NCMS Staff Members

Get to know your NCMS team! Click on a photo or name to learn more about us.

Executive Team

Bob Seligson

Steve Keene

Robert W. Seligson, MBA, MA
Executive Vice President
Chief Executive Officer

Stephen W. Keene, MBA, JD
Chief Operating Officer & NCMS General Counsel

Evan Simmons
Executive Assistant

 Senior Management Team

Chip Baggett, JD
Senior Vice President, Advocacy & Advancement;  Associate General Counsel

Melanie Phelps, JD
Senior Vice President,
Health System Innovation;
NCMS Deputy General Counsel

Shawn Scott, MBA
Senior Vice President,
Member Services and Business Operations

 NCMS Team

Alan Skipper, CAE, CMP
Vice President,
Specialty Society Management Services

Angel S. Sutton
Project Manager, Advocacy & Advancement

Arielle Stout
Project Manager,  Specialty Society Management Services

Ashley Newton
Director,
Member Services, West

Aubrey Cuthbertson
Project Manager,
Member Services

Belinda B. McKoy
Project Manager,
Solution Center

 Conor Brockett, JD
Vice President, Legal & Regulatory Affairs;
NCMS Associate General Counsel

Dana Carroll-Lucas, NCCP
Project Manager,
Health System Innovation

Denna Suko, MA
Director,
Specialty Society Management Services

 Elaine Ellis, MSJ
Vice President,
Communications & Marketing

Erin Grover
Program Manager,
Leadership Development

 Franklin Walker, MBA
Vice President, Rural Health Systems Innovation; Executive Director, Community Practitioner Program

 Garry Linton
Director,
Communications & Marketing

 Jackie Davis-Jones
Project Manager,
Member Services

Joseph Cupolo, III
Director,
Member Services, East

 Joy N. Avery
Member Services Assistant

 Katherine Croom
Assistant Director,
Finance & Administration

Kelly Wilson
Assistant Director,
Business Operations

Kristen Shipherd
Director,
Marketing & Web Services

Kristen Spaduzzi, MS
Director,
Value-Based Healthcare

Kristina Natt och Dag, PhD, MA
Vice President,
Leadership Development

Nancy Lowe, CMP
Director,
Specialty Society Management Services

Pam Highsmith, MEd, CFRE
Vice President,
Advancement & Donor Relations

Riaz Mullick
Vice President,
Finance and Administration

Shanda Estwick
Project Manager,
Specialty Society Management Services

Sue Ann Forrest
Assistant Director,
Legislative Relations

 

 
 
 
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Robert W. Seligson, MBA, MA

Executive Vice President/CEO

With the NCMS since 1994

Bob’s leadership is focused on supporting NCMS members and helping to ensure North Carolina is first in health. Priorities include health system innovation, fostering members’ professional development, safeguarding physician wellness, and advocating for members at the state and federal levels and with regulatory agencies and private payers.

With more than three decades representing physician interests, Bob has a keen understanding of the complexity of our health care system and how to initiate and promote strong health policy. He began his career at the Florida Medical Association, where he rose to become Deputy Executive Vice President. Over his 20-plus years in North Carolina, Bob has tirelessly worked on numerous health care and civic boards.

At the national level, he serves as President of The Physicians Advocacy Institute, Inc., (PAI), which offers tools to ensure physicians may deliver high quality patient care, and as treasurer of The Physicians Foundation, which advances the work of practicing physicians. Since 2001, he has been part of the AMA’s State Legislative Team. Bob has authored more than 50 articles on health care issues, and is often sought by the media for his analysis of health care topics.

Locally, Bob is treasurer of the RBC Centennial Authority Board and has served on the Board of Leadership North Carolina. An Eagle Scout, he has been on the Boy Scouts of America, Occoneechee Council Board of Directors. In 1999, North Carolina Governor Jim Hunt awarded Bob the coveted Order of the Long Leaf Pine for his service to the state. Among his many honors, Bob has received the 2017 Ron H. Levine Legacy Award for Public Health; the L. Richardson Preyer Alumni Award from Leadership North Carolina as well as recognition by The Florida Medical Association, the AMA, the NCMS, the NC Association of Physicians of Indian Origin and the Old North State Medical Society for his service and dedication to patients and the health care community.

