WakeEd Partnership Expands Board of Directors

For thirty-five years, WakeEd Partnership has been a convener of industry leaders and talented educators, creating new partnerships each year through award-winning programs and advocacy efforts that improve public education in Wake County. The past year brought exciting growth, as the support of our business community reached more schools than ever before – 75 to be exact.

This impact would not be possible without the support and leadership from WakeEd’s Board of Directors. This group of local leaders provides expertise, perspective, and a passion for public education that drives our organization forward. That is why we are excited to introduce nine new members, who have joined the Board of Directors in 2018.

Dr. Seth Carruthers, LORD Corporation
Dr. Seth Carruthers is the Director of Global Technology for the chemical adhesives and coatings division of Lord Corporation. He is responsible for teams of STEM professionals in research, development, and technical service for global product lines that primarily service automotive, electronics, and industrial markets. These teams constantly work with colleagues and customers in Asia, Europe, and the US. Seth graduated from Wake County Public Schools, earned a Chemistry degree from NC State University, and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin.  Seth has prior work experience in the microelectronics industry and with a startup company developing fuel cells. Seth and his wife, Erin, have two boys in Wake County Public Schools.

Betsy Reade Creech, Kane Realty Corporation
As the Director of Talent at Kane Realty Corporation, Betsy Reade leads the development of talent acquisition solutions. Her responsibilities include strategic design, employment branding, workforce planning and exclusive operational excellence in accordance with Kane Realty’s mission and values. Betsy manages the entire selection process to include sourcing, interviewing, preparing and extending offers, and successful on-boarding for new team members. Betsy Reade also focuses on ensuring the team’s development of skills and capabilities to support the growth and evolution of Kane Realty while retaining and developing the company’s employees.

Betsy Reade has been involved in Human Resources her entire professional career and has enjoyed contributing as a leader and consultant working in a variety of settings including large global companies and smaller, fast-paced, growing organizations.

Betsy Reade attended UNC-CH where she received her BS in Industrial Relations and Psychology. Betsy Reade is a member of the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) and has her SPHR and SHRM-SCP designations. She is a member of WorldatWork and CAI’s HR Peer Learning group. Betsy Reade serves as a Deacon at White Memorial Presbyterian Church where she and her husband have been active members since 1988. In her spare time, she enjoys time with her family anywhere, but preferably at the North Carolina coast.

Carey Hunter, Principal Financial Group
Carey is a Registered Representative with Principal Securities, Inc., a Senior Financial Representative for Principal Financial Group®, as well as a Lifetime Member of the Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT).  He has 25+ years of experience working with small to medium sized businesses, helping them to design and implement both qualified and non-qualified plans.  A Raleigh native, he is a graduate of N.C. State University with degrees in Business Management and Economics.  He is licensed in Life, Health, and Long-Term Care Insurance and has his FINRA Series 6 & 63 securities registrations.

When Carey is not working, he enjoys a very active family life with his wife, Janey, and four children, John, Katie, Sarah Paige & Logan.  He is a member of Hayes Barton United Methodist Church in Raleigh, serving on the Stewardship and Building Committees.  He also serves as a board member for the Triangle YMCA, Meredith College School of Business, and State Employees Credit Union-Blue Ridge Road Branch.

Curt Ladig, Delta Dental of North Carolina
Curt Ladig, CPA, named President and Chief Executive Officer of Delta Dental of North Carolina in January 2011, has a broad background in the healthcare benefits industry. Prior to joining Delta Dental of North Carolina, Mr. Ladig served from 1997 as the Chief Operating and Financial Officer of Delta Dental of Kentucky. He has also worked for Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield in Kentucky as the Executive Director of Audit Services. He began his career with Ernst & Young, serving many clients in the healthcare industry.

Mr. Ladig received a BS in Business Administration and Accounting from Indiana University Bloomington. He currently serves on the boards of Leadership North Carolina (Treasurer), the Alice Aycock Poe Center for Health Education, and the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce. In Kentucky, he served on the boards of United Way, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Community Foundation of Louisville, Leadership Kentucky, Greater Louisville, Inc. and the Kentucky Employee Safety Association, Inc.

Dana Martinez, Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce
As the vice president of Government Affairs at the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, Dana Martinez heads the lobbying arm of the Triangle’s largest nonprofit business membership organization representing two-thirds of the private sector employment in Wake County. In her role, she’s responsible for positioning the organization at the forefront of issues that impact the business community while increasing its visibility and credibility with elected officials and local community stakeholders.

