who teaches at Bowman Gray Medical School. He is a former Bobcat football player and has served for many years on the Wake Forest University Board. Dr. Hopkins and his wife, Beth, reside in Winston-Salem.

Manuel Jessup
Manuel is a 1974 Lees-McRae graduate with an AS in Business Administration;  a graduate of University of South Carolina; and  he completed his graduate work at Wake Forest University Babcock School of Business. He is currently the Senior Vice President of Human Resources for Tanger Properties located in Greensboro, North Carolina. Mr. Jessup has held numerous leadership roles in human resources with responsibility for domestic and international operations in Asia and Latin America. He is also an ordained minister and, for the last seven years, has had pastoral responsibility for churches in North Carolina and Virginia.

Harvey Lowd Harvey Lowd
Mr. Lowd and his wife Jan are residents of High Point, North Carolina. He is the former President and CEO of Kao Specialties American (chemical supplies). He is currently a consultant with HLL Consulting.
Dianne May Dianne May
Mrs. May, originally from Detroit, Michigan, attended Wayne State University and Oakland University. Mrs. May lives in Bonita Springs, Florida and Linville Ridge. The Daniel and Dianne May Wildlife Rehabilitation Center at Lees-McRae is named in their honor.
Bob Meier Bob Meier

Bob Meier is President and CEO of Northern Trust – Georgia. Prior to joining Northern Trust in 1997, Bob was associated with NationsBank where he managed a portfolio of commercial loans and worked with high net worth families and business owners in southwest Florida. He attended Lees-McRae College and received a BA degree in Economics from Wake Forest University.  Prior to his banking career, Bob served on active duty as a U.S. Naval Officer and retired from the Naval Reserves in 1997.

Sandra Moss
Sandra and husband, Bob, reside in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, and own Moss & Associates Construction.  They also have a summer home in Elk River.  Mrs. Moss has served as a community volunteer for many organizations.

Philip Myers
Phil attended Ohio University and graduated in 1967 from University of Cincinnati with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Commerce. He began his banking career in 1962 as a mortgage loan officer with Loveland Mutual Savings & Loan, an owned subsidiary of American Financial Corporation, in Loveland, Ohio. For the next 40 years he worked for American Financial Corporation in various positions until his retirement in February, 2002, where he served as Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Credit Officer since 1984.

Current Board and Advisory responsibilities include Director of Union Savings Bank, Cincinnati, Ohio; Trustee, Cincinnati Zoo Foundation; Trustee, Grandfather Home for Children; Consultant, Northcreek Mezzanine Fund, a Small Business Investment Company; and Board Chairman of the Camargo Hunt Club in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Philip and his wife, Julia, have a home in Cincinnati, Ohio and are residents of Elk River Club.

Neil Ramo
Mr. Ramo and his wife, Marilyn, reside in Coconut Grove, Fla. and Linville, N.C. He is the former Executive Vice President of Lord and Taylor Department Stores and former President of Carson Pirie Scott Department Store.

Chuck Raymond Chuck Raymond, Chairman of the Board of Trustees

Chuck resides at Grandfather. He has been the CEO/President of Horizon Lines, Inc., a shipping firm from 2003 to 2011; CEO/President of CSX Lines, a containerized shipping division of CSX Corporation from 2000 to 2003; and Chief Transportation Officer for Sea-Land Service, Inc., a transportation division of CSX Corporation from 1988 to 1999. Chuck enjoys sailing, golf, and reading.

Elizabeth Roberts
Ms. Roberts has been involved in international finance for a good portion of her career. Prior to retirement in 2012, she was the Director of the Financial Stability Institute at the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland.  “Betsy” resides in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Sandy Rouse

Sandy Rouse

Sandy Kinney Rouse attended Lees-McRae College. When she retired from banking in 1994, she was working for Mercantile National in the National and International Commercial Lending Divisions, Capital Markets, and Credit Departments.