Bob is a graduate of the University of Georgia with an undergraduate degree in economics, and the University of North Florida with an MBA. Ten years ago, he returned to school to pursue his passion for documentary filmmaking, and received a master’s of arts degree in liberal studies with a concentration in film from North Carolina State University. From 2003 until 2014, Bob chaired the NC Film Council. He continues to add to his wide-ranging portfolio of documentaries.

Bob is married and has a son and a daughter.  

Steve Keene, MBA, JD

Chief Operating Officer & NCMS General Counsel

With the NCMS since 1994

In addition to serving as general counsel and chief operating officer of the North Carolina Medical Society, Steve is also secretary/treasurer for Carolina Complete Health Network, Inc. a subsidiary of the NCMS.

Steve received a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics (1980) and master of business administration (1989) from Georgia Southern College; a juris doctor (2000) from North Carolina Central University School of Law, and a master of laws in health law (2015) from Loyola University School of Law. Before coming to the NCMS in 1994, Steve worked in government affairs for the Mayo Clinic Jacksonville and before that worked on medical economics issues for the Florida Medical Association.  

 

Evan Simmons

Executive Assistant

With the NCMS since 2014

Evan holds a BA degree in Human Resources from Peace College in Raleigh and brings a decade of experience working in HR at Glaxo Smith Kline to her role at the NCMS. She was born in Florida, but spent most of her childhood in Raleigh. If they have a long weekend, you’re most likely to find Evan, her husband, Tate, and their young son, Henry, vacationing in the mountains of North Carolina.

 

Robert W. Seligson, MBA, MA

Executive Vice President/CEO

With the NCMS since 1994

Bob’s leadership is focused on supporting NCMS members and helping to ensure North Carolina is first in health. Priorities include health system innovation, fostering members’ professional development, safeguarding physician wellness, and advocating for members at the state and federal levels and with regulatory agencies and private payers.

With more than three decades representing physician interests, Bob has a keen understanding of the complexity of our health care system and how to initiate and promote strong health policy. He began his career at the Florida Medical Association, where he rose to become Deputy Executive Vice President. Over his 20-plus years in North Carolina, Bob has tirelessly worked on numerous health care and civic boards.

At the national level, he serves as President of The Physicians Advocacy Institute, Inc., (PAI), which offers tools to ensure physicians may deliver high quality patient care, and as treasurer of The Physicians Foundation, which advances the work of practicing physicians. Since 2001, he has been part of the AMA’s State Legislative Team. Bob has authored more than 50 articles on health care issues, and is often sought by the media for his analysis of health care topics.

Locally, Bob is treasurer of the RBC Centennial Authority Board and has served on the Board of Leadership North Carolina. An Eagle Scout, he has been on the Boy Scouts of America, Occoneechee Council Board of Directors. In 1999, North Carolina Governor Jim Hunt awarded Bob the coveted Order of the Long Leaf Pine for his service to the state. Among his many honors, Bob has received the 2017 Ron H. Levine Legacy Award for Public Health; the L. Richardson Preyer Alumni Award from Leadership North Carolina as well as recognition by The Florida Medical Association, the AMA, the NCMS, the NC Association of Physicians of Indian Origin and the Old North State Medical Society for his service and dedication to patients and the health care community.

Bob is a graduate of the University of Georgia with an undergraduate degree in economics, and the University of North Florida with an MBA. Ten years ago, he returned to school to pursue his passion for documentary filmmaking, and received a master’s of arts degree in liberal studies with a concentration in film from North Carolina State University. From 2003 until 2014, Bob chaired the NC Film Council. He continues to add to his wide-ranging portfolio of documentaries.

Bob is married and has a son and a daughter.  

Steve Keene, MBA, JD

Chief Operating Officer & NCMS General Counsel

With the NCMS since 1994

In addition to serving as general counsel and chief operating officer of the North Carolina Medical Society, Steve is also secretary/treasurer for Carolina Complete Health Network, Inc. a subsidiary of the NCMS.

