Larken Egleston, Chair
Professional Affiliation: Republic National Distributing
Personal Information: Larken Egleston's main interests center around trying new restaurants and cuisines as often as possible. Traveling, playing basketball, and cheering for the Panthers, Bobcats, and Wake Forest sports teams are a few of the other activities he enjoys in his spare time.
Professional information: Larken, who is originally from Winston-Salem and has lived in Charlotte since 2004, is a graduate of Johnson & Wales University's Culinary Arts program. A fixture on the local entertainment scene, Larken's ten-year affair with food and beverage hot spots has landed him roles with the Charlotte Observer, Elevate Magazine, and Creative Loafing, among others. He is currently employed by Republic National Distributing as the Remy Cointreau Brand Ambassador for the state of North Carolina. As founder of the Charlotte Culinary Club, he serves as the unofficial authority on dining out in the Queen City, sharing up-to-the-minute restaurant news and coordinating local culinary events. Larken also serves as a board member of the Carolinas Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Charlotte Taste of the Nation/Share Our Strength fundraiser, and Plaza Midwood Neighborhood Association, and is a member of the Long Creek Volunteer Fire Department.
Troy Pelshak, Vice Chair
Professional Affiliation: Amana Global Services, Ltd.
Personal Information: Born in Nigeria and relocating with his family to the US at the age of 4, Troy spent his early years in Arizona and Oklahoma before moving to Charlotte. Troy received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Marketing from NC A&T State University and completed post-graduate studies in Communications, Insurance, and General Contracting. Upon graduating, Troy played with the National Football League’s St. Louis Rams, where he was a member of the Super Bowl XXXIV Championship team. His NFL career also included playing with the Minnesota Vikings and Jacksonville Jaguars before retiring and joining the Charlotte Chapter of the NFLPA. Troy speaks three languages and has worked, volunteered, lived, and traveled all over the world. These experiences have resulted in a desire to help build sustainable, thriving communities through education, professional development, and leadership development.
Professional Information: Troy is an International Business Consultant, Project Manager, QMHP, and President of Amana Global Services, Ltd. AGS is an international corporation, providing business strategy, management training, investment assessment, supply chain management, and logistic consulting building strong ties with Frontier Markets.
Yolanda Perry, Secretary
Professional Affiliation: Manpower Professional Group, Inc.
Personal Information: Yolanda has been heavily involved in community-based organizations, seeking to bring together people from all cultural backgrounds and assisting them with their needs, endeavors and career paths. She sits on several committees and boards, including Central Piedmont Community College’s Information Health Technology Advisory Board, Employer’s Network Roundtable, recipient of the Charlotte Area Fund’s 10-year Service Award for community service and several community based organizations. Yolanda has been married to her husband, Mr. Perry, for 30 years. He is the CEO and Owner of Mixing of Souls, Inc., which will be launching Charlotte’s Premier Diverse Jazz Venue in 2014 and looking forward to entertaining jazz enthusiasts from all backgrounds.
Professional Information: Yolanda is currently employed as a Client Account Manager for Manpower Professional Group. She is a veteran in the Human Resources and staffing industry with over 20 years of experience and has held numerous positions throughout her career. She started as a Staffing Specialist, where she received her NAPS certification, and progressed into a Regional Recruiting Manager for the Southeast region for Dent Wizard International in Charlotte. She was then hired into a corporate recruiting role for AAA Carolinas, but in her heart, she truly enjoyed helping individuals from all walks of life in their career search. She returned to recruiting for a large staffing company, where she thought she would be able to assist a larger and more diverse population with their career searches in the Accounting, Finance, IT support, and Business Operations fields. Yolanda attended Clark College in Atlanta, where she studied Business Administration and Finance, and later studied at Strayer University in Human Resource Management.
Maddy Baer, UNC Charlotte
Personal Information: Maddy Baer was raised on Long Island, NY. She holds a B.A. and M.B.A. from Northwestern University and an M.S. Ed. from SUNY Albany. She speaks Spanish, French, and some German, and has traveled throughout Europe and South America. Her rich and diverse professional experience includes international and private banking, real estate development, and the specialty field of essential oils for flavor and fragrance manufacturing. Maddy also spent several years teaching Spanish to all K-12 grade levels in public schools in Massachusetts and Charlotte. A resident of Charlotte since 2003, previously resided at the end of a dirt road in The Berkshires , Manhattan, and Chicago. She has a passion for urban planning issues, a strong interest in the arts, and can be found most Saturday mornings at one of Charlotte’s farmer’s markets. Her immediate family resides in Ohio and New York.
Professional Information: Maddy is the International Employment Coordinator in UNC Charlotte’s Office of International Programs, where she facilitates immigration and employment matters for the University’s international faculty and exchange visitors, most of whom are research scholars. These outstanding members of the community are as diverse in their citizenship and cultural backgrounds as they are in their specialty research areas. Currently, international faculty work in over 35 academic departments. Their research endeavors both create and are the result of close collaboration with Charlotte’s expanding international resident population and business community. UNC Charlotte is North Carolina’s urban research university committed to addressing the cultural, economic, educational, environmental, health, and social needs of the greater Charlotte region. Until recently, Maddy also worked at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport as an interpreter in the International Arrivals area, assisting passengers and U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers.
