Board of Advisors

Board of Advisors

Cordelia Anderson

Owner, Cordelia Anderson Consulting (

Cordelia has 20+ years of experience creating strategic marketing and communications plans for highly visible organizations. As a consultant, she brings strategic marketing and communications solutions to clients through advanced researching, planning, execution and metrics evaluation. She also brings new approaches to branding, public relations, content strategy, advertising, social media, email marketing, thought leadership, content, crisis communications, events and team development.Prior to launching her consultancy, Cordelia served as Director of Marketing & Communications at Charlotte Mecklenburg Library for 10 years, where she provided strategic leadership in telling the Library's story, including oversight of marketing, public relations, customer engagement and branding.

Other roles she has held include Director of Marketing for Charlotte Preparatory School and Marketing Manager at Visit Cabarrus. In 2011, Anderson received the Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) designation from the Public Relations Society of America, which indicates mastery of the knowledge, skills and abilities needed to excel in communications and marketing.

In 2016, Cordelia’s team was awarded the first-ever Library Journal “Marketer of the Year” honor. The award was received for promoting a better understanding of public library services as essential to the Charlotte community and sharing information about these efforts with peer libraries.


Master of Arts, University of Richmond (VA)
Bachelor of Arts, Virginia Commonwealth University (Richmond, VA)


Henry Atkins

President, Atkins Properties, LLC Manager, Carolina Fresh, LLC (franchisee of Tide Dry Cleaners)

In addition to his current positions with Atkins Properties and Carolina Fresh, Henry has held senior positions with Faison and Cousins Properties.  He has deep experience with various Boards, serving on the Board of Directors/Board of Advisors of the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, and extensive service for UNC Charlotte, including the  Athletic Foundation Board, The University Foundation, Belk College of Business, and Facilities Development Corp.

Henry has earned a BS from the University of South Carolina, MBA from the University of Idaho and a Master's degree from MIT.

Henry is the grandson of J. Murrey Atkins, after whom the Library is named.


William Armstrong Branch

Chairman, J. Murrey Atkins Library Board of Advisors

Known to friends and enemies alike as Twig, Mr. Branch spends his days as a student in the graduate school at UNC Charlotte. A serial M.A. candidate presently chasing his third M.A. in Latin American studies, he obtained his prior two M.A. degrees in Religious Studies and History. Thirty years before starting graduate school at UNC Charlotte, Twig graduated from Dartmouth College, where he was a below average student.

Prior to attending UNC Charlotte, Twig worked in a family insurance business, which was exactly as boring as you might think. He and his very patient wife, Barbara, along with his wicked smart daughter Hilary moved to Charlotte from Upstate New York in 1994. Hilary lives in Chicago and works at the Art Institute. They continue to spend their summers in New York, as denizens of Chautauqua Institution. A passion for lifelong learning sums up Twig’s list of interests. As a poor sailor and indifferent gardener, he believes poor skills are no excuse for a lack of enthusiasm. Additionally, he has never been convicted of a felony and refuses to carry a balance on his credit card.

Barbara and Twig acknowledge an addiction to travel, with an emphasis on the unusual or anywhere they speak French. Finally, Twig has discovered a late in life talent for fundraising and over the past four years he has uncovered over $1,000,000 in gifts for UNC Charlotte.


William Brandon

Professor Emeritus, UNC Charlotte

Bill Brandon is Professor Emeritus from UNC Charlotte.  He was the Metrolina Medical Foundation (MMF) Distinguished  Professor of Public Policy on Health from 1994 to 2014.  He and his wife Pam recently made a significant contribution to the College of Health and Human Services through the creation of the Pam Fawcett-Brandon and William P. Brandon Endowment.  This endowment is intended to supplement existing resources and support for the MMF Professorship, and encourage the growth of research, teaching and service in health and environmental policy.


Ph.D., Political Science (Duke University)

M.P.H., Health Policy and Administration,  School of Public Health (UNC Chapel Hill)  

M.Sc., Politics - London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)  

B.A. (General Honors & Phi Beta Kappa): Philosophy & Political Science (The Johns Hopkins University)

Bill has earned numerous awards, including:

  • 2008 Recipient of the Harshini V. de Silva Graduate Mentoring Award, UNC Charlotte
  • Fulbright Scholar, U.S. Department of State, in Oman Medical College, 2008-9.
  • Elected Fellow of The Royal Institute of Public Health (FRIPH), November 2007 (now the Royal Society for Public Health (FRSPH)

In addition, he has an extensive record of scholarly publications, grants, fellowships and other funded activities.