Steve received a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics (1980) and master of business administration (1989) from Georgia Southern College; a juris doctor (2000) from North Carolina Central University School of Law, and a master of laws in health law (2015) from Loyola University School of Law. Before coming to the NCMS in 1994, Steve worked in government affairs for the Mayo Clinic Jacksonville and before that worked on medical economics issues for the Florida Medical Association.  

 

Evan Simmons

Executive Assistant

With the NCMS since 2014

Evan holds a BA degree in Human Resources from Peace College in Raleigh and brings a decade of experience working in HR at Glaxo Smith Kline to her role at the NCMS. She was born in Florida, but spent most of her childhood in Raleigh. If they have a long weekend, you’re most likely to find Evan, her husband, Tate, and their young son, Henry, vacationing in the mountains of North Carolina.

 

Chip Baggett, JD

Senior Vice President, Advocacy, Communications and Development; NCMS Associate General Counsel

With the NCMS since 2007

In his capacity as Senior Vice President for Advocacy and Associate General Counsel, Chip is responsible for state level advocacy efforts (primarily focused on the NC General Assembly) as well as communications and fundraising for the NCMS and NCMS Foundation.

Chip has a long history in organizational advancement and advocacy. Dating back to college, he has fundraised in numerous paid as well as volunteer capacities. He has led successful corporate and personal annual fund programs and gone through training at the Indiana School of Fundraising. Chip has worked in many different facets of health care ranging from a children’s science and health museum and pharmaceutical sales before going to work directly for physicians and PAs as a medical society executive first at the county level and then here at NCMS.

Chip graduated from the evening program at the NC Central University School of Law and passed the NC BAR in 2016 while working for NCMS. He is proud to be married to his wife, Shanon. They have two children in addition to a Great Dane-Lab mix. Chip also loves to explore the outdoors in his spare time by bike and on foot (preferably with a loaded backpack).  

 

Melanie Phelps, JD

Senior Vice President, Health System Innovation; NCMS Deputy General Counsel

With the NCMS since 2000

Melanie focuses on a wide variety of health policy issues and represents the interests of the medical community in public and private forums. She provides research on legislative and regulatory matters and general legal and policy guidance on many of the issues impacting health care, but focuses most of her attention on issues related to the transition to value-driven health care, improving health and connecting the traditional health care system with community health partners to address determinants of health. Melanie organized and directs the Toward Accountable Care Consortium and Initiative as well as the NC Population Health Collaborative and the NC ACO Council. 

 

Shawn Scott, MBA

Senior Vice President, Member Services and Business Operations

With the NCMS since 1998

A Virginia native, Shawn earned her BA in Speech Communication from George Mason University in Fairfax, VA and her MBA at Meredith College in Raleigh. She has served as Director of Marketing and Communications for the American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA) where she also began the ATSS Foundation, raising more than $100,000 for college scholarships in traffic engineering fields. After seven years at ATSSA, she joined Capitol Broadcasting Company in Raleigh to develop consumer marketing programs, returning to the association world when she joined the NCMS as Director of Membership Services and Marketing in 1998. Shawn is a graduate of “Leadership North Carolina,” a program aimed at developing informed and committed leaders and broadening their involvement in issues and opportunities facing the state of North Carolina. In 2008 she earned the Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation from the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE). She is an active member of ASAE and the American Association of Medical Society Executives (AAMSE). When she is not busy cultivating NCMS members or making sure all is operating smoothly at NCMS headquarters, she enjoys spending time with her husband, Tom McSwain, stepdaughter, Whitney, and son, Jack, entertaining, gardening, hiking and supporting positive social movements that promote kindness and express gratitude. 

 

Chip Baggett, JD

Senior Vice President, Advocacy, Communications and Development; NCMS Associate General Counsel

With the NCMS since 2007

In his capacity as Senior Vice President for Advocacy and Associate General Counsel, Chip is responsible for state level advocacy efforts (primarily focused on the NC General Assembly) as well as communications and fundraising for the NCMS and NCMS Foundation.

Chip has a long history in organizational advancement and advocacy. Dating back to college, he has fundraised in numerous paid as well as volunteer capacities. He has led successful corporate and personal annual fund programs and gone through training at the Indiana School of Fundraising. Chip has worked in many different facets of health care ranging from a children’s science and health museum and pharmaceutical sales before going to work directly for physicians and PAs as a medical society executive first at the county level and then here at NCMS.