Cynthia Barnes, Allen Tate Company
Personal Information: Cindy’s family includes two daughters who are married and live in Charlotte. Katie graduated from Chapel Hill, has two young sons, and runs a social media company. Angie graduated from State and works for Compass Group. Aside from work and family life, Cindy enjoys travel, entertaining, music and running. She has a B.A. in English and German from Iowa State University and completed course work at the Goethe Institute in Passau, Germany.
Professional Information: A Charlotte resident for over 30 years, Cindy is in the top 1% of Allen Tate real estate agents, with over $220 million in sales during her career representing buyers and sellers in North and South Carolina. In addition to her involvement with the Charlotte International Cabinet, she serves as chairperson of the SouthPark chapter of the Chamber of Commerce. Cindy has previously served two terms as chairperson for Charlotte Chamber Music and several terms as vice-president of the Charlotte chapter of the North Carolina World Trade Association.
Nancy Carter, Retired
Personal Information: Nancy Carter and her husband, Dr. Coleman ("Nick"), have lived in Charlotte since 1976, making it their base for international travel. Their daughter and son-in-law, Annamarie and Dustin Dalton, live in Richmond and are in doctoral studies in Bio-Chemistry and Medicine, respectively, at the Medical College of Virginia.
Professional Information: Nancy studied Romance Philology at the University of North Carolina and served 12 years on the Charlotte City Council, representing the international Eastside. She was active on the NC League of Municipalities' and National League of Cities' boards and on various arts, children's, transportation, and environmental boards. She and Nick participated in trips to Charlotte's Sister Cities Wroclaw and Limoges, where Nancy met with many municipal departments. Nancy is currently serving as Vice Chair of the Mecklenburg Soil and Water Conservation District and Secretary of the NC Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts, as well as on the boards of WDAV, the Eastland Area Strategic Team, and the Council on Aging.
Loren Fauchier, Ph.D., Providence Day School
Personal Information: Dr. Loren Fauchier completed his undergraduate degree in Government at California State University, Sacramento; his Master of Arts in Political Science at University of Arizona; and his Ph.D. in Comparative Politics at the University of Washington. He also completed the degree program at Johns Hopkins University—Nanjing University Center for Chinese and American Studies, located in Nanjing, China. Loren is married to a Chinese native and they have two sons.
Professional Information: Loren and his wife moved to Charlotte in 1990, and he taught at Queens University for 17 years. While at Queens, he led many student trips to China and created the International Studies major there. In 2007 he became the Director of Global Education at Providence Day School, which offers a Global Studies Diploma program (first in the country) and a number of global-oriented programs for students and faculty. He is also the Vice-Director of the Global Education Benchmark Group (GEBG), an association of private schools in the U.S. with global programs.
Sean Gautam, Intelligrity Capital Management, LLC
Personal information: Sean Gautam emigrated from India and became a U.S. citizen in 2008. Sean is a graduate of Georgetown University Law School and also holds an MBA (Finance) from the University of New Orleans. Sean earned his Bachelor of Laws and Bachelors of Commerce degrees in India. Sean resides in South Park with his wife, Magali, a French native who holds a Ph.D. in Financial Economics. They have two American-born children, aged eight and four. Sean is an avid motorcyclist and enjoys golf, cigars, wines, painting, photography, and traveling.
Professional information: Sean is the President & Founder of Intelligrity Capital Management, LLC, an investment advisory firm catering to middle-class families and professionals. Sean founded Intelligrity to make professional investment management accessible to middle-class families, not just the ultra-wealthy. Sean has devised and manages risk-specific globally-diversified investment portfolios with low fees and account minimums. Prior to founding Intelligrity, Sean served as the CFO of a national financial services firm in Washington, DC. Sean is also the author of the investment guide "Advanced Portfolio Strategies." Sean is FINRA Series 65 licensed and has previously held Series 7 and 6 designations. Sean serves as a board member of Opera Carolina and is an active member of various organizations, including the Charlotte North Rotary Club, Charlotte Chamber of Commerce and the Latin American Chamber of Commerce. Sean recently completed the Arts & Science Council's Cultural Leadership Training program.
Al Killeffer, MetLife
Personal Information: A native of Rowayton, CT, Al Killeffer earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. As an eighth-grader, he traveled to Japan on a middle school exchange trip that sparked a lifelong interest in foreign affairs, leading him to study abroad in Berlin and Beijing while in college. He is a member of the Charlotte National PR Campaign Advisory Committee, the Metropolitan Transit Commission's Transit Funding Working Group Communications Advisory Committee, the Charlotte chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, and the World Affairs Council of Charlotte. He and his girlfriend, Courtney, live in Elizabeth.
