We’re taking a look at community leaders in positions of influence in honor of Women’s History Month.
• Kandi Deitemeyer: Deitemeyer has entered her third year of what could be many as president of Central Piedmont Community College. She is just the fourth president of the college, which is more than 50 years old.
• Tracey Harrill: The Providence High School principal began her teaching career at Independence High in 1992 and has the distinction of overseeing the opening of Mint Hill Middle in 2003.
• Q. Shante Martin: The Matthews resident works as general counsel for the N.C. Community College System, which oversees 58 institutions, and serves on the school board for Matthews Charter Academy.
• Mary McCray: After retiring in 2011 with more than 30 years of classroom experience, the Mint Hill resident successfully campaigned for a seat on the school board. She’s entering her seven years as chair.
• Edith McElroy: For at least 10 years, the Venezuelan native has served as dean of CPCC’s Levine Campus, which offers business, international and general studies programs.
• Christy Morrin: The longtime educator has been the founding principal of two local charter schools: Queens Grant Community School in Mint Hill and Matthews Charter Academy, where she currently presides.
• Jennifer Schroeder: Schroeder works as principal of Crestdale Middle, which in recent years has added a creative arts magnet program to its offerings.
• Sheila W. Shirley: The Matthews resident knows first hand what $1 billion looks like, having worked as chief financial officer for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools since 2000.
• Krista Tolchin: As principal of Queen’s Grant Community School in Mint Hill, she’s responsible for students in kindergarten through eighth grade.
• Ericia Turner: The Rocky River principal not only manages a large high school, but she’s done it with respect from her peers, earning East Learning Community Principal of the Year honors in 2017.
• Jennifer Anthony: Outside of her duties overseeing finances at Novant Health Matthews Medical Center, Anthony was appointed as treasurer of the Matthews Chamber of Commerce’s board of directors.
• Michelle Archer: The Matthews police sergeant has been recognized for her work as a school resource officer at Butler High School, as well as presided over the N.C. Association of School Resource Officers.
• Amy Carr: Low income and uninsured people can get help at the Matthews Free Medical Clinic, which Carr brings awareness to as executive director.
• Karla Ennis: Aside from supervising community health and wellness at Novant Health Matthews Medical Center, the registered nurse chairs the Levine Senior Center’s board of directors.
• Tracy Forster: She serves as chief nursing officer at Novant Health Matthews Medical Center, as well as a board member for the Matthews Help Center.
• Katrina Graue: The Mint Hill resident oversees felony investigations as deputy chief of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, where she’s worked since 1990.
• Joy Greear: The successful opening of Novant Health Mint Hill Medical Center can be attributed to Greear’s leadership as president.
• Gibbie Harris: The award-winning health director has worked to restore faith in Mecklenburg’s health department following a series of missteps that occurred during her predecessor’s tenure.
• Lou Ann McAdams: She helped found the Matthews Free Medical Clinic 15 years ago and has served as its medical director since it opened.
• Colleen Rhyant: The administrative director at Atrium Health provides guidance to the Mint Hill Chamber of Commerce.
• Pat Cotham: The county commissioner has advocated for more collaboration among Mecklenburg’s municipalities and been an ally of the growing homeless population.
• Barbara Dement: The only woman on the Matthews Board of Commissioners, Dement advocates for preserving the community’s small-town feeling and keeping the tax rate low.
• Dena Diorio: The Mecklenburg County manager has worked to expand access to county services, as well as shore up processes involving the reval, health department and data management.
• Becky Hawke: The assistant town manager for Matthews represents the community on various nonprofit boards, including the Matthews Chamber of Commerce and Matthews Help Center.
• Rachel Hunt: The education consultant has wasted no time in her first term in the N.C. House of Representatives, sponsoring a handful of bills.
• Angela Lee: More than a million people are affected by her leadership at Charlotte Water, which is responsible for water and wastewater in Mecklenburg County.