Chip graduated from the evening program at the NC Central University School of Law and passed the NC BAR in 2016 while working for NCMS. He is proud to be married to his wife, Shanon. They have two children in addition to a Great Dane-Lab mix. Chip also loves to explore the outdoors in his spare time by bike and on foot (preferably with a loaded backpack).  

 

Melanie Phelps, JD

Senior Vice President, Health System Innovation; NCMS Deputy General Counsel

With the NCMS since 2000

Melanie focuses on a wide variety of health policy issues and represents the interests of the medical community in public and private forums. She provides research on legislative and regulatory matters and general legal and policy guidance on many of the issues impacting health care, but focuses most of her attention on issues related to the transition to value-driven health care, improving health and connecting the traditional health care system with community health partners to address determinants of health. Melanie organized and directs the Toward Accountable Care Consortium and Initiative as well as the NC Population Health Collaborative and the NC ACO Council. 

 

Shawn Scott, MBA

Senior Vice President, Member Services and Business Operations

With the NCMS since 1998

A Virginia native, Shawn earned her BA in Speech Communication from George Mason University in Fairfax, VA and her MBA at Meredith College in Raleigh. She has served as Director of Marketing and Communications for the American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA) where she also began the ATSS Foundation, raising more than $100,000 for college scholarships in traffic engineering fields. After seven years at ATSSA, she joined Capitol Broadcasting Company in Raleigh to develop consumer marketing programs, returning to the association world when she joined the NCMS as Director of Membership Services and Marketing in 1998. Shawn is a graduate of “Leadership North Carolina,” a program aimed at developing informed and committed leaders and broadening their involvement in issues and opportunities facing the state of North Carolina. In 2008 she earned the Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation from the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE). She is an active member of ASAE and the American Association of Medical Society Executives (AAMSE). When she is not busy cultivating NCMS members or making sure all is operating smoothly at NCMS headquarters, she enjoys spending time with her husband, Tom McSwain, stepdaughter, Whitney, and son, Jack, entertaining, gardening, hiking and supporting positive social movements that promote kindness and express gratitude. 

 

Alan Skipper, CAE, CMP

Vice President, NCMS Specialty Society Management

With the NCMS since 1980

Alan, a Certified Association Executive and Certified Meeting Professional, brings a lifetime of experience in professional society management to his role managing a variety of medical specialty societies. Born and raised in Raleigh, Alan showed his persistence early working on building and construction maintenance crews during high school to earn money to buy his first car – a brand new 1976 Camaro. He went on to earn his BA in Business Management at NC State University. When not spending time with his wife, Jennett, or grown daughters, Eva and Emily, you might find Alan on the golf course, or maybe the beach. But after a long stretch of back-to-back weekend specialty society meetings, he concedes, ‘there’s no place like home.’

Angel Sutton

Project Manager

With the NCMS since 2016

Angel has worked with a variety of North Carolina trade and professional associations for 20 years primarily in membership and membership development. She originally is from Portland, OR, but now calls North Carolina home. When she is not spending time with her husband or four grown children, Angel, a published poet, enjoys reading, watching the travel network and traveling when she can.

Arielle Stout

Project Manager, Specialty Societies

Started at NCMS as an intern in 2014-15 and returned full time in July 2017.

Arielle has a BS in Business Administration from Meredith College and an MS in Sports Administration from Liberty University. She has worked as a marketing coordinator for the Carolina Hurricanes and as an administrative assistant at Bagwell & Bagwell Insurance, where she also earned her Property and Casualty Producer’s License. Born and raised in Siler City, these days when she’s not home with her cat, Elvis, you might find Arielle on the softball diamond (she was captain of the Meredith team) or cosplaying at a sci-fi/comic convention.

