Candidates for Co-President
Joanne Whitney Hill RN MSN
Joanne received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Texas Christian University and a Master of Science in Nursing from University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. Joining the Navy in 1973 via the Nurse Corps Candidate Program, she served for 30 years as a Nurse Corps Officer, reaching the rank of Commander. Her first active duty assignment in North Carolina began at Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune in 1994, and she never left, retiring from Naval Hospital Cherry Point in 2003.
Subsequently, she worked briefly for Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune as a health educator, then taught high school health occupations in Onslow County for six years. Most recently, she served as the Research Administrative Officer at Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune, retiring at the end of March, 2017.
In addition to serving as co-president of Tar Heel Branch, she is also an active member of the Jacksonville Regional Branch, a member of Twin Rivers Branch and a new member of the NC Women’s Forum. She served as AAUW North Carolina State President from 2004-2006. She lives in Maysville NC with her husband Jim.
Christi Whitworth is Education Director at Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute, located in Rosman, North Carolina. She plans to strengthen the AAUW commitment to STEM Education Programming in North Carolina. She worked with gifted students and science education in Tennessee public schools before moving into informal education in 2005 while living in Texas. She has worked as a science educator and then Education Director at PARI since 2006. She has been a member of AAUW since 2010.
As Education Director at PARI, she maintains, manages and creates programming for PARI’s StarLab portable planetarium, science education, and outreach programs including homeschool programs, distance learning and citizen science programming. She also serves as the collaborative lead for the North Carolina Girls STEM Collaborative in affiliation with the National Girls Collaborative Project. The collaboratives work to connect programs and resources across the state of North Carolina in the effort to encourage, mentor and promote organizations that serve girls in STEM fields and builds strong connections between the girls and future careers.
Candidate for Treasurer: Nancy Shoemaker
Nancy, who co-founded the branch in 2008 and served on its board until 2014, rejoined the board as treasurer in 2015. She is standing for re-election. She believes that the branch model is a good one to connect members who live far from community-based branches or for whom community-based branches are not a good “fit”. She hopes that during this term she can advocate to the national organization to simplify and streamline dues processing (we’re not there yet), as well as find someone willing to train as the next treasurer with that simplified model.
She serves as AAUW NC web manager (and as past state president helps in other capacities at the state level) and supports a few online, nationwide AAUW communities. She is a member of eight other branches (six of them virtual). Her academic background is in mathematics, and her professional life has been spent in a variety of computer support/consulting roles. She lives in Wake County with her husband.
Candidates for Directors at Large
Virginia Adamson joined AAUW in 2013. She is a native of Alabama and has called North Carolina home for more than half her life. Virginia received her Bachelor of Science in Engineering from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1979. She works for the Volvo Group as a Senior Business Consultant focused on Operations and Manufacturing. Her tenure with Volvo spans more than 30 years with experience ranging from product development to business and strategy development. Although based in Greensboro, NC, she has worked and lived in Göteborg and Umeå in Sweden. She enjoys working virtually with many of her colleagues worldwide. She is a Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) from APICS.
Virginia is a Past President of North Carolina Business and Professional Women (BPW/NC) and has served as Treasurer and President of BPW of the Triad. She currently serves as the Parliamentarian of BPW/NC and Co-Treasurer of BPW of the Triad. She is also a member of the Women’s Forum of NC. The ERA and Equal Pay are her passions. She is a Start Smart facilitator and has volunteered for Tech Savvy with AAUW/Greensboro. When not advocating for women and their families, she loves living on the farm with her husband Michael where gardening and weaving are her favorite pastimes.
Diana Gray moved to Winston Salem July 2014 after 4 years in New Orleans, LA along with the family of her younger daughter, Melissa Harris-Perry, now faculty member at Wake Forest University, Diana is a 22 year AAUW member-Virginia, Chicago & New Orleans. She holds BS and MA degrees in sociology. Her last paid position (retired 2007) was student affairs administrator at the University of Chicago in the Master of Arts Program in the Social Sciences and the Committee on International Relations. Prior to that she was lead analyst and manager of the evaluation unit at the Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice. She worked twenty-five years in nonprofit program management, program evaluation, grants administration, and grant writing after graduate school. She has published on black community development and adolescent prostitution. Before entering the University of Washington, she worked as a juvenile parole counselor in Seattle and Spokane, Washington.
