Ralph Hanes Womble was reelected chair of the UNCSA Board of Trustees for a term that ends June 30, 2022. Alumnus Mark Land (B.F.A. Dance ’78) was elected vice chair, and Greer Cawood was elected secretary. The officers, all of Winston-Salem, were elected unanimously in a special meeting held virtually earlier today. The trustees also welcomed legislative appointees Ches McDowell of Winston-Salem and Kyle Petty of Charlotte.
Womble was first elected chair in 2018 for a term that ended in June 2020. His term was extended for a year to provide continuity as UNCSA responded to the COVID-19 pandemic. With guidance from the University of North Carolina Board of Governors, all trustee officer terms are now one year.
More about the officers and appointees
Ralph Hanes Womble previously served as vice chair. He rejoined the board in 2015, having served from 2003-2010. He also served on UNCSA’s Foundation Board and the Board of Visitors and is a member of the Giannini Society, the leadership giving organization. As chair of the Board of Trustees, he also serves on the Advisory Board of the Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts.
Womble retired in 2006 after three years as president of Leggett & Platt, Inc. in Winston-Salem. He began his professional career with Hanes Dye & Finishing in Winston-Salem, and also served Hanes Converting Co., in Conover, N.C. He became president of Hanes Dye & Finishing in 1989. From 1995 to 2002 he was president of Hanes Companies Inc. in Winston-Salem, and also served as its chief executive officer for three years.
Womble has served as chair of the Winston-Salem Millennium Fund and as downtown chair of the Winston-Salem Alliance Board of Directors, and has chaired the boards of Winston-Salem Business, Inc. and Helen Simoneau Danse. Additional board service includes the Downtown Winston-Salem Partnership and the partnership’s foundation, the Downtown Arts District, RiverRun International Film Festival, Old Salem Museum and Gardens, the Winston-Salem Foundation, the Young Presidents’ Organization, the John Wesley and Anna Hodgin Hanes Foundation, LeBleu Company and Woodberry Forest School.
Womble received a B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an M.B.A. from the Babcock School of Management at Wake Forest University.
Mark Land is retired from Foundation Source, the nation’s largest provider of comprehensive support and advisory services for private foundations, where he was senior managing partner. He previously served as vice president, trust and investment adviser at High Point Bank and as managing director at Wells Fargo Bank’s Center for Planned Giving.
He performed professionally with North Carolina Dance Theatre. Land also served as director of alumni relations at UNCSA for seven years in the 1990s, and he continues to be involved with UNCSA as a volunteer and financial supporter. He served on the Chancellor Search Committee in 2014 and has recently established a scholarship in the School of Dance in memory of his wife, UNCSA alumna Pat Land.
Since retiring from Wachovia Corporation as director of public policy in 2007, E. Greer Cawood has held various consulting positions which include serving as finance director for Sen. Richard Burr’s campaign and in government relations for the Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County.
She is an appointee to the Natural Heritage Trust Fund and currently serves as Lower School vice president for the Forsyth Country Day School Parents' Association. Her past volunteer work includes serving on the executive committees of the Twin City Garden Club, the Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County, and the Winston-Salem Children's Museum. She has also been a trustee of the North Carolina chapter of The Nature Conservancy and a board member of the N.C. Center for Public Policy Research.
She holds a B.A. in political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Cawood and her husband, Scott, have a daughter, Emmie.
Ches McDowell is an attorney and lobbyist at Kilpatrick, Townsend, & Stockton in Winston-Salem. McDowell was selected as one of the Top 10 lobbyists in North Carolina by the North State Journal, and he received honorable mentions for representing 45 clients during the 2020 North Carolina General Assembly short session with a diverse portfolio and for leading the lobbying corps in athletic representation.
He was selected by Triad Business Journal as one of its “40 Leaders Under 40” in 2021. He was recognized as a “Young Gun” in 2019 by Business North Carolina magazine.
He serves on the boards of the North Carolina Forestry Advisory Council, North Carolina Outdoor Heritage Council, Alumni Advisory Council of the Alpha Omega Chapter of Kappa Alpha Order, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Winston-Salem, and Fellowship Home of Winston-Salem.
Kyle Petty was reappointed after serving a year on the board. He was originally appointed by the legislature in 2020 to fill a vacancy left by Peter Brunstetter, who stepped down in February 2019. Trustees serve four-year terms.
Petty is a former NASCAR driver turned racing analyst who has become one of the most popular personalities in all of sports. As a member of one of NASCAR’s pioneer families, Petty is as much a product of racing as he is of his famous father, Richard Petty – “The King,” and grandfather, Lee Petty. While his name will forever connect him to NASCAR, Petty has made significant strides outside of racing in the world of music and philanthropy.
Petty received his first guitar at age 12 by a traveling preacher at the racetrack. Soon after, he began writing his own music, finding creative influences in Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Carole King, James Taylor, Harry Chapin and Jim Croce. In the ’80s, Petty took to the stage for a brief period after signing with RCA Records. He opened for acts such as Randy Travis, The Oak Ridge Boys and Hank Williams, Jr. Today, Petty is represented by Dolphus Ramseur of Ramseur Records and frequently performs his original music in intimate shows across North Carolina and surrounding states.
In addition to racing and music, Petty has always been a champion of philanthropy. For more than 26 years, Petty has hosted his annual Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America – one of the most successful and popular charity events in the country. To date, the ride has raised more than $19 million for a variety of children’s hospitals and Victory Junction – a camp created by Petty and his family in honor of his late son, Adam, to provide life-changing camping experiences for children with chronic and serious medical illnesses. Since its inception in 2004, Victory Junction has provided more than 60,000 camp experiences to campers and their families – both on-site at the camp and off-site at participating hospitals and medical facilities through its REACH program.
Outside of his music and philanthropic efforts, you can watch Petty on NBCSN's daily show, NASCAR America, and on pre- and post-race NASCAR Cup and Xfinity coverage on NBC and NBCSN. He also cohosts the weekly radio show "Fast Talk" on the Performance Racing Network. Petty resides in Charlotte with his wife, Morgan, and two sons.
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September 17, 2021