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Cowell, Janet

janelcowell2May 12, 2014

North Carolina State Treasure

Janet Cowell is North Carolina’s popularly elected Treasurer and is the first woman to hold the office. With over 20 years of private and public-sector financial leadership, Cowell oversees more than 80 billion dollars in pension investments for the more than 875,000 teachers, firefighters, and public employees in North Carolina. As Treasurer, she manages the 32nd largest public pension in the world.

 

While many public plans are struggling to meet financial obligations, North Carolina’s pension system is ranked 2nd in the nation. In 2013, Treasurer Cowell was named one of the top 25 public pension executives in the world by Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute, and is one of only two United States fund managers to rank in the top 25 globally.

Under Cowell’s executive leadership, North Carolina is one of only nine states in the country to earn a AAA bond rating by all three rating agencies – the ultimate good housekeeping seal of approval for fiscal strength. North Carolina also has the most AAA-rated local governments of any state, which keeps borrowing costs for taxpayers low for schools, roads, and other needed infrastructure.

 

Cowell is a member of the State Board of Education and a champion for improvements in education, including financial education. Because of her efforts, North Carolina’s Kindergarten through 12th grade students began receiving financial education as part of their curriculum in 2012.

 

Recently, Cowell stepped up to oversee the State Health Plan, ensuring access to affordable health care for more than 650,000 North Carolina families. The perfect spokesperson for the healthy, active lifestyles that the Health Plan promotes – when she’s not in the office, Janet can be found running, biking on our state’s beautiful trails, or occasionally completing military-style endurance trainings for charity.

 

Cowell is a Wharton School of Business alumna, the Chair of the State Banking Commission, and recently chosen as an Aspen Institute Fellow. Over the past year, she has been featured on CNBC, FOX Business, Bloomberg TV and others for her solid fiscal leadership, and for North Carolina’s unique financial successes among the national picture.

 

Now in her 10th year of elected office, and with the nation facing unprecedented economic challenges, Cowell continues the conservative debt management practices and solid economic development policies that keep North Carolina in secure financial standing.

 

She is proud to serve the citizens of North Carolina as State Treasurer and remains committed to working each day to build and maintain a fiscally strong and prosperous North Carolina, and a brighter future for all who call North Carolina home.

Curran, Valerie Paige

valeriecurranAfter stepping into that first dance class at the age of 6, Valerie knew that dance would be an important part of her life for a long time. Before attending NC State University to major in chemical engineering, she danced with the Land of the Sky Civic Ballet and Tap Company at Fletcher’s School of Dance in Asheville, NC where she performed lead roles in the Nutcracker as well as danced competitively in tap and jazz. At NC State, Valerie was a dancer and captain of the NC State Dance Team for 4 years.

After college, she danced professionally for the Carolina Cobras Arena Football team and then moved to Philadelphia to cheer professionally for the Philadelphia Eagles NFL team. While an Eagles cheerleader for 4 years and captain of the team for 2 years, she performed in the Super Bowl, in Bosnia and Kosovo for the troops stationed there, in Hong Kong in the Chinese New Year Parade, on tv shows such as Cold Pizza and Good Morning America, and was featured in publications such as FHM, Fantasy Football Magazine, and Sports Illustrated.

Valerie also has a knack for planning. While in Philly, she worked for Max and Me Catering at the National Constitution Center as a sales manager and wedding specialist.  There she planned weddings, bar/bat mitzvahs, and corporate events for clients such as Comcast, HBO, Subaru, KPMG, GSK, and Dikembe Mutombo.

Now back in Raleigh with her husband, Eric, and 3 dogs, Nuala, Sulley, and Cocoa Bean, Valerie is excited to combine her two passions and “Elevate” events with live performances!

About Elevate

Elevate was founded in 2010 on the idea of bringing together talented dancers in the Raleigh area to create an exciting and entertaining atmosphere at any special event. What started out as a shared dream and passion between director/choreographer Amy Bates and performer/planner Valerie Curran has quickly become a flourishing performance company providing entertainment to an array of events such as corporate meetings, bar/bat mitzvahs, weddings, concerts, nightclubs, trade shows, grand openings, festivals, and many other special events.

We can be seen performing most often in Raleigh, NC, Charleston, SC, and Charlotte, NC but our clients have hired us to perform at events all over the East Coast and beyond including Asheville, New Orleans, Orlando, Houston, Chattanooga, New York, Tampa, Atlanta, Columbia, Arizona, Aruba, Punta Cana, and Grand Cayman to name just a few.