Sandy and her husband, Tommy, reside in Dallas with their two French Bulldogs, Annie and Gracie. They enjoy traveling and spending time at their North Carolina mountain home with family and friends.

Rev. Theophilus "Feild" Russell

Theophilus Feild Russell, “Feild”, grew up in the church manse, the youngest child of a Presbyterian minister. After graduating from high school in Fort Smith, Arkansas, he completed his BA at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia and acted upon his own call to ministry by enrolling at Union Theological Seminary in Virginia and earning an M. Div.

Feild served Presbyterian (USA) churches in McConnellsburg, PA, Valdese, NC, and Yorktown, VA, and has been active in leadership roles within each presbytery as well as in each community. He is presently the Designated Pastor at Banner Elk Presbyterian Church, a position that began as Interim Pastor in 2012.

Feild was married for 26 years to the Rev. Jenny Helms Russell, who passed away unexpectedly in December 2012.  Daughters Kate, of Roanoke, VA, and Anna, of Banner Elk, complete the family.

Mitchell Setzer
Representative Setzer is in his ninth term in the North Carolina House of Representatives.  He is also the Vice President, Corporate Secretary and co-owner of Smith, Setzer and Sons, Inc., manufacturers of concrete and corrugated metal materials.  Representative Setzer is a 1985 Lees-McRae graduate.

Ronald Soldo
Ron holds a MBA in Finance and Accounting and serves as President/Owner/CEO of The Geiger Companies, a family business that became one of the largest horticultural distribution companies in the USA with five locations.  Mr. Soldo lives in Hilton Head with his wife, Mary Ann, and is a new member at Linville Ridge.

Ken Sullivan Ken Sullivan
Capt. Sullivan served 28 years in the U.S. Navy. Prior to his military service, he was a 1959 LMC graduate and also attended High Point College, graduating in 1961 with a BS degree in Industrial Management. He was a U.S. Navy Fellow to University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, receiving an MBA in 1974, and a graduate in Strategic Studies at the U.S. Naval War College, graduating in 1980. After his military service, Mr. Sullivan enjoyed a second career as Director of Operations for BJS International until his retirement. He lives in Chapin, South Carolina with his wife, Ann.
McNair Tornow W. McNair Tornow, Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees
Born and reared in Laurinburg, North Carolina, Mr. Tornow and his wife, Debi, now reside in Winston-Salem and have a retirement home on Beech Mountain. A graduate of Wake Forest University Law School, he commenced the practice of law circa in January 1972. The law firm of Tornow & Kangur, LLP with T. Thomas Kangur, Jr., Partner was established in June 1997.

Jim Ward
Mr. Ward founded the Ward Development Company and has renovated or built townhouses, condominiums and shopping centers. He and his wife, Patricia, reside in Wellington, Fla and Banner Elk, NC. 

Murray White
Murray White, III graduated from Gardner Webb University in 1981 with a BS in Business.   He is the President and majority owner of Murray White Insurance Agency located in High Point, an independent insurance agency specializing in commercial and personal insurance.  This is a third generation, family owned and operated business since 1937.

Murray serves as a board member on Crime Stoppers of High Point, Professional Insurance Agents of North Carolina, North Carolina Insurance Underwriting Association, and the Triad Rotary Club. He and his wife, Starla, have one son, Murray White, IV and recently added grandson, Murray White, V to the family.

Barbara Whitton Barbara Miller Whitton
A retired small business owner in Charlotte, North Carolina. Mrs. Whitton and husband Jim are residents of Banner Elk and Ft. Myers, Florida.
Del Williamson Delbert L. Williamson
Mr. Williamson and his wife, Barbara, reside in Wellington, Florida and Banner Elk, North Carolina. He graduated from Finlay College with a BS in Electrical Engineering. In 1959, he joined the General Electric Company and held a variety of management positions for the several years. In 1998, he was appointed President of GE Power Systems Global Commercial Operations and held this position until retiring in 2004.