Advisory Board

The Graduate School Advisory Board acts as advocates for graduate education and ensures their constituents are aware of the incredible breadth and depth, and multitude of graduate programs found at Charlotte’s urban research institution.

Graduate School Advisory Board Members

Bobby Arnold

Bobby Arnold
Vice President, Global CRM Solutions, Concentrix

Bobby is Vice President of Global Solutions at Concentrix, a company that uses innovative technology and worldwide resources to help clients define and execute their customer strategy.  Prior to Concentrix, Bobby was Vice President of Global CRM Solutions at IBM where he was responsible for the solutioning of custom and off the shelf IBM capabilities.  He earned a BSEET in Electronic Engineering Technology from Fort Valley State University, and completed graduate work towards an MSTM (Masters of Science in Technical Management) from Southern Polytechnic State University and Mercer University.

Graduate School Advisory Board Member Nicholas Beamon

Nicholas Beamon
Partner, OneTeam Leadership

Nicholas Beamon specializes in organizational culture and team development including the strategic integration of mergers and acquisitions.  Nicholas brings 20 years of corporate banking experience to his consulting work to help leaders, teams, and organizations reach their full performance potential.  In his role as a senior executive for a national bank he was responsible for strategy development, talent development and the performance of key business lines.  Nicholas has a finance degree from the University of South Carolina and an MBA from the McColl School of Business at Queens University in Charlotte, NC.  When he is not enjoying being immersed in his life’s work, he spends a lot of his free time coaching on the baseball field.

Graduate School Advisory Board Member Angela Broome

Angela Broome
CEO, Greater Carolina Chapter, American Red Cross

Angela joined the American Red Cross in 2011 as the regional Chief Executive Officer of the Carolina Piedmont Region.  Before joining the Red Cross, Angela spent 14 years with First Citizens Bank, most recently as the senior vice president, commercial banker and relationship manager.  She earned a MBA with a concentration in Management from UNC Charlotte and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Western Carolina University.  She has been actively engaged in the community with the YWCA, the Charlotte Chamber, LifeSpan and the Charlotte Philharmonic. 

Graduate School Advisory Board Member Eddie Bruce

Eddie Bruce
Partner, Fortium Partners LP

Eddie Bruce is a partner in Fortium Partners, a consulting firm of Chief Information Officers and Chief Technology Officers who provide IT solutions and leadership for organizations of all sizes, including organizations in the financial, health care, and educational fields.  Eddie was previously the CIO for Lincoln Harris and worked for Bank of America, Wachovia, and First Union before joining Fortium.  He has a BS in Civil Engineering from UNC Charlotte and an MS in Civil Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology.  Eddie has always been a strong advocate for graduate education at UNC Charlotte and its position as North Carolina’s urban research university.

Sharon Doerer

Sharon Doerer
Director of Talent Management, TIAA

Sharon is a proud UNC Charlotte alum, earning her MA in Sociology and her PhD in Organization Science from UNC Charlotte.  She is Director of Talent Management for TIAA, the leading provider of financial services in the academic, research, medical and cultural fields.  Sharon previously served as Manager of Talent Management and Senior Talent Management Advisor for TIAA.  She also served as Organizational Consultant/D&I Evaluation Researcher for UNC Charlotte.

Graduate School Advisory Board Member Susan Easley

Susan Easley
Director, Marketing Insights, Snyder’s-Lance, Inc.

Susan Easley is currently the Director of Marketing Insights for Snyder’s Lance.  She was previously the Director of Innovation for Chiquita, a Brand Manager for Kraft Foods, and a Senior Brand Manager for Lance, Inc.  Susan earned a BS in Commerce from the University of Virginia and an MBA from the Kenan-Flagler Business School at UNC Chapel Hill.

Graduate School Advisory Board Member Beth Benton

Beth Herrington
Senior Vice President, Corporate Banking, Atlantic Capital Bank

Beth is Senior Vice President of Corporate Banking at Atlantic Capital Bank.  She has more than 14 years of broad financial services experience and advises middle market companies and their owners on both the personal and corporate side. She has extensive expertise in Credit Products, Treasury Management Services, International Banking, Asset Based Lending solutions, Institutional Investments, and Derivative Products. Beth holds a Master of Business Administration from Appalachian State University and a B.S.B.A. in Management Information Systems from UNC Charlotte.  She is also an active board member of the Community School of the Arts and Metropolitan Business Professional Women.