Kathleen Clark


Kathleen Clark is a historian and published author with more than twenty years experience in higher education.  She currently works as a consultant to nonprofits and other organizations in Charlotte, NC, helping them to understand and tell their stories, as well as creating educational curriculums on topics of importance to nonprofits and businesses.  Clark’s publications include Defining Moments: African American Commemoration and Political Culture in the South, 1863-1913 and Georgia Women: Their Lives and Times, as well as a variety of essays on topics in southern politics and culture.  


Yale University:  Ph.D. in American Studies

Columbia University’s Teachers College:   M.A. in Teaching of Social Studies

Princeton University:     B.A. (Summa Cum Laude) in History, with Certification in American Studies



Paula Connolly

Professor of English, UNC Charlotte  

Paula is a Professor of English in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at UNC Charlotte.  Her research interests include:

  • Images of Slavery in American Literature
  • Multiculturalism in Children’s Literature
  • Visual Semiotics and Children’s Literature
  • Film and Popular Culture


  • Ph.D., University of Massachusetts at Amherst
  • M.A., B.A., Boston College


  • Slavery in American Children’s Literature, 1790-2010. (University of Iowa Press, 2013).
  • Winnie-the-Pooh and the House at Pooh Corner: Recovering Arcadia. New York: Twayne—Macmillan, 1995.

In addition, Paula has published numerous articles, serves on the editorial board of two scholarly publications, has obtained external funding to support her research, has been a Fellow as well as a Visiting Scholar, and is active in scholarly organizations in her field.


Jess George

Community Impact Manager for Google Fiber

Jess George is the Community Impact Manager for Google Fiber in Charlotte. Prior to joining the Google Fiber team, Jess worked for 15 years in the nonprofit field. She most recently served as the Executive Director of the Latin American Coalition, North Carolina's largest Latino immigrant integration and advocacy organization. As Community Impact Manager, Jess works with community leaders, organizations and neighborhoods to address issues of access, opportunity and digital inclusion. 

Originally from a tiny town in central New York state, Jess got her BA in International Politics from Penn State University. She has called Charlotte home for 18 years.


Karen Heuberger

Senior Vice President, Bank of America

Karen is Certified Records Manager and is on the Global Records Management team in the Information and Chief Data Office at Bank of America.  She previously worked as a librarian in corporate, academic and public libraries.  She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Wake Forest University and a Master’s Degree in Library Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  



Kathryn Hill

President and CEO, Levine Museum of the New South

Kathryn Hill joined Levine Museum of the New South as President & CEO in August, 2016, bringing thirty years of experience in museum management.  She has served on staff at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., Imagine It! The Children’s Museum of Atlanta, and at History Colorado in Denver.  She has consulted with dozens of museums and nonprofit organizations across the country, specializing in working with start-ups and organizations in the midst of change.  

Kathryn is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Mount Holyoke College and pursued graduate work at Northwestern University.  As a Gates Family Foundation fellow, Kathryn completed a course in state and local government leadership at Harvard University.


Peter Larkin

Adjunct Lecturer, English Department, UNC Charlotte

Peter has been an adjunct lecturer in the English Department at UNC Charlotte since 2013. He received both his J.D. and his Ph. D. in English Literature from the University of Texas at Austin and has taught in a number of universities and colleges before moving to Charlotte in 2009 with his wife and two daughters. A dedicated supporter of libraries, he has served on the board of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Foundation since 2011 and, in addition, he and his wife, Ashley, support the libraries of UNC-Chapel Hill and the Rare Book School at the University of Virginia. As to scholarship, his main focus is upon medieval literature and history, and his most recent publication is an edition of the middle English crusading romance, Richard Coer de Lyon. Other interests include hunting and playing golf.




Ann Newman

Faculty Emeritus, UNC Charlotte

A board certified specialist in psychiatric nursing, Ann Mabe Newman has served as a practicing therapist in the community for more than 40 years. She retired from UNC Charlotte in July 2012 after three decades of teaching. During her tenure as an associate professor in the College of Health and Human Services School of Nursing, Newman taught courses on psychiatricmental health nursing and health policy, and developed the University’s online graduate program in nursing education.

Throughout her distinguished teaching and research career, Newman received numerous honors, including the prestigious Bank of America Award for Teaching Excellence. She also served on the N.C. State Board of Nursing and as president of the University’s Faculty Council.