Ashley Newton

Director, Member Services, West

With the NCMS since 2017

Born and raised in Hickory, NC, Ashley brings her knowledge of the western part of the state and 20 + years working in pharmaceutical sale and marketing to her work as NCMS western region member services director. Ashley holds a BS in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina-Wilmington and earned her MBA at Lenoir Rhyne University, where she also was an adjunct professor in the business school. She enjoys being on the road visiting members and potential members as well as hiking, kayaking, kickboxing and working out at the gym, visiting art museums and her wine club. She also enjoys fishing with her three children – daughter Kailey, 21, and sons Luke, 18, and Matthew, 16 – and her significant other, Michael. 

 

Alan Skipper, CAE, CMP

Vice President, NCMS Specialty Society Management

With the NCMS since 1980

Alan, a Certified Association Executive and Certified Meeting Professional, brings a lifetime of experience in professional society management to his role managing a variety of medical specialty societies. Born and raised in Raleigh, Alan showed his persistence early working on building and construction maintenance crews during high school to earn money to buy his first car – a brand new 1976 Camaro. He went on to earn his BA in Business Management at NC State University. When not spending time with his wife, Jennett, or grown daughters, Eva and Emily, you might find Alan on the golf course, or maybe the beach. But after a long stretch of back-to-back weekend specialty society meetings, he concedes, ‘there’s no place like home.’

Angel Sutton

Project Manager

With the NCMS since 2016

Angel has worked with a variety of North Carolina trade and professional associations for 20 years primarily in membership and membership development. She originally is from Portland, OR, but now calls North Carolina home. When she is not spending time with her husband or four grown children, Angel, a published poet, enjoys reading, watching the travel network and traveling when she can.

Arielle Stout

Project Manager, Specialty Societies

Started at NCMS as an intern in 2014-15 and returned full time in July 2017.

Arielle has a BS in Business Administration from Meredith College and an MS in Sports Administration from Liberty University. She has worked as a marketing coordinator for the Carolina Hurricanes and as an administrative assistant at Bagwell & Bagwell Insurance, where she also earned her Property and Casualty Producer’s License. Born and raised in Siler City, these days when she’s not home with her cat, Elvis, you might find Arielle on the softball diamond (she was captain of the Meredith team) or cosplaying at a sci-fi/comic convention.

Ashley Newton

Director, Member Services, West

With the NCMS since 2017

Born and raised in Hickory, NC, Ashley brings her knowledge of the western part of the state and 20 + years working in pharmaceutical sale and marketing to her work as NCMS western region member services director. Ashley holds a BS in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina-Wilmington and earned her MBA at Lenoir Rhyne University, where she also was an adjunct professor in the business school. She enjoys being on the road visiting members and potential members as well as hiking, kayaking, kickboxing and working out at the gym, visiting art museums and her wine club. She also enjoys fishing with her three children – daughter Kailey, 21, and sons Luke, 18, and Matthew, 16 – and her significant other, Michael. 

 

Aubrey Cuthbertson

Project Manager, Member Services

Started at NCMS as an intern in 2016 and was hired full time in 2017.

Aubrey grew up in Plantation, Florida and loves the ocean. She has a pet Beta fish named Petey Pabs and she snorkels or sails whenever possible. She also enjoys spontaneous trips to explore her new home state of North Carolina. Aubrey earned her BA in Mass Communications at Meredith College. If she had an hour to spend with anyone living or dead, Aubrey would want to spend it with Lorne Michaels to learn the business side of comedy.

Belinda B. McKoy

Project Manager, Solution Center

With the NCMS since 2014

Belinda brings 12 years of customer service experience with Club Corp, to her role helping NCMS members get answers to their questions through the NCMS Solution Center. Belinda earned her BA in Business Management and Economics at NC State University. She attended high school in Raleigh, but as part of an Air Force family, she grew up 'all over.' She still loves to travel and she and her husband, Von, enjoy sampling the regional cuisine wherever they are.

 

Conor Brockett, JD

Vice President, Legal & Regulatory Affairs

With the NCMS since 2010

Conor was born in Chicago, but raised outside of Atlanta. He holds a BA in Political Science and an ABJ in Telecommunications from the University of Georgia. He earned his law degree at Vermont Law School. When he’s not spending time with his wife, Sarah, and two small children, Chance and Evan, and their ‘old brown dog,’ Porter, you might find Conor exploring North Carolina, catching the Durham Bulls game, cycling, hiking and, definitely ‘pulling for the Dawgs.’

