Board Vice Chair
Assistant General Counsel
Self-Help Credit Union
As Assistant General Counsel for Self-Help Credit Union, Brandon is responsible for a variety of activities for the entire Self-Help family of entities including managing the organization’s litigation portfolio, overseeing the effective implementation of vendor management policies and procedures, and coordinating with internal business clients to negotiate legal agreements governing partner and vendor relationships to account for business needs, regulatory requirements, and legal risk tolerances. Prior to joining Self-Help Credit Union, Brandon served as Policy Counsel for the Center for Responsible Lending where he supported advocates around the county in state-level fights against predatory lending practices. In addition, he has served as Legislative Correspondent for Congressman G.K. Butterfield where he managed the Financial Services, Small Business and Ways and Means legislative portfolio; and conducted legal analysis on other policy issues. A graduate of Duke Law School, Brandon and his wife live in Durham, NC.
Communities In Schools of North Carolina
Chief Operating Officer
Ms. Cox is the vice president of communications for Communities In Schools of North Carolina. In her 20 years of experience as a public relations and government relations professional, she has managed a wide array of programs and projects in both nonprofit and government organizations to improve the consistency of message delivery and influence policy in both the NC General Assembly and the U.S. Congress.
During her professional career, Ms. Cox has worked for a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, the NC State Government, the United Way, and Communities In Schools. She continues to lead statewide marketing collaboratives, develop public policy, and create community outreach and grassroots advocacy programs.
Retired Public Health Social Worker
President-New Hanover County NAACP
Ms. Dicks Maxwell is the current President of the New Hanover County NAACP and District Director for the Walter B. White District of North Carolina NAACP. The District covers Bladen, Brunswick, Columbus, New Hanover, Onslow and Pender Counties. The North Carolina NAACP recognized her as District Director of the Year in 2015.
Ms. Dicks Maxwell is a retired Public Health Social Worker from Brunswick County Health Services. Public health has been her passion and career for the past twenty-five years. The North Carolina Public Health Association named her Public Health Social Worker of the Year in 2009. She was awarded a health Disparities Fellowship for 2010-2012 from the NC Wellness Trust Fund and Duke University Global Institute. She is also an Army veteran having served in Operation Desert Storm and past commander of the Wilmington National Association of Black Veterans
University Recruiting Business Partner
Ms. English is an University Recruiting Business Partner at Cisco Systems, managing the hiring strategy for recent college graduates and interns. She has also supported Cisco’s senior leadership team with budget management, policy governance, data analysis and strategy implementation. Before that, she was the Financial Analyst for the North Carolina Partnership for Children (NCPC), providing county-level data on the unmet needs of NC’s young children, calculating funding allocations of state funds, and managing annual budgets. Ms. English has also provided operational support for NC Early Childhood Foundation.
Ms. English received a bachelor’s degree in analytical finance and accounting from Wake Forest University
Coastal Horizons Center, Inc.
Treatment Operations Director
Ryan Estes, LCSW, LCAS, CCS is the Treatment Operations Director for Coastal Horizons Center, Inc. Coastal Horizons Center is a comprehensive mental health provider headquartered in Wilmington with an annual operating budget nearing 35 million. Ryan received his BA in Psychology and Philosophy from Wake Forest University and his MSW from University of North Carolina at Chapel. Ryan has been in the field for over fifteen years as a clinician and director. Ryan holds licenses in North Carolina as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Licensed Clinical Addiction Specialist. Additionally, he is a Certified Clinical Supervisor with the NC Substance Abuse Professional Practice Board. He is part of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers, a rostered Trauma Focused CBT clinician, and a national Protective Factors trainer. Ryan has written over 5 million in successful federal and state grants, and transitioned these programs to diversified sustainable funding creating a more comprehensive array of child mental health services in the greater Wilmington area. His current work is focused on program development, fiscal and policy oversight, as well as clinical and administrative consultation. Ryan serves on the National Family Preservation Network board and is the former state president for the National Association of Social Workers – North Carolina. Ryan is a part-time adjunct faculty member for the University of North Carolina at Wilmington in the College of Health and Human Services.