Decker, Sharon Allred

January 13, 2014

NC State Secretary of Commerce

Sharon Allred Decker was appointed Secretary of Commerce by Gov. Pat McCrory in January 2013.  She brings more than 30 years of experience in business and commerce to the position.

After graduating summa cum laude from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Decker spent more than 17 years with Duke Power Company, now Duke Energy. She began with the company in consumer services and moved rapidly through the ranks to become the youngest and first female vice president in Duke Power’s history. Her work at Duke Power led to the creation of its 24-hour customer service center, an organization that still serves as a model for the industry.

 

Decker left Duke Power as Chief Communications Officer to become the founding president of The Lynnwood Foundation, which was created to restore the Duke Mansion in Charlotte as a conference center, and to begin the William States Lee Leadership Institute. While at Lynnwood in 1998, she also served as the chair of the Charlotte Chamber and was named Charlotte Woman of the Year. She moved to Rutherfordton in 1999 to serve as president of the Doncaster division of Tanner Companies.

 

In 2004, she created and served as the CEO of the Tapestry Group, a non-profit that helps individuals lead healthy lives in body, mind and spirit. In addition to her work with Tapestry, Decker is wife to her husband, Bob, a mother of four, a lay pastor in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and a student at the Christopher White School of Divinity, completing her Master of Divinity Degree with a concentration in Spiritual Formation. She completed an internship last year as Director of Graduate Ministries for the Center for Christian Study in Charlottesville, Virginia where she served as chaplain to students at the Darden School of Business and the UVA School of Law. She remains a member of the Board of the Center for Christian Study. Decker has served on the boards of three Fortune 500 companies

Demby, Claude Z.

October 23, 2014

Claude Z. Demby

The pursuit of an ever-higher mark and drive for excellence are traits that Mr. Demby has brought with him to every employer and to every professional challenge in his career. Known for being a transformational leader linking the power of talent, culture and innovation with the spirit of entrepreneurialism, his history of success in turning around and growing companies on a global is extensive.

 

At L&L Products, a manufacturer with operations and technical and sales offices in 14 countries spanning four continents, in his role as president and COO, Mr. Demby was a visionary and a driving force for the fastest revenue and growth period in the company’s 50-year history, helping grow revenue more than 100% while concurrently raising profit margins to 300% that of the industry benchmark.

 

More recently, as the president and CEO of Noël Group, an international group of manufacturing businesses employing people in locations across the U.S., China, and Europe, his change leadership and contributions continued. Mr. Demby took the company through a 180-degree turnaround. Faced with a failing business that was in complete disarray, saddled with untenable debt and increasing financial losses, he pulled the company back from the edge of bankruptcy and transformed it into a growing, vibrant, healthy company well poised for continued profitable growth in the future.

 

Mr. Demby began his career as a process engineer with Proctor & Gamble and as a production manager with GE Plastics where he quickly distinguished himself as a leader when he gained buy-in from GE Company’s CEO for some major capital investment projects—projects that once implemented saved the company $1.5 million per year. Mr. Demby holds a B.S. degree in chemical engineering from the University of Delaware and an M.B. A. degree in Rensselaer Polytechnic University.

 

Deeply respected in both the business and local community, Mr. Demby currently serves as the Chair-Elect for the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce and is Chairman of the Board for the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond—Charlotte Branch. He also serves on the Board of Advisors for Duke-Raleigh Hospital.

 

Striving consciously to make a positive difference in the lives of the people he touches, and with a passion for learning and education, Mr. Demby and his wife are co-founders of Valour Academy, a private school that seeks to enfranchise a population of young men who otherwise have a less than 50% graduation rate from local public schools. Mr. Demby also embraces opportunities to apply his talents for speaking, teaching, leading, and motivating and has presented to audiences of young people as well as business people on the topics of “The 5 Secrets to Living an Extraordinary Life” and “The Extraordinary Lives of Ordinary People.”

 

Parents of five children, the youngest now in college, Claude Demby and his wife of more than 25 years currently live in Raleigh, North Carolina. Mr. Demby encourages connections through LinkedIn (www.linkedin/in/claudedemby) and can be reached at 248-495-3330 or by email claude@claudedemby.com.

Dorrance, Anson

April 18, 2013

Head Coach UNC Women’s Soccer Team

When Anson Dorrance was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame on August 2, 2008, it marked one more milestone moment in the career of a man whose coaching prowess became legendary at a young age. Because Dorrance has not yet retired from his coaching career, he was only eligible for election on the “Builders of the Game” ballot and he won election to the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility on that ballot.