• Lee Anne Moore: Matthews Alive has generated more than $1.6 million for dozens of area nonprofits over the years. Moore coordinates the region’s largest Labor Day parade and festival.
• Susan Rodriguez-McDowell: In her first term with the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners, she has met with the immigrant community following ICE raids and advocated for raising pay for county employees.
• Naida Sergel: No one knows the Town of Mint Hill’s $15 million budget better than Sergel, who has served as finance director since 2003.
• Sheryl Smith: Mint Hill Town Manager Brian Welch promoted her from executive assistant to assistant to the town manager because her role became more managerial. She’s organized town events, such as Mint Hill Madness.
• June Bayless: Artistic director and founder of the Matthews Playhouse of the Performing Arts, Bayless is responsible for bringing a community theater experience to generations of children.
• Sandra Conway: After years of working in the private sector, Conway joined the Matthews Help Center in 2014 as human resources manager and became executive director in February 2018.
• Jennifer Ginn: Since 2009, Ginn has been the spiritual leader at Cross & Crown Lutheran Church in Matthews. She has also been elected dean of the Mecklenburg/Union conference within the North Carolina Synod ELCA.
• Dahn Jenkins: She directs the Levine Senior Center, which offers fitness, arts, crafts and informational programming for adults over the age of 50.
• Kim Rhodarmer: The Mint Hill Chamber of Commerce recognized Rhodarmer with the Tina Ross Business Leadership Award for her work with Servant’s Heart of Mint Hill.
• Natisha Rivera-Patrick: Not only does she serve as executive director for the Greater Matthews Habitat for Humanity, but she’s worked with a task force formed by the Matthews Planning Board to examine affordable housing.
• Sue Sproat: The Matthews Chamber of Commerce recently awarded Sproat with the Matthews Women in Business Award and her nonprofit, the COS Kids Child Development Campus, as the Nonprofit of the Year.
• Becky Griffin & Paula Lester: Both lead historical groups in their respective towns: Griffin in Mint Hill and Lester in Matthews.
• Tina Whitley: After the former chamber leader has settled into a real estate career, the Matthews Human Services Council recognized her with the 2017-18 Nancy Glenn Community Servant Award for her community contributions.
• Julie Ayers: A principal with LBA Haynes Strand PPC, Ayers has won several awards from the likes of NAWBO Charlotte and Enterprising Women magazine.
• Kelly Barnhardt: Under her leadership, the Matthews Chamber of Commerce continues to offer a full slate of programming while attracting members from outside of town limits.
• Laura Budd: As one half of Weaver | Budd Attorneys at Law, Budd maintains ties with the Matthews Chamber of Commerce and various bar associations. She’s also heavily involved in the Matthews Athletic & Recreation Association.
• Jennifer Garrity & Kimberly Gossage: The duo operates a law firm in downtown Matthews. Each serves on various boards of directors in town.
• Tara Goodfellow: Through Athena Consultants, Goodfellow provides career direction and leadership coaching. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, and she sits on the Mint Hill Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors.
• Anna Granger: Not only is she the owner of 1st Choice Properties, but she also serves as vice president of the Mint Hill Chamber of Commerce’s executive board.
• Paige McKinney: The Mint Hill Chamber of Commerce has grown more diverse during McKinney’s reign as executive director. A natural connector, she’s worked to make the organization even more personable.
• Taryn Mecia: She’s vice president of legal compliance at Harris Teeter, but still has time to be involved with the Matthews Free Medical Clinic.
• Sandi Salisbury: Allen Tate Companies promoted her to branch manager of its Matthews/Mint Hill office last year, allowing her to manage a few dozen agents and staff.
Want to nominate an inspirational woman?
Matthews-Mint Hill Weekly is accepting nominations to highlight five women in the community whose stories are truly inspiring – whether at the office or at home. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to recommend someone. We’re putting together a women’s empowerment event and special edition in May to recognize these women.