2 alums among appointees to WCU board

The University of North Carolina Board of Governors has appointed three new members to the Western Carolina University Board of Trustees, including two WCU alumni. Serving four-year terms on the board are Patricia B. Kaemmerling ’71, co-owner and chief financial officer of Access Computers Inc., of Norcross, Ga., and Wardell C. Townsend Jr. ’75, an executive mentor and a former assistant secretary with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, of Silver Spring, Md. They join Carolyn L. Coward, an attorney with the firm of Van Winkle Law Firm of Asheville as Board of Governors appointees.

Kaemmerling previously served on the Western Carolina University Foundation Board of Directors. She and her husband, David, in 2007 pledged an estate gift to WCU to create endowed professorships, scholarships and program support, directing the contributions to go to areas including education and engineering technology. ACI, the firm she co-founded in 1989, specializes in computer-integrated systems design.

In a long career in the public and private sectors, Townsend has served as a projects director for congressmen in North Carolina and Ohio, chief of staff to U.S. Rep. Mike Espy of Mississippi, senior policy adviser for Bill Clinton’s Presidential Transition Team and assistant secretary for administration at the USDA. Today, he is president of his own firm, the Townsend Dantai, with businesses centered on information technology services, general management consulting and executive coaching.

Coward, a graduate of the University of Tennessee and the University of North Carolina School of Law, was president of a Western North Carolina-based interior design company before changing career paths to work on her law degree. She specializes in regulatory health care and employment law. Coward is a member of several community groups, including the board of directors of the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce and the Buncombe County Medical Society Foundation.