 

Like fine wine – with age – the coaching career of Anson Dorrance only gets better. Dorrance proved that again in 2009 as he led his team successfully through one of the most competitive College Cup fields in history as the University of North Carolina won its 21st overall national title and its 20th NCAA crown. Dorrance thus became the first coach in NCAA history to win 20 championships coaching a single sport.

 

Head coach of the North Carolina women’s soccer program since its inception in 1979, Dorrance has built and guided a well-oiled winning machine. Under his direction, the Tar Heels have collected national and conference championships at a stupendous rate, compiled an overall record staggering in its numerical verity, established records likely never to be approached and procured the esteem befitting a dynasty.

 

At an institution familiar with such incomparable achievement, especially with regard to its storied basketball program, it might be possible to think that Dorrance’s accomplishments could somehow fade to the background. But what he has done in Chapel Hill is simply impossible to disregard.

 

Thus, when an expert panel employed by ESPN announced its list of the Best Coaches of the Past Quarter Century on July 28, 2004 – coincidentally headed at the No. 1 spot by legendary Carolina basketball coach Dean Smith – it came as no big surprise that another deserving Tar Heel mentor made the list.

 

That Dorrance, who was ranked No. 24 on the list, was one of only two coaches in the prestigious collection to coach an Olympic sport on the collegiate level only speaks louder about his recognized greatness. More accolades were bestowed on Dorrance with his induction into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame on May 19, 2005 and to the National Soccer Hall of Fame on August 2, 2008. He earned those honors while still in the prime of his coaching career, further testament to his ongoing legacy.

Ellis, Lee

Lee Ellis2May 13, 2013

President – Leadership Freedom
Early in his career, Lee served as an Air Force fighter pilot flying fifty-three combat missions over North Vietnam. In 1967, he was shot down and held as a POW for more than five years in Hanoi and surrounding camps. After the war he served as an instructor pilot, chief of flight standardization/evaluation, and flying squadron commander. Additionally he commanded two leadership development organizations before retiring as a colonel. Lee’s combat decorations include two Silver Stars, the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star with Valor device, the Purple Heart, and the POW medal.

 

Lee Ellis is President and Founder of Leadership Freedom® and FreedomStar Media™. For more than fifteen years he has served as an executive coach and a corporate consultant in the areas of hiring, teambuilding, leadership development, and succession planning. His clients include Fortune 500 senior executives and C-Level leaders in a variety of industries. Since 1990, Lee has managed the development, validation, and internet deployment of several personality and leadership assessments that have been used by more than 200,000 individuals.

 

Lee has a BA in History and a MS in Counseling and Human Development. He is a graduate of the Armed Forces Staff College and the Air War College. Lee has authored or co-authored four books on leadership and career development. His latest book is entitled Leading with Honor: Leadership Lessons from the Hanoi Hilton. He and his wife Mary reside in Atlanta, GA and have four grown children and six grandchildren.

Foehl, Ph.D., Jamie

jamiefoehlJamie Foehl is a Senior Applied Researcher at the Center For Advanced Hindsight (CAH) – Dan Ariely’s Research lab at Duke University. Jamie joined the lab in 201l. Her first day of work was spent at a criminal justice center running dishonesty experiments with parolees. Her work focuses on applying Behavioral Economics to the real world. Jamie does field research and studies decisions people make about their money and their health. Today she will focus on decisions people make about whether or not to tell the truth.

No media or recording devices are permitted at NACEO meetings

Hare, Ph.D, Brian

brianhareDr. Brian Hare is associate professor of evolutionary anthropology at Duke University in North Carolina and a member of the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, which is a division of the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University, founded the Hominoid Psychology Research Group while at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, and subsequently founded the Duke Canine Cognition Center when arriving at Duke University.

Dr. Hare has published dozens of empirical articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals including Proceedings of the Royal Society, Current Biology, Nature Neuroscience, Science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, PLOS Biology, Animal Behaviour, Animal Cognition and the Journal of Comparative Psychology. His publications on dog cognition are among the most heavily cited papers on dog behavior and intelligence.