Professional Information: After graduating from Chapel Hill, Al worked as a Field Organizer for U.S. Senator Chris Dodd's 2008 campaign for the presidency and former New Hampshire Governor Jeanne Shaheen's campaign for the U.S. Senate. Following Shaheen's victory, he worked as a Marketing Associate in Manhattan for China's national English-language newspaper, "China Daily," helping to craft the strategy for the paper's North American market entry. In 2010, Al worked briefly as a Body Man for Ned Lamont during his campaign for Governor of Connecticut, then moved to Washington to serve as Senator Shaheen's Deputy Press Secretary on Capitol Hill. He moved to Charlotte in 2012 to work as then-Mayor Anthony Foxx's Press Secretary in the run-up to the Democratic National Convention and continued to serve as Press Secretary for Mayor Patsy Kinsey, after Foxx resigned to become U.S. Secretary of Transportation. In 2013, Al joined MetLife as the company's Senior Public Relations Specialist in Charlotte following the creation of a hub for MetLife's U.S. retail business there.
Rory McNicholas, International Teacher Exchange Services
Personal Information: Born in England, Rory McNicholas graduated from The Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, as an officer on the British Royal Navy. He moved to Charlotte in 1999 and lives with his wife Suzi and two children, Jack and Maddy.
Professional Information: Rory is the President and CEO of International Teacher Exchange Services (ITES), which is a designated sponsor organization of the U.S. Department of State Exchange Visitor Program. As such, ITES provides opportunities for schools across America to host highly qualified international educators. Many of these educators come to the U.S. to teach their native language in local schools as well as to share their experiences, knowledge and cultures with their students, fellow teachers and their new communities.
Candace Murray, YMCA of Greater Charlotte
Personal Information: Candace Murray, a native Floridian, moved to Charlotte through a Queens University of Charlotte soccer scholarship. She graduated with a BSN Nursing degree in 2003 and a MSN in Health Administration in 2006. Candace has traveled to 18 different countries through mission work and personal travel. She continues her passion for soccer as the Director/Co-Founder of PeacePassers.org, , a 501(c)3 non-profit that collects used soccer equipment to redistribute to communities around the world. Candace is married to native Charlottean William Murray; they are enjoying parenthood with their daughter, Mila, and newest addition, baby brother Liam.
Professional Information: Candace is responsible for Community Health & Global Initiatives with the YMCA of Greater Charlotte. Her role includes supporting strategies to expand the YMCA’s Global Centers of Excellence initiatives. Much of her work is dedicated to the development of the YMCA Diversity, Inclusion, and Global committee, where focus is given to newcomer/immigrant engagement, global education, cultural competency, and local to global philanthropy. Candace helps manage the YMCA of Greater Charlotte’s global partnerships in West Africa (Senegal YMCA & The Gambia YMCA) and the partnership with the Jerusalem International YMCA in Israel. As a registered nurse, Candace also provides health education with the YMCA Parents as Teachers program, establishing partnerships with community agencies to advocate for improved access and inclusion of health services for under-served families in Charlotte.
Jian Zhang, Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Carolinas Asian-American Chamber of Commerce
Personal Information: Dr. Jian Zhang was born in Sichuan, China. He has lived in Charlotte since 1995 and is married to Grace Xie, with whom he has two children, Ying and Lilly. Jian has twenty years of leadership experience in serving various nonprofit organizations. He is currently the president of the Chinese American Association of Charlotte, and has served as president and board chairman of Carolinas Asian American Chamber of Commerce. He has also served as president of the Johns Hopkins Medical Institution's Chinese Student and Scholar Association and as a board member of American Red Cross Greater Carolinas Chapter and North Carolina China Council. Jian was selected as one of only a few Chinese Americans to meet with Chinese President Jiang Ze Min when he visited New York City in 1996.
Professional Information: Jian received his B.S. in sports medicine from Chengdu College of Physical Education and M.A. in sports medicine from Springfield College, in Springfield, MA. He received his Ph.D. in biomedical science from USC School of Medicine, in Columbia, SC, and postdoctoral training at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. As a scholar, Jian has published and presented over 100 articles on the regulation of liver microcirculation and chronic liver diseases in national and international journals and meetings.
Xin "John" Zhang, Carolinas Asian-American Chamber of Commerce, Red Bowl
Personal Information: John Zhang is married to Jun and has three children: Jade, Joyce, and Jayden. They have lived in Charlotte since 1993. John enjoys playing tennis and golf, and is the Vice President for China Business Development of the Carolinas Asian-American Chamber of Commerce.
Professional Information: John is president of Red Bowl U.S.A. He owns and operates a chain of restaurants in both North and South Carolina. With family ties and business interests in China, he travels there regularly, as well as helps local organizations to promote commerce between the two countries. He was on the Mayor's delegation that visited China in 2011, organized a U.S. higher education delegation to China, and hosted senior officials from the Chinese Embassy in Charlotte in 2012. John is also a co-founder of the Carolinas EB-5 Regional Center, which actively promotes foreign investment in Charlotte and the surrounding region.