Previously, Dana served as a liaison with the Governor’s NCWorks Commission which oversees the state’s workforce development system, crafts policy, and advises the Governor, General Assembly, state and local agencies, and businesses on how to strengthen the state’s workforce.

Dana has a graduate degree in public administration from Valdosta State University and a Bachelors of Art degree in political science from Morehead State University. She was a Division I collegiate softball player, an Academic All-American candidate and was recognized as the top OVC Scholar Athlete of the Year, the highest athletic/academic award available.

Mike Perera, IBM
Mike Perera is currently the Vice President, IBM Z Software Client Success.  In this role, he’s responsible for the worldwide Z Software sales and technical sales organization, as well as leading IBM’s Container Based Pricing strategy.

Prior to his current role, Mike was the Vice President, Z Software, responsible for IBM Z Software strategy, offering management, development & support including application runtimes, enterprise DevOps and Z Systems Management & Operational Analytics.  He’s also held the positions of Vice President, CICS, TPF and z Systems for IBM’s Application & Integration (AIM) Middleware Division and Director, DB2 for z/OS, where he was responsible for product management, development and support.

Before joining IBM, Mike held project management, product management and consulting positions at various companies.  He earned his MBA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an undergraduate degree in Applied Economics and Business Management from Cornell University. He is married with 3 kids who all keep him quite busy outside of work; however, he still enjoys sport fishing, golf, gourmet cooking, wine and traveling when he has a free moment.

 

Simmi Prasad, US Trust
Simmi Prasad is a Senior Vice President and Private Client Advisor for U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management. Simmi joined U.S. Trust in December 2017 from Wells Fargo Private Bank. She has over 15 years of experience working with ultra-high net worth and high net worth multi-generational families, business owners and non-profit institutions. She leads a team of specialists in investment management, credit and banking, wealth planning strategies, estate planning and asset preservation to help her clients navigate towards their life goals.

Simmi began her career with Wachovia in retail banking in 2002. A move to Wells Fargo Advisors in 2004 resulted in her working with affluent families on investments strategy and portfolio management. Simmi then moved to Wells Fargo Private Bank in 2011 as an investment management specialist, and was an integral part of the team that provided a holistic and full balance sheet approach to wealth clients. Her last position with Wells Fargo Private Bank was Vice President and Investment Strategist.

Simmi earned a Master of Business Administration degree with a concentration in finance from Campbell University in 2009. Simmi also holds the Certified Trust Financial Advisor designation and is a member of Institute of Certified Bankers.

Simmi is very active in the community and serves on several local boards.  She is president-elect for The International Entrepreneurs for Carolinas. She serves as a board member for Cary Community Foundation, and is on advisory board for NCIAP- People’s Medical Care.

Dickens Sanchez, Clean
Dickens Sanchez is the Associate Director of Business Development for Clean located in Raleigh, NC.  Ms. Sanchez works hand-in-hand with Clean’s CEO and account management department to proactively identify and explore prospect leads, identify growth opportunities with existing clients, and build awareness of the agency outside of their footprint. Having worked in film and video production, account management, and marketing roles on the client side, she brings a wealth of experience and understanding from just about every stage and perspective of the agency-client relationship. Ms. Sanchez has worked at Clean since November 2012.

Ms. Sanchez has worked in the marketing industry for almost ten years. She is a Raleigh native who has traveled extensively and lived in such varied locales as New York, London and Sun Valley, Idaho. She is actively engaged in the Triangle community as a volunteer and currently Chairs the Marketing Advisory Council for WakeEd Partnership. Ms. Sanchez graduated from Elon University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications.

Andrew Zukowski, UNC Rex Healthcare
Andy was named the Chief Financial Officer for UNC REX Healthcare on August 22, 2016.  In this role, he helps guide a growing health system with nearly $1 billion in annual revenue and more than 5,800 co-workers.  Prior to joining UNC REX, he served as Associate Chief Financial Officer for five years at the University of Michigan Health System in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He oversaw all financial aspects of the Hospitals and Health Centers division, with a $2.5 billion operating budget.

Andy was an accounting major at the University of Toledo and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. He went on to earn a Master’s in Business Administration from Eastern Michigan University. Andy and his wife, Amanda, have three children.

“We are proud to welcome each of these exceptional leaders to the WakeEd Partnership Board of Directors,” says Steve Parrott, president of WakeEd. All nine members will contribute their knowledge, passion, and skills to the board’s efforts to prepare Wake County students to succeed in a changing workplace.

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