His research consistently received national and international media coverage over the last decade and has been featured in the Daily Mail, The Telegraph, The Economist, The New York Times, The New Yorker, National Geographic, Time, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Nature, Wired, Science magazine, CNN and ABC (Australia). He has been a frequent guest on radio programs including the BBC and American National Public Radio. He has also been featured in multiple documentaries from production companies such as National Geographic (U.S.), BBC (U.K.), Nova (U.S.), RTL (Germany), SBS (Korea) and Globo (Brazil). Dr. Hare is frequently invited to give lectures on his research on dog intelligence. For example, in 2009 he gave the keynote addresses at the annual conferences for both Assistance Dog Training Society and Association of Pet Dog Trainers, which are both among the largest dog training societies in the U.S.

In 2004 the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation named him a recipient of the Sofja Kovalevskaja Award, Germany’s most prestigious award for scientists under age 40. In 2007 Smithsonian magazine named him one of the top 37 U.S. scientists under 36.



No media or recording devices are permitted at NACEO meetings

Levitt, Sarah

sarahlevittSarah Levitt is a nationally renowned leadership expert, regularly invited to work with some of the world’s finest leaders, propelling them to even greater success and driving exceptional business outcomes. The leading authority on Magnificent Leadership™, Sarah’s clients optimize their talents and strengths within the chaotic, high stakes environments in which they lead. Described as a trusted and sounding board and guide, Sarah melds practical business acumen with keen listening and insightful questioning, creating unprecedented results. Her clients are corporate executives of Fortune 500 companies and their leadership teams and include multinational organizations, spanning the industries of chemical manufacturing, technology, commercial real estate, banking, healthcare, professional services, and more.

Sarah is sought as a speaker for international conferences and leadership summits. A sampling of her engagements include: American Bankers Association, Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Hewlett- Packard, BASF, Oracle, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Vornado/Charles E. Smith, and the New York Bankers Association.

Sarah conceived, created, and launched The Making Magnificence Project® and is author of the forthcoming book on this topic due out in 2017. She is a columnist for The Financial Manager and a lifelong learner with more than 20 years of business experience in strategy, operations, and organizational growth. An exemplar in leadership and business, Sarah grew her first company from start-up to capturing 40% of the NC market and was recruited to coach in the elite e-MBA program at UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School.

 


No media or recording devices are permitted at NACEO meetings

Malik, Steve

stevemalikSteve Malik is a visionary entrepreneur with three decades of health information technology experience and a pioneer in patient portals, electronic health records, and full risk managed care systems. He is also the chairman and owner of the North Carolina Football Club (formerly Carolina RailHawks) based in Cary, NC, and playing its home games at WakeMed Soccer Park. Malik bought North Carolina FC in October 2015, fulfilling a longstanding wish of the fans to bring the team under local ownership.

 

Malik’s arrival at the club marked a new era as it celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2016. Not only does Malik have deep ties to the Triangle area business community, he is also a passionate soccer fan having played in high school and coached at the youth level. His ambition is to bring the highest level of professional soccer to the Triangle.

 

In December of 2016, Malik took the first steps to fulfill his vision by announcing a series of initiatives that would bring the highest level of professional soccer to the Triangle. Malik announced a brand repositioning with the name change to North Carolina Football Club, his desire to secure a Major League Soccer franchise for the Triangle, the intention to build a 22,000-seat purpose-built stadium and his plan to bring a NWSL First Division women’s professional soccer team to the area.

 

On January 9, 2017 Malik announced the acquisition of the Western NY Flash of the NWSL bringing the team to the Triangle and renaming it North Carolina Courage. The NC Courage will begin play in April of 2017 at WakeMed Soccer Park.

 

Currently, Malik is Executive Chairman of Medfusion, a Cary, NC company he founded in 1996 and re-acquired in August 2013. Prior to this role, he was Senior Vice President of Intuit, and President and General Manager of the Intuit Health Group, the company’s fastest-growing business unit. He led the business unit’s initiatives to strengthen the relationship between physician practices and their patients by making communication and the ability to accomplish key tasks better, easier, and more efficient. Malik joined Intuit in May 2010 following their acquisition of Medfusion. In 2010, he was a finalist for Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

 

Under Malik’s leadership, Medfusion has grown from a medical website development company to the leading provider of enhanced healthcare communication solutions. His vision created a portfolio of solutions that let healthcare providers offer superior service to their patients while improving office efficiency and generating revenue. The US government now requires Malik’s vision in legislation to digitize the industry and reduce costs.

 

Malik earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration with honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is the principle in a venture capital firm investing in software and environmentally friendly technology opportunities primarily in the Southeast US. Malik has 4 children and enjoys soccer, fishing, and sailing in his free time.

 

No media or recording devices are permitted at NACEO meetings