– International Board of Advisors –
Elie Wiesel, Honorary Chairperson
Nobel Laureate for Peace, 1986
Dr. Aaron Ciechanover, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, 2004
Dr. Paul Farmer, Founder, Partners In Health
Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Chair, Department of African & African American Studies, Harvard University
Kerry Kennedy, International Human Rights Activist and Author
Dr. Bernard Kouchner, Founder, Doctors Without Borders
Jonathan Kozol, Author & Child Advocate
Jeffrey D. Sachs, Director, The Earth Institute, Columbia University
– Charlotte Board of Advisors –
Mary Lou and James Babb, Civic Leaders
Robert Bertges, Executive Vice President, Wells Fargo
Clarice Cato Goodyear, Community Volunteer
The Honorable James Martin, Vice President for Research, Carolinas HealthCare System
Sally D. Robinson, Civic Leader
William Vandiver, Retired Executive, Bank of America
The Honorable Kurt Waldthausen, Honorary Consul, Federal Republic of Germany
The Honorable Melvin L.Watt, Director, Federal Housing Finance Agency
Dr. James H. Woodward, Chancellor Emeritus, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
– Charlotte Board of Trustees –
Chair, Dr. Joan F. Lorden
Provost & Vice-Chancellor, Academic Affairs, UNC Charlotte
Dr. Lorden is the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where she provides leadership for seven colleges, research institutes, and a university-wide graduate school. She also currently serves as the principal investigator for an NSF ADVANCE Institutional Transformation grant, designed to increase the recruitment and retention of women faculty in science and engineering. She is a member of the Howard University Specialized Neuroscience Research Program Advisory Committee and serves on the Board of Directors for the Charlotte Research Institute and the Institute for Social Capital. She is active in community organizations, serving on the boards of several local organizations, including the Blumenthal Center for the Performing Arts and the Echo Foundation. She has served as a member of the Charlotte Advisory Board for the Knight Foundation. Dr. Lorden received a B.A. from the City College of New York and a Ph.D. in psychology from Yale University.
President, Stephanie Ansaldo
The Echo Foundation
As a non-profit president, family therapist, and community volunteer, Stephanie Goldberg Ansaldo has devoted her career to advancing humanity. Herself the product of a multi-cultural family, she finds richness in individual differences and embraces diversity. Based on her belief that understanding and mutual respect is the cornerstone of a successful society, Ansaldo co-founded The Echo Foundation with Nobel Laureate for Peace Elie Wiesel. As President, she works to promote personal responsibility for humankind. She designs innovative initiatives to address the urgent issues of our time while connecting students and community leaders alike with some of the world’s foremost humanitarians. In the context of this multifaceted programming, individuals come to understand their personal power for positive change. Ansaldo received her B.S. in Child Development from Virginian Polytechnic Institute and State University and her M.S. in Clinical Counseling from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She has received The Charlotte Business Journal Women in Business Achievement Award; the UNC Charlotte Alumni Award; the inaugural Bob Barret Social Justice Award; The Order of the Long Leaf Pine, North Carolina’s highest civilian honor; The Charlotte Observer “Heroes of Democracy” Award; and recognition as a finalist for the Nancy Susan Reynolds Award for her commitment to addressing issues of inhumanity, injustice, and human suffering.
Vice-Chair, Dmitry Vovchuk
Director, Business Support & Chief of Staff, Ally Financial
Dmitry Vovchuk is a Director and Chief of Staff for Customer Care and Experience at Ally Financial. Previously, Dmitry was a management and leadership consultant with the McChrystal Group and served in numerous U.S. Government positions, including as the Director for Eastern Europe at the National Security Council and as Deputy Chief of Staff to the Secretary-General of NATO. Dmitry studied Political Science and Economics at Drew University and earned his Masters in National Security Policy at Georgetown University.
Treasurer, Michael Hennessey
Managing Director, Advisory Services, Grant Thornton
Mike is a former Chief Financial Officer, with over 17 years of diverse experience, including work in professional services and the private sector. With experience domestically and internationally, Mike has focused on providing sound financial leadership and guidance to enable entities to maximize shareholder value. Mike currently leads the growth and development of Advisory Capabilities within Grant Thornton’s Financial Management practice, with a specific focus on Finance Transformation and Cost & Performance Improvement.
Secretary, Claude Close
Partner & Vice President, Springsteen Capital
After graduating from the University of North Carolina School of Law, Claude began his career with Morton & Gettys, Attorneys at Law out of Rock Hill, South Carolina, and spent several years practicing law with a primary focus on Commercial Real Estate and Corporate Law. Claude joined Springsteen Capital, a family-operated investment firm, in the summer of 2019. In his role as Vice President, Claude oversees the day-to-day operations of Springsteen Capital and assists in the management and investment of the Springsteen Capital portfolio. He is active in the non-profit community and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Springsteen Foundation, the Springs Close Foundation, and serves as the vice-chairman of the Board of Historic Rock Hill. Claude joined the Echo Foundation Board of Trustees in 2020. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of South Carolina and earned his J.D. from the University of North Carolina School of Law. Claude currently lives in Charlotte, N.C. with his wife Mary.