Graduate School Advisory Board Member Judy Heylmun

Judy Heylmun
President, Fore Sense + One

Judy Heylmun, President of Fore Sense + One, a consumer and product research consulting firm, assists marketing and R&D in designing and implementing customized research programs directed at understanding how individuals respond to the sensory properties of food and non-food items and linking those properties to successful product design. Judy has extensive experience in R&D working for Pepsi Cola, Nabisco Brands and Life Savers. Consulting at Sensory Spectrum as Vice President of Business Development she developed the consumer research program including establishing two testing locations.  Judy earned her BS from SUNY at Oneonta and her MBA in Marketing from Pace University. 

Graduate School Advisory Board Member Addy Kapur

Addy Kapur
CEO of and co-founder of

Addy is a technologist with over 20 years of software design and development experience. He spent most of his career building enterprise software and web applications used by millions of users. He is the founder of, an online appointment scheduling website, and, which develops video communication tools for companies and individuals, such as video email messaging.  Addy has an MBA from Walsh College in Michigan.  Addy was the winner of the 10th annual Five Ventures Challenge with

Graduate School Advisory Board Member George Ladner

George Ladner
Owner and President, Altum, Inc.

George is President of Altum, Inc., a private equity advisory firm, and has appointments to the Board of Directors of Fletcher International, Richcourt Management Companies and Richcourt Funds.  George completed his undergraduate work at the University of Michigan and received his MBA from the University of Chicago.  Prior to establishing Altum, he formed two companies (an international direct marketing firm and an internet-based sourcing/distribution entity) and was CFO of a printing company and a software services company. 

Graduate School Advisory Board Member Ellen Linares

Ellen Linares
Financial Planner, HF Financial

Ellen is a Financial Planner helping clients prepare for milestone life events, specializing in disability income and long-term care insurance protection.  Ellen has received the National Quality Award from the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors for seven years.  She is an active member of NAIFA, and she holds several leadership positions in the community, such as NAWBO (National Association of Women Business Owners), Room at the Inn, YMCA, and Collingswood Language Academy. Ellen attended Cornell University and holds certifications in CLU, ChFC, and ChSNC. 

Graduate School Advisory Board Member Jeff Petry

Jeff Petry, Chair

Jeff has been responsible for developing and executing fully integrated plans to drive long-term growth for corporations.  He has been instrumental in building strategic partnerships across the healthcare industry.  He most recently was the Chief Marketing Officer at Premier Inc. in Ballantyne.  Jeff received a BA in economics from Davidson College. 

Blair Shwedo

Blair Shwedo
President, SouthEastern Petroleum Systems, Inc.

Blair is President of SouthEastern Petroleum Systems, Inc., a company that provides service, sales and installation of petroleum and energy handling equipment.  Blair is also the Chairman of the Charlotte U.S.Army Community Advisory Board, which assists the Army by educating the community about Army programs, opening doors to recruiters, and helping tell the Army story through local media.  He is also a past president of the Petroleum Equipment Institute.  Blair earned his Bachelor’s in Business Administration from UNC Chapel Hill.

Graduate School Advisory Board Member Rebecca Whitener

Rebecca Whitener, Vice Chair
Accountant, Consultant and Entrepreneur

Rebecca is a CPA and received an MBA degree, a BS degree in Accounting and a BA degree in Psychology from UNC Charlotte. Over her career, she has served as a Director of Internal Audit at UNC Charlotte, a Principal in IBM’s Global Security and Privacy Services, Vice President and Chief Risk Officer for Electronic Data Services (EDS) and a co-founder of Fiderus Security and Privacy Services. She has also been a Consultant on IT Security and Risk Management, and an accounting lecturer in UNC Charlotte’s Belk College of Business. Rebecca is also a member of the UNC Charlotte Foundation Board of Directors and Chair of the Foundation’s Audit Committee.