In the greater Charlotte community, Newman has served in volunteer positions with the PTA at Idlewild Elementary, Northeast Middle and Independence High schools. She continues to provide pro bono health care services to the community, including grief and mental health counseling, advice on obtaining access to health services and information on how to manage chronic illnesses. In 2010, she was named among the “50 Most Influential Women in Charlotte.”

Newman received her diploma in nursing from the University of Virginia before completing a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from UNC Charlotte in 1978. She went on to obtain a master’s in nursing from UNC-Chapel Hill and a doctorate in nursing from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.



Brandi H. Newman

Assistant Vice President in Human Resources at Carolinas HealthCare System.  

Brandi Newman is responsible for LiveWELL, the teammate wellness program, nursing workforce strategy, and workforce planning, including the national Health Career Pathways initiative. 

Prior to this role, Brandi held various leadership roles at Carolinas HealthCare System NorthEast for 11 years.  Most recently, she was Assistant Vice President for Women’s Services, responsible for operations of 8 nursing departments and strategic planning for Women’s Services in the Northern Region, including University and Lincoln.  Previously, Brandi served as Director of Women’s and Children’s Services for the Jeff Gordon Children’s Hospital and Nurse Manager of Mother/Baby, Lactation Services, & the Women’s Center.

Brandi holds a bachelor of science in nursing and a master of science in nursing with a focus on health care systems administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  She is active as adjunct faculty at UNC and is a former board member of the School of Nursing’s Alumni Board of Directors and the Office of Multicultural Affairs Advisory Board.  In 2010, she was awarded the School’s Graduate of the Last Decade Award. Most recently, Brandi was recognized as a Great 100 Nurse of North Carolina in 2015.



Gary Rautenstrauch

Former CEO and CIO of Baker & Taylor, CEO of Blackwell North America, CEO of SirsiDynix (all major library-related companies)

Gary spent most of his business career working with libraries. He was formerly the CEO and CIO of Baker & Taylor (a library supply company), CEO of Blackwell North America (an academic library supplier) and CEO of SirsiDynix (an integrated library systems software supplier). He has volunteered on the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Digital Strategy Project Steering Committee and currently the Atkins Library Institutional Repository Task Force.

Gary is President of the Founders’ Circle, Ltd., the Mint Museum craft & design affiliate, and also a member of the Mecklenburg County Information Systems and Technology Advisory Committee. He is an assistant swim coach on a year-round swim team at the Levine Jewish Community Center in Charlotte and is an avid runner and triathlete.

Gary earned an MBA at New York University and a bachelor’s degree in accounting at the University of Miami.


Clyda Rent

Former VP and Dean at Queens University, Charlotte

Clyda S. Rent has served as a university president, vice-president, or dean for over two decades. She is President Emerita of Mississippi University for Women (MUW). MUW is the first public college for women in the nation (1884) and became co-educational (1982) seven years before her tenure from 1989 to 2001. Dr. Rent was the first woman named as president there and in the state of Mississippi. At Queens University of Charlotte North Carolina, she served as a vicepresident and/or dean for ten of her seventeen years there. She was a tenured full professor at both institutions.

Dr. Rent served on two corporate boards of directors: Trustmark National Bank and the currently named Entergy/Mississippi (formerly MP&L.) She has served in leadership roles in civic, not-for-profit, and educational organizations. She was head of the board of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Arts and Science Council. She was a trustee of Charlotte Country Day School and the now named Blumenthal Performing Arts Center.

Dr. Rent has extensive service on advisory boards.  She twice served on the board of directors of the American Association for Colleges and Universities. She was elected President of the Southern University Conference. She served as a consultant/presenter/faculty for several of the NY based College Board initiatives for effective student recruiting programs and adult learning. Dr. Rent also served on the Commission on Colleges for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and on the Commission on Women of the American Council of Education. She was a gubernatorial appointee to the Southern Growth Policy Board. In Charlotte her board service included: Junior Achievement; Opera Carolina; and United Family Services of United Way. She served a four year term on the Mississippi Humanities Council and in 2002, the Honorary Chair of the Mississippi Women and Money Conference” developed and sponsored by of the Treasurer of the State of Mississippi.



Ty Shaffer

Attorney, Robinson Bradshaw & Hinson PA (litigation, real estate & land use)

Ty Shaffer is a shareholder at Robinson Bradshaw in Charlotte, where he has practiced since 2008. He maintains a diverse litigation practice, with a particular focus on eminent domain, land use matters and real estate disputes. Ty earned his JD from Vanderbilt and his BA at Centre College. He also holds MA degrees from Indiana and Florida State. In addition to his active professional involvement with the state and local bar associations, Ty is a member of the Young Leaders Council of United Way of Central Carolinas.


