Degree: Textile Chemistry ‘04 (now Polymer and Color Chemistry)
Hometown: Hickory, North Carolina
Current City: Raleigh, North Carolina
Profession: Director of Business Development, Barnhill Contracting Company
Council Position: Co-chair and DYALC co-creator (along with Chad Seastrunk, Dean Hinks and NCTF staff)
How did the Wilson College of Textiles prepare you for your career?
The College is a family within a huge university — you get the benefits of both. The College best prepared me for my career by validating that relationships matter. A technical background is a great foundation to have for any career, but the lessons on soft skills are what put me on the right path.
What does it mean to be a member of the Dean’s Young Alumni Leadership Council?
The dean was my professor during my time at NC State. Like everyone who took his classes, I loved the way he taught and cared for each of his students. I have been involved with the NCTF since graduating. Chad and I were in the same class and had been brainstorming what we could do to help the College and the Foundation endure. I think that I can speak for both of us when I say that it is difficult to calculate all of the benefits that College provided for us. When the dean was given the nod as interim and then the full position, Chad and I were ecstatic and we had a couple of conversations with him about his vision. His vision aligned with what Chad and I had been discussing for months — and here we are with the DYALC.
The College and the Foundation gave so much to me that I have this desire to give back. Time and treasure are the most difficult things to give and my family and I want to make sure that we give both. The Council is vital to the continual improvement of the College, the Foundation and the University. Engagement is more important than fundraising; when you have engagement, the funds follow. Having an audience with the dean and then having an avenue to help him achieve his vision gives me pride and a sense that I am helping the College endure.
What do you see in the future for the Wilson College of Textiles?
I see it sustaining its prestige and boosting its reputation as the very best in the world. We need the engagement of both our young alumni and our older alumni to balance the responsibility of growing the Wilson College of Textiles. We need that engagement so the College can continue to be on the cutting edge of innovation and collaboration with other industries and within the university, other colleges.