 

Dana Carroll-Lucas, NCCP

Project Manager, Health System Innovation

With the NCMS since 2016

Dana grew up in Bradford, PA and earned her BA in Communications at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA. She also is an NC Certified Paralegal, having passed the NC Bar exam for paralegals, after earning her paralegal certification from Meredith College in Raleigh. She brings health care knowledge from The Center for Child and Family Health in Durham, and Geisinger Health System Foundation, where she was a donor relations coordinator. During her career, she was a grant writing director and a news reporter for over a decade in central PA. If she had an hour to spend with anyone living or dead, she’d choose iconic newsman Walter Cronkite to discuss his quote, ‘America’s health care system is neither healthy, caring, nor a system.’

 

Aubrey Cuthbertson

Project Manager, Member Services

Started at NCMS as an intern in 2016 and was hired full time in 2017.

Aubrey grew up in Plantation, Florida and loves the ocean. She has a pet Beta fish named Petey Pabs and she snorkels or sails whenever possible. She also enjoys spontaneous trips to explore her new home state of North Carolina. Aubrey earned her BA in Mass Communications at Meredith College. If she had an hour to spend with anyone living or dead, Aubrey would want to spend it with Lorne Michaels to learn the business side of comedy.

Belinda B. McKoy

Project Manager, Solution Center

With the NCMS since 2014

Belinda brings 12 years of customer service experience with Club Corp, to her role helping NCMS members get answers to their questions through the NCMS Solution Center. Belinda earned her BA in Business Management and Economics at NC State University. She attended high school in Raleigh, but as part of an Air Force family, she grew up 'all over.' She still loves to travel and she and her husband, Von, enjoy sampling the regional cuisine wherever they are.

 

Conor Brockett, JD

Vice President, Legal & Regulatory Affairs

With the NCMS since 2010

Conor was born in Chicago, but raised outside of Atlanta. He holds a BA in Political Science and an ABJ in Telecommunications from the University of Georgia. He earned his law degree at Vermont Law School. When he’s not spending time with his wife, Sarah, and two small children, Chance and Evan, and their ‘old brown dog,’ Porter, you might find Conor exploring North Carolina, catching the Durham Bulls game, cycling, hiking and, definitely ‘pulling for the Dawgs.’

 

Dana Carroll-Lucas, NCCP

Project Manager, Health System Innovation

With the NCMS since 2016

Dana grew up in Bradford, PA and earned her BA in Communications at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA. She also is an NC Certified Paralegal, having passed the NC Bar exam for paralegals, after earning her paralegal certification from Meredith College in Raleigh. She brings health care knowledge from The Center for Child and Family Health in Durham, and Geisinger Health System Foundation, where she was a donor relations coordinator. During her career, she was a grant writing director and a news reporter for over a decade in central PA. If she had an hour to spend with anyone living or dead, she’d choose iconic newsman Walter Cronkite to discuss his quote, ‘America’s health care system is neither healthy, caring, nor a system.’

 

Denna Suko, MA

Director, Specialty Society Management Services

With the NCMS since 2014

Denna came to the NCMS from the American Academy of Ophthalmology in Washington, D.C. where she was the manager of OPHTHPAC and Political Affairs. Denna holds a BA in Political Science from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and an MA in Political Science from American University. She grew up in Troy, PA. She and her husband, Reid, don’t have a lot of time for hobbies currently since daughter, Maddy and son, Luke, and puppy, Zoey, keep them plenty busy.

 

Elaine Ellis, MSJ

Vice President, Communications & Marketing

With the NCMS since 2012

Elaine brings experience as a daily newspaper reporter in Fort Lauderdale and New York City as well as communications and public relations work at several trade associations to her job. A Midwesterner at heart, Elaine has a BA in History from Carleton College and an MS in Journalism from Northwestern University. She enjoys biking, baking, travel and spending quality time with her daughter, Rachael, a student at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and her son, Michael, who attends high school in Raleigh.

 

Erin Grover

Program Manager, Leadership Development

With the NCMS since 2014

Erin grew up in Apex, NC, and holds a BA in Psychology from Meredith College. She brings experience as a billing coordinator in two doctors’ offices and three years of work with special needs kids to her position. A longtime CrossFit enthusiast, she coaches adult and kid classes. She enjoys spending time with husband Brandon, daughter Ellie and son Wilks, reading, traveling and just catching up on sleep.