Durham Nativity School
Senior Director of Development and Advancement
Kim was born and raised in Eastern North Carolina until she left to go to the North Carolina School of Science and Math in Durham. She graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1999 and lived in seven states around the country before returning to make Eastern North Carolina her permanent home. Kim brings with her a wealth of knowledge in the field of Fundraising and Business Development. She joined Durham Nativity School in 2014 where she works to provide opportunities for children with an economic childhood similar to her own. Prior to her current role, she has worked in Fundraising for Teach For America and the American Heart Association. She also worked in the pharmaceutical sector for Pfizer Inc. as a territory manager in Atlanta, GA. She has been an active board member of various PTAs for over 10 years. Kim now resides in Wake Forest, NC with her family where she enjoys cooking and reading.
Becky’s lifelong education career began with a first job as a teacher’s assistant in a Head Start program in Sampson County. Subsequent positions have included work in public schools in Virginia and North Carolina, the NC Community College system, the Department of Public Instruction, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Division of Child Development– primarily with programs for young children at risk, literacy and teacher support, providing direct services as well as policy work. Ms. Johnson holds degrees from Duke University and the University of Virginia. Other active board affiliation includes North Carolina Museum of History Associates, executive committee and co-chair of membership committee.
Senior Communications Specialist
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
As a Senior State Communications Specialist at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Elaine strengthens the communications capacity of state advocacy organizations around the country. Before joining the Center, Mejia worked at Public Works: the Center for the Public Sector, advising and training leaders across the country on how to communicate effectively about the role of government and public policy. She previously served as the Director of the North Carolina Budget and Tax Center, where she led successful campaigns to increase state revenues to address budget shortfalls, raise the state minimum wage, and enact a state Earned Income Tax Credit. She also worked as a state and local government analyst in North Carolina. She holds an M.P.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a B.S. in Political Science from Texas A&M University.
Ms. Mejia lives in the town of Faison, NC, where she and her husband have restored two historic homes and are raising their two young sons
Anna Roberts has more than 15 years experience in the Public Relations, government relations and public affairs sector – primary in North Carolina – including as the communications director for the NC House in 2014 and most recently as the communications director for the successful Marsy’s Law for NC victims’ rights amendment campaign – that earned 62 percent of the statewide vote on November 6.
Anna has served as a communications consultant for dozens of nonprofit and private sector clients in recent years including the Golden LEAF Foundation as well as clients that have policy-related issues in a range of sectors including law enforcement, education, economic development, healthcare and agriculture among many others. She lives in Raleigh with her husband and three children who attend Wake County schools.
CEO of Healthy Blue
Vice President of Medicaid Segment at Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC
Jesse leads BCBS of NC’s Medicaid plan, providing overall strategic leadership to operationalize the new health plan in 2019. He serves as executive liaison between state regulators, legislators, community-based agencies and other stakeholders. Jesse has extensive leadership experience in Medicaid MCOs. Prior to joining Blue Cross North Carolina, he served as CEO of Trusted Health Plans Inc. in Michigan and CEO of Coordinated Health Mutual in Ohio. He has also had Executive leadership roles with Molina, Wellcare, and United Healthcare. Jesse served as the Health Policy Advisor for Rick Snyder for Governor in 2010. The first of his family to finish college, Jesse was born in Mississippi and lives in Cary with his family.
Deputy Executive Director
Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy
As Deputy Executive Director of ITEP, Meg coordinates ITEP’s federal and state tax policy agenda. Meg works closely with policymakers, legislative staff and state and national organizations to advise and provide research on policy solutions that will achieve fair and sustainable federal, state and local tax systems. Before joining ITEP in 2010 as the state policy director, Meg worked at the North Carolina Budget and Tax Center where her research and advocacy focused on the effect of state fiscal policy on low- and moderate-income North Carolinians. Her work in North Carolina included leading a successful campaign to enact a state refundable Earned Income Tax Credit. Meg has a Masters of Public Administration from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University, and lives in Durham with her family.