New WCU Board of Visitors to hold first meetings Oct. 2-3

The inaugural class of the newly formed Board of Visitors at Western Carolina University will hold its first meetings and elect a slate of officers 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 serve as 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.

“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 in promoting the interests of WCU, increasing public awareness of the university’s priorities, and helping spread the word throughout their communities about the good things that are happening at Western Carolina University.”

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.

Members of the inaugural class of the Board of Visitors are:

  • Jo Blaylock, vice president of human resources and community relations for Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort. A resident of Cherokee, Blaylock received her master’s degree in human resource development from WCU in 2001.
  • Floyd “Ski” Chilton, professor of physiology and pharmacology at Wake Forest School of Medicine and author of the book “Inflammation Nation.” A resident of Clemmons, Chilton graduated from WCU in 1980 with a degree in biology.
  • Steve Couch, president of Couch Oil Co. in Durham, where he resides. A 1985 graduate of WCU with a degree in industrial technology, he endowed the Carlton and Margaret Couch Scholarship Fund to support the Kimmel School of Construction Management and Technology.
  • Penny Mawyer, a former fashion designer and stylist who lives in Highlands. An enthusiastic support of the arts in the Highlands community, Mawyer has become increasingly involved with WCU’s arts programs, including recent Controlled Chaos Film Festival events in Cashiers.
  • Bruce Moore, president of IJT Packaging in Huntersville. A resident of Waxhaw, Moore graduated from WCU in 1983 with a degree in marketing. He is an active member of the Catamount Club and his Kappa Alpha fraternity alumni group.
  • Brandon A. Robinson, an attorney currently practicing law in Durham, where he is a resident. Robinson earned his bachelor’s degree in European history in 2005 and his master’s degree in American history in 2010, both at WCU, where he also minored in philosophy.
  • Rebecca Schlosser, a former teacher at a private school in Brooklyn who later helped her husband, Michael, open his law firm Schlosser & Associates in Greensboro. She is a 1973 graduate of WCU with a bachelor’s degree in home economics.
  • Brenda Warlick, business manager for the education field consulting firm founded by her husband, David. A Raleigh resident and 1976 graduate of WCU with a bachelor’s degree in home economics, she and her husband, also a WCU graduate, established a scholarship fund in education.
  • David Wiggins, a partner and accountant with Dixon Hughes Goodman’s Financial Institution Services Group and partner-in-charge of the Asheville office. Wiggins graduated from WCU in 1991 with a bachelor’s degree in accounting.
  • Donna Winbon, a financial adviser for the Edward Jones firm in Raleigh. A 1980 graduate of WCU with a bachelor’s degree in clothing, textiles and merchandising, Winbon was a member of the Catamount women’s basketball team.