At Large, Candice Knezevic
Manager of Change Management, Duke Energy
Candice is a passionate human rights advocate and marketing and communications executive with 15 years of experience in public relations in both the corporate and nonprofit sectors. Currently, Candice manages communications for Duke Energy’s Customer Connect project, a multi-year program to consolidate four legacy billing systems into one customer service platform that will deliver a universal experience for customers. Previously at Duke Energy, Candice provided communications counsel at Duke Energy on the company’s corporate social responsibility efforts. Prior to joining Duke Energy, Candice led the U.S. Travel Association’s grassroots efforts to protect and promote travel to and within the United States. Candice developed the Power of Travel Coalition and oversaw its growth to more than 400,000 employee advocates. Prior to joining U.S. Travel, Candice worked for several human rights nonprofit organizations, including serving as Congo Campaign Manager for Enough, a project to end genocide and crimes against humanity at the Center for American Progress. While there, she created and managed the RAISE Hope for Congo campaign, which seeks to build a grassroots movement for peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Candice joined The Echo Foundation Board of Trustees in 2018. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia and a master’s degree in international human rights from the University of Denver. She lives in Charlotte, N.C., with her husband, Dan, and their daughters Olivia and Elyse.
Head, Cross Border Governance, Wells Fargo
Rajnish Bharadwaj joined The Echo Foundation Board of Trustees in January 2009. Mr. Bharadwaj is an Executive Vice President at Wells Fargo and serves as the Head of Cross-Border Governance. He moved to Charlotte in 2005 when he joined Wachovia. Prior to Wachovia, he was based in New York and was a Partner in the financial services practice of A.T. Kearney, a global management consulting firm. Mr. Bharadwaj has worked and lived in many countries – Canada, India, Mauritius, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, the UK, and the USA.
Partner, Poyner & Spruill, LLP
Frank Bryant is a partner in the law firm of Poyner Spruill. He is a Charlotte native and has a B.A. and a J.D. degree from UNC-Chapel Hill. He is a former member of a board of directors of Council For Children’s Rights, Johnston YMCA, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Seniors Centers, Greater Charlotte Sports of Hall of Fame, and is a current member of a board of directors of the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority and Babcock Graduate School of Management Family Business Center.
Principal, Financial Services, Ernest & Young LLP
After beginning his career in the assurance practice of Arthur Andersen, Tom has spent the majority of his career in real estate and banking, and joined EY after spending several years at Bank of America. Tom leads EY’s Capital Management practice in the US and is primarily focused on large and complex financial institutions. His charitable interests include the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, United Way of Central Carolinas, Salvation Army Center of Hope Shelter, Human Coalition, Mosaic Style with Love, and Bright Blessings. Tom grew up in Florida and has a BBA in Business Administration from Stetson University. His family of six has gladly called Charlotte home for over 10 years.
Retirement Practice Leader, Willis Towers Watson
Thomas joined the Echo Foundation Board in 2015 after working with the Foundation in 2014. He moved to Charlotte in 1998 and has 25 years of service with Towers Watson, a leading global professional services company specializing in risk management and human resource consulting. Thomas graduated from Cornell University but does not miss upstate New York winters. His local and national charitable interests include but are not limited to: Arts for Life, Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, Children International, Council for Children’s Rights, Habitat for Humanity, Heifer International, Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina, and Smile Train.
Thomas D. Pollan
Senior Director, Client Principal for Hewlett-Packard Company, President of Pollan Enterprises
Mr. Pollan is a Senior Director, Client Principal for Hewlett-Packard Company. He has over 30 years of consulting experience in the Financial Services industry. He is an expert in large-scale, complex multi-national enterprise-wide change. In previous roles, Mr. Pollan served as a Senior Partner with Accenture. Mr. Pollan also founded and served as President of Pollan Enterprises, a multi-million dollar holding company for new start-up businesses and has been featured in local and national publications including CNN Money and Fortune Small Business. Mr. Pollan has been associated with The Echo Foundation for over 15 years and has served in various Board positions including Chairman.
Eric M. Teal
Chief Investment Officer & Managing Partner, Queens Oak Advisors
Eric joined the Echo Foundation Board in 2017. He is the Chief Investment Officer and Managing Partner of Queens Oak Advisors. He has overall responsibility for the firm’s investment management and performance. Additionally, he helps oversee the strategic direction and growth of the firm. Previously, Eric was the Chief Investment Officer of a regional bank and led the organization’s Capital Management Group for over ten years. His responsibilities included the investment management and oversight of over $5.0 billion in assets under management. Eric received his B.A. degree in Economics and International Studies from Rhodes College and MBA from the University of Memphis, where he was awarded a scholarship in Investments and Finance. He also studied at the London School of Economics. He is frequently featured as an expert commentator on television and quoted in the local and national media on investing, the economy, and markets. Eric is the prior President of the Alumni Executive Board for Rhodes College. He was also appointed by the UNC Board of Governors to serve on the UNC-TV Board of Trustees and was subsequently elected Chairman of the Board of Trustees.