Fetzer, Kinney appointed to serve as WCU trustees

Thomas H. Fetzer, a former three-term mayor of Raleigh, and J. Bryant Kinney, a public and government affairs executive, are the two newest members of the Western Carolina University Board of Trustees.

The University of North Carolina Board of Governors earlier this year appointed Fetzer to a four-year term on the WCU board. Fetzer is filling a vacancy on the board created by the departure of Mecklenburg County community leader Teresa Williams, past chair of the trustees, who reached the end of her term June 30.

The UNC system governing body also reappointed to four-year terms Pat Kaemmerling, chief financial officer of Access Computers Inc. in Norcross, Georgia, vice chair of the board; Asheville attorney Carolyn Coward, secretary of the board; and Wardell Townsend, an executive mentor and a former assistant secretary with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, of Silver Spring, Maryland.

N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory appointed Kinney to a four-year term to fill a vacancy on the WCU board created by the appointment earlier this year of then-trustee Charles Philip Byers to the UNC Board of Governors. McCrory also reappointed Grace Battle, a community leader from Marietta, Georgia, to another four-year term.

Also joining the board for the 2015-16 academic year is Bernard “Hank” Henderson, president of the WCU Student Government Association. A junior from Marietta, Georgia, Henderson was elected student body president during the spring semester. The position also entails serving as an ex-officio member of the trustees.

Henderson is pursuing a degree in entrepreneurship. The son of Bart and Leslie Henderson, he is a 2013 graduate of Furtah Preparatory School.

The recently appointed and reappointed trustees took the oath of office as part of the board’s first meeting of the 2015-16 academic year Friday, Sept. 4. F. Edward “Ed” Broadwell of Asheville is serving as board chair for the academic year.

A past chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party, Fetzer is president of Fetzer Strategic Partners, a Raleigh-based firm specializing in government relations, public and media relations, survey research and crisis management. He was elected to his first two-year term as mayor of Raleigh in 1993, becoming the city’s youngest mayor. He has served as a teaching fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, chief executive officer of the United States Tennis Association, chief deputy secretary of the N.C. Department of Transportation and assistant secretary of the N.C. Department of Environment, Health and Natural Resources.

A 1982 graduate of WCU, Kinney is principal of Kinney Public Strategies in Charlotte and serves as senior counselor for the Hawthorn Group, an international public affairs firm headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia. He retired from Duke Energy Corp. following a career that spanned two decades, most recently serving as vice president of regulatory and government affairs for the company’s Carolinas operations. He formerly served as manager of power generation communications for the Tennessee Valley Authority, director of emergency management for Cherokee County and emergency response planner for the N.C. Division of Emergency Management.

The Board of Governors selects a total of eight trustees for each campus of the UNC system, and the governor appoints four. No trustee may serve more than two full four-year terms consecutively.