  • Vanderbilt University, J.D., 2008; Symposium Editor, Vanderbilt Law Review
  • Indiana University, M.A., 2005, Chancellor’s Fellowship
  • Florida State University, M.A., 2001
  • Centre College, B.A., 2000

Honors & Awards: North Carolina Super Lawyers, North Carolina Rising Star, business litigation, 2014-17



Molly Shaw

Executive Director of Communities in Schools (CIS), Charlotte

Communities in Schools is the nation’s leading dropout prevention organization, helping young people stay in school, successfully learn, and prepare for life by connecting needed community resources with schools.  The local CIS affiliate serves more than 5,200 students annually in grades K-12 in 43 Charlotte-Mecklenburg public schools.  

Molly is also the Founding Director of The Charlotte Teachers Institute (CTI).  She is a native of Durham, NC and a Davidson College graduate. In 2008, she earned a Master’s of Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Prior to joining CIS, Molly was the executive director of The Charlotte Teachers Institute (CTI), an initiative designed to strengthen teaching in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. She also spent several years at Davidson College serving in various roles, including Director of Parent Programs, Capital Gifts Officer and Annual Fund Assistant Director. 

She is married to David Webb, and in her free time she enjoys cooking, traveling, and spending time outdoors. 


Stan Sherrill

Vice President of Employee and Labor Relations, Duke Energy   

Stan leads the team responsible for development and implementing the company’s overall labor strategy, including the negotiation and administration of collective bargaining agreements and the handling of union grievances and arbitrations.  His team is also responsible for workplace investigations; severance program administration; policy, procedure and program development and interpretation; and compliance efforts, such as  affirmative action programs and equal employment opportunity initiatives.

Previously Stan served as deputy general counsel for Duke Energy, a position he has held since 2007.  He assumed his current position following the merger between Duke Energy and Progress Energy in July 2012.

Prior to joining Duke Energy in 2007, Stan was an attorney at the employment and labor law firms of Littler Mendelson, from 1998 to 2007, and Ogletree Deakins, from 1995 to 1998.

The Murphy NC native earned a JD degree from the University of North Carolina School of Law, where he was a member of the Law Review and the Order of the Coif.  He also earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from UNC Charlotte.

Stan and his wife Marla have a son and a daughter.


Catherine E. Thompson

Senior Counsel with McGuireWoods LLP


Catherine Thompson is a Senior Counsel with McGuireWoods LLP, specializing in business and complex commercial litigation.  She obtained a B.A. in history from Duke University in 1976 and a J.D. from Yale Law School in 1980. She has taught trial advocacy classes and is an emeritus member of the North Carolina Board of Law Examiners, the licensing authority for the practice of law in North Carolina. She was President of the Mecklenburg County Bar from 1991-92 and has been involved with the local and state bars for much of her career.  She also has been a strong supporter of legal services and is currently on the capital campaign board of advisors for the Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy. In recent years, Catherine has enjoyed being a part of the “salon” series and building relationships between UNCC and the local community.


Being a part of this board allows Catherine to return to her early interests in history and in archives.  From 1976-77, between her undergraduate and law school years, Catherine spent much of her time in the North Carolina State Archives, completing a project she started while in college to inventory and catalogue the materials related to women in the state.  This project resulted in the publication by the State Archives in 1977 of a Guide to Women’s Records.


Fred Wagner

Inventor, Partner in Enventys

By being born into a family of inventors in California, innovation and product starts were an everyday occurrence, Fred started his first metal arts business in 1976 and hasn’t slowed down since. Today he is involved in multiple businesses and startups from women’s clothing to parking equipment.

Fred is a long time member of Rotary International and active on the UNC Charlotte Board of Advisors for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. He is married to Dale Halton, a long-time supporter of UNC Charlotte and Atkins Library.


Anne Cooper Moore

Dean, J. Murrey Atkins Library

Anne Cooper Moore joined UNC Charlotte as Dean of the J. Murrey Atkins Library in June 2015. Previously she served as Dean of Library Affairs at Southern Illinois University (SIU) Carbondale from 2012-2015 and as Dean of Libraries at the University of South Dakota (USD) in Vermillion from 2008-2012. She also worked in libraries at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, George Mason University, and the University of Arizona.

She has served on the faculty in the College of Education at New Mexico State University, the University of South Dakota, and Southern Illinois University, and as adjunct faculty in Library and Information Science at Simmons College and the University of Rhode Island. 