Diane Schneider, a native of New York, attended college in Virginia, earning her B.S. in Elementary Education at James Madison University (1973) and both her Masters degree in Special Education/Learning Disabilities (1977) and her Doctor of Education degree/Education Leadership & Policy Studies (1992) at the University of Virginia. She has taught grades K-12 in both the regular classroom and programs for special needs students, over the course of her careeer, in both private and public schools. Currently, Diane is working as an educational consultant and private tutor in the greater Charlotte area.
Diane joined the Charlottesville, VA branch of AAUW in the late 1970’s. After relocating to NC in 1983, working, parenting and studying kept her away from an organization she truly believed in. She was happy to re-connect with AAUW in Charlotte about nine years ago. She served as branch vice president/program chair from 2007-2009, at which point she was elected branch president. She served in that office for two consecutive terms-2009-2013. She was active in planning and organizing the AAUW-NC Convention in April of 2010. It was then that she joined the newly-formed THB. Since there was no VP during her 4-years as president, she continued acting as program chair through 2013.
Diane and another branch member have had experience auditing the THB financial records, with assistance from treasurer Lyndee Champion Ivey. Diane hopes to be reelected as a member of the Tar Heel Branch Board of Directors where she will have the opportunity to support the branch’s mission and help maintain its special impact on members throughout the year ahead.
Laura Braxton Tew lives in Greensboro with her husband, composer Christopher C Tew. She began her professional career as a chemist for Almay Cosmetics in Apex, NC in 1972 and joined Olin Corporation as a process chemist in 1976 at its facility in Brandenburg, Kentucky. Laura worked in positions of increasing responsibility in manufacturing and marketing before becoming Olin’s first female plant manager in 1988 in Livonia, Michigan. She joined the leadership team of Arch Specialty Chemicals in 1990 as global Director of Stakeholder relations which included responsibilities for government affairs and philanthropy.
After receiving her undergraduate degree in Chemistry from UNCG in 1969, Laura attended Duke University graduate school on a teaching assistant fellowship. While working full time, Laura earned an MBA in marketing from Pace University in While Plains, NY, and a Certificate degree from the Center for Corporate Citizenship at Boston College.
Laura’s active retirement began when she completed her intern year as a Guilford County Master Gardener Volunteer in 2010. She also trained to become a certified tax counselor in the AARP TaxAide program and currently is the site coordinator for tax prep services at Smith Senior Center in Greensboro. In 2011, Laura returned to UNCG as a graduate student in political science and completed the Certificate in Nonprofit Management Program in 2013. While a student, Laura served on the Friends of the Libraries Board and on the Tuition Committee. After graduation in May 2013, Laura joined the Greensboro Branch of the American Association of University Women. Her Branch involvement has included fundraising chair for Triad Tech Savvy, Public Policy Chair, and supporting the website, social media and electronic newsletter and communications.
Lill Van Order
Lill has been active in AAUW since moving to Wilmington, NC in July of 1996. She was the secretary of the Wilmington branch, served as president and co-president 1999-2003 in two consecutive terms. Shortly after that she became involved at the state level as the LAF liaison. At that time she also served on state nominating committees. While she was working for AAUW NC the state went through a structure change and she served as co administrator with Karla Atkinson in the pilot year of the new structure. Her most recent work at the state level was the revision of the state bylaws to reflect the new structure. During this time Lill became a dual member of the Tar Heel branch. For the fiscal years 2013-14 and 2014-15 she was elected to the THB Board of Directors. Lill likes the online branch model and its mission and believes this model fills a vital slot for many. After Michelle Evan’s resignation the board had a conference call she and Christi Whitworth joined forces as co- interim administrators of the Tar Heel Branch until June 30, 2015. She continued in the position of co-administrator with Joanne Hill through June 2017. For 2017-18 Lill would like to stay connected to the THB by continuing on the board.
Lill retired from a career as school librarian in June 2012. She has a passion for education of our youth especially girls and the environment. Volunteering for AAUW and local environmental organizations seems to be a good match.
She and her husband Bill live in Wilmington and enjoy traveling to DC, Vermont and Maine to visit family and friends. Her four granddaughters are a good reason to stay involved working to empower women and girls.
This is an impressive slate of candidates who bring diverse talents and experiences to the THB –which has role-modeled innovative avenues for AAUW engagement. Congratulations and best wishes!