WAKE COUNTY – Wake Education Partnership, an independent public education advocacy organization, announces its executive leadership team for 2006-07. John McKinney (shown here, near right), director of corporate and external affairs of BellSouth, has been elected chair of the board of directors, and Virginia Parker (shown here, far right), president of Inspire! Leadership Group, will serve as chair-elect.

Other officers include: J. Blount Williams, president and owner of Alfred Williams & Company, as immediate past chair; Andi Curtis, public affairs manager at Time Warner Cable, as secretary; E. Gordon Brown, Jr., CFO for Alfred Williams & Company, as vice chair of finance; Diogenes Ruiz, president/CEO of The Ruiz Agency, as vice chair of communications and marketing; Benjamin S. Goldstein, president of The Advisory Group, as vice chair of fund development; A. Marty Clayton, manager of community relations for Progress Energy, as vice chair for leadership and professional development initiatives; Hayden J. Silver III, attorney with Kilpatrick Stockton, LLP, as vice chair for research and advocacy initiatives;Jeff D. Merritt, eastern regional director of governmental affairs with KB Home, as vice chair for community engagement initiatives; Michael D. Olander, president and CEO of Apple Gold Group, as vice chair of long-range strategy; and Russell Killen, partner with Parker, Poe, Adams & Bernstein, as board attorney. Members at-large are James B. McClure, vice president of display advertising with The News & Observer; Syliva Hackett, vice president of human resources for Rex Healthcare; Patti Gillenwater, president of Elinvar; and John C. Boling, executive director of philanthropy and community service at SAS Institute.

In addition to Ruiz and Hackett, other new members named to the Board of Directors include: John Erwin, executive vice president with AXA Advisors; Tom Skelton, CEO of Misys Healthcare Systems; Jeff Townley, vice president for business transformation at Nortel; Leah Goodnight Tyler, community leader; and Rob Weaver, senior vice president with Bank of America.

For a complete listing of the Partnership’s current 2005-06 Board of Directors, visit http://www.wakeedpartnership.org/About_us/index.html. For high-resolution photos of the Partnership’s Board members, contact Cyndi Soter O’Neil at coneil@wakeedpartnership.org or 821.7609 ext. 28.

As an independent public education advocacy organization, Wake Education Partnership links community resources to strengthen public schools and improve academic achievement for all students. Three strategic goals guide the Partnership’s intent to effect change and connect the community with its public schools: to provide leadership and professional development for teachers, principals and administrators; to foster community engagement that leads to action; and to conduct research and advocacy on fundamental education issues and needs. For more information about Wake Education Partnership, please visit www.WakeEdPartnership.org.