She enthusiastically strives to shape facilities, collections, and services that meet the continuously evolving needs of a diverse and inclusive public university community. Her research interests include assessment of library activities, library facilities, and information literacy. She has designed study, collaboration, academic support, and classroom spaces in four different academic libraries.  

She mentors those pursuing careers in libraries through the American Library Association’s New Members Roundtable, Library Leadership and Management Association, Association of College and Research Libraries, and other mentoring and continuing education programs. She serves in the “Mentors for Moms” program in the ANSWER Scholarship in Charlotte.


  • Ph.D., New Mexico State University, 2001, Educational Management and Development
  • M.S.LIS, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 1983
  • B.A., Duke University, 1979, English and Spanish



Dawn Schmitz

Associate Dean for Special Collections and University Archives, J. Murrey Atkins Library

Dawn is the Associate Dean for Special Collections and University Archives, a position she has held since July, 2016. She began working at Atkins in 2012 as the Digital Programs Archivist before becoming interim head of Special Collections in 2014. Her responsibilities include administrative oversight and leadership for the Special Collections and University Archives department, whose members collect, preserve, and provide access to manuscripts, university archives, government documents, and rare publications. They conduct, collect, preserve and provide access to oral history interviews, and they create digital collections through digitization, the creation of metadata, and collaboration on digital repository development, They provide research and instructional services, conduct outreach activities, create exhibits, and assist University units with records management. Previous to coming to UNC Charlotte, Dawn worked at the University of California, Irvine and at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In 2016, she was accepted to the Archives Leadership Institute, a program funded through the National Archives and Records Administration.


  • University of Pittsburgh, Ph.D. and MLIS, 2004
  • University of Wisconsin, BA, 1989


Betty Ladner

Executive Director of External Relations, J. Murrey Atkins Library

Betty Ladner began work at Atkins Library in late 1999.  Her first position was that of Associate University Librarian for Access and Outreach Services, and her responsibilities included managing the Circulation, Reserves, Interlibrary Loan, and Stacks Maintenance departments.  In addition she served as the library’s liaison to the College of Health and Human Services, providing research and instruction services to that college.  Throughout these years, she began to focus her energies on External Outreach, as that was becoming a more prominent part of the University’s mission.  Following a change in the library’s organizational structure, she moved into her current role as Executive Director of External Relations, working closely with the Dean and with Advancement to build awareness of the library in the larger community.

Prior to her Atkins Library experience, Betty worked as a Clinical Medical Librarian for the Wake Forest University School of Medicine, working first in the Medical School library, then for the Northwest AHEC Library Information Network, serving rural communities in 17 counties of northwest North Carolina, and eventually becoming Director of this Network.   Previous experience included serving as an Information Specialist for the R&D Library at Lorillard Tobacco, and helping to start an Environmental Research Library for a state government agency in Chicago.

Betty received her B.A. in chemistry from the College of Mt. St. Joseph, and her M.A. in Library Science from the University of Chicago, where she was awarded a National Library of Medicine Fellowship.


Judy Lekoski

Judy Lekoski, Major Gifts Officer for the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences and the J. Murrey Atkins Library 

Lekoski brings decades of fundraising and communications expertise and an enthusiasm for applying that knowledge.

Prior to UNC Charlotte, Lekoski was executive director of institutional advancement at Craven Community College in eastern North Carolina. In this role, she oversaw the college foundation and the college’s marketing and communications and grants. She was responsible for all fundraising efforts including the campus and annual campaigns, major gifts, endowments, scholarships, and the Foundation’s premier event, the Community Fabric Awards.

Throughout her career, Lekoski has held positions at public and private institutions, including The Culinary Institute of America, Stewart International Airport in New York, the State University of New York at New Paltz and community colleges.

Lekoski has also been a volunteer for several nonprofits. She founded the Women’s Leadership Fund for the Orange County United Way in New York, implemented the “Raising More Money” fundraising model for the Sarah Wells Girls Scout Council, and raised over $75,000 in three weeks for an Extreme Makeover: Home Edition project in her community. She has also been involved in special events including the Orange Classic 10K Road Race, Star Spangled Spectacular, the Power of the Purse, and the Sullivan County Community College’s annual Women’s Conference.

Lekoski’s professional affiliations include the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). She earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from Fordham University and a master’s degree in liberal studies from Empire State College. She has moved to the Charlotte area with her golden retriever, Jackson.