Newly formed Board of Visitors to serve as ambassadors for WCU

The inaugural class of the newly formed Board of Visitors at Western Carolina University held its first meetings Thursday and Friday, Oct. 2 and 3. The board, established by WCU’s Board of Trustees earlier this year, is designed to serve as an advisory body to the university’s chancellor.

Members of the Board of Visitors will be advocates and ambassadors for WCU; promote and advance the mission, vision and strategic plan of the university; make WCU a philanthropic priority; and provide the chancellor and the Board of Trustees with advice and counsel on issues that are critical to the institution’s strategic interests.

Board of Visitors

Members of the Board of Visitors convene with university leaders. Front row, from left, are Penny Mawyer, Rebecca Schlosser ’73, Brenda Warlick ’76 and Donna Winbon ’80. Back row, from left, are Chancellor David O. Belcher, Board of Trustees Chair Teresa Williams, Jo Blaylock MS ’01, Bruce Moore ’83, Steve Couch ’85, Brandon Robinson ’05 MA ’10, Foundation Board Chair Brad Bradshaw ’76, Floyd “Ski” Chilton ’80, David Wiggins ’91, University of North Carolina Board of Governors member Joan MacNeill, and Frances Owl-Smith ’83, Alumni Association president.

“The board consists of friends of Western Carolina who have been serving as unofficial ambassadors for the university through their ongoing support and advocacy over the years,” said Jim Miller, WCU associate vice chancellor for development and alumni affairs. “Through the establishment of the Board of Visitors, these volunteers will play an even more significant role.”

The Board of Visitors will consist of up to 30 members elected by the trustees, along with five ex officio members – the chair of the Board of Trustees, the immediate past chair of the trustees, the chancellor, the president of the WCU Alumni Association and the chair of the Board of Directors of the Western Carolina University Foundation.

Ten members comprise the inaugural class of the Board of Visitors. Ten additional board members will be added in 2015, and 10 more members will come on board in 2016. Each class of visitors will serve initial terms of three years. The inaugural class of the Board of Visitors includes nine WCU alumni:

Jo Blaylock MS ’01, vice president of human resources and community relations for Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort.

Floyd “Ski” Chilton ’80, professor of physiology and pharmacology at Wake Forest School of Medicine and author of the book “Inflammation Nation.”

Steve Couch ’85, president of Couch Oil Co. in Durham.

Bruce Moore ’83, president of IJT Packaging in Huntersville.

Brandon A. Robinson ’05 MA ’10, an attorney currently practicing law in Durham.

Rebecca Schlosser ’73, a former teacher at a private school in Brooklyn.

Brenda Warlick ’76, business manager for an education field consulting firm founded by her husband, David.

David Wiggins ’91, a partner and accountant with Dixon Hughes Goodman’s Financial Institution Services Group and partner-in-charge of the Asheville office.

Donna Winbon ’80, a financial adviser for the Edward Jones firm in Raleigh.

In addition to the nine WCU alumni, the board includes Penny Mawyer, a former fashion designer and stylist who lives in Highlands.