 

Franklin Walker, MBA

Vice President, Rural Health Systems Innovation, Executive Director, Community Practitioner Program

With the NCMS since 2010

Franklin earned his BA at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and his MBA at Xavier University in Cincinnati, OH. Prior to his position at the NCMS, Franklin has been a restaurateur, the CEO of a medical/surgical practice, a health care consultant and on the faculty of UNC’s School of Public Health. Franklin enjoys boating, travel and reading. Born and raised in Chapel Hill, Franklin, his wife, Melanie, and teenage sons, Trey and Paul, and poodle, Fitzgerald, live in Raleigh.

 

Denna Suko, MA

Director, Specialty Society Management Services

With the NCMS since 2014

Denna came to the NCMS from the American Academy of Ophthalmology in Washington, D.C. where she was the manager of OPHTHPAC and Political Affairs. Denna holds a BA in Political Science from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and an MA in Political Science from American University. She grew up in Troy, PA. She and her husband, Reid, don’t have a lot of time for hobbies currently since daughter, Maddy and son, Luke, and puppy, Zoey, keep them plenty busy.

 

Elaine Ellis, MSJ

Vice President, Communications & Marketing

With the NCMS since 2012

Elaine brings experience as a daily newspaper reporter in Fort Lauderdale and New York City as well as communications and public relations work at several trade associations to her job. A Midwesterner at heart, Elaine has a BA in History from Carleton College and an MS in Journalism from Northwestern University. She enjoys biking, baking, travel and spending quality time with her daughter, Rachael, a student at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and her son, Michael, who attends high school in Raleigh.

 

Erin Grover

Program Manager, Leadership Development

With the NCMS since 2014

Erin grew up in Apex, NC, and holds a BA in Psychology from Meredith College. She brings experience as a billing coordinator in two doctors’ offices and three years of work with special needs kids to her position. A longtime CrossFit enthusiast, she coaches adult and kid classes. She enjoys spending time with husband Brandon, daughter Ellie and son Wilks, reading, traveling and just catching up on sleep.

 

Franklin Walker, MBA

Vice President, Rural Health Systems Innovation, Executive Director, Community Practitioner Program

With the NCMS since 2010

Franklin earned his BA at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and his MBA at Xavier University in Cincinnati, OH. Prior to his position at the NCMS, Franklin has been a restaurateur, the CEO of a medical/surgical practice, a health care consultant and on the faculty of UNC’s School of Public Health. Franklin enjoys boating, travel and reading. Born and raised in Chapel Hill, Franklin, his wife, Melanie, and teenage sons, Trey and Paul, and poodle, Fitzgerald, live in Raleigh.

 

Garry Linton

Director, Marketing and Communications

With the NCMS since 1985

Garry has worked as a media tech at Pamlico Community College, a Realtor, a stager and home re-designer and co-owner of L & L Sign Company. Lately he is the videographer behind many NCMS videos including the popular “Bowtie Briefing.” Garry has an Associate’s Degree in Commercial Art and Graphic Design from Pitt Community College and a BS in Business Administration from Mt. Olive College. He grew up in Washington, NC. When not at work, you’ll likely find Garry spending time with his grown daughter, McKayla, at the beach, fishing, doing yard work or on the porch swing with his dog, Pepper.

 

Jackie Davis-Jones

Project Manager, Member Services

With the NCMS since 2007

Jackie grew up in Washington, DC, but went to high school in Raleigh. She has worked as a credentialing analyst and is a published author with Life Changing Book Publishing Company. She enjoys writing, reading, shopping and watching football. She’s the proud mother of North Carolina Central University class of 2014 basketball star point guard Emanuel “Poobie” Chapman, III. Jackie enjoys time with her husband, Cleveland Jones, Jr., and if she had long weekend you’d find her someplace tropical.

 

Joseph Cupolo, III

Director, Member Services, East

With the NCMS since 2015

Joe started his sales career at age 3, helping his dad deliver bread in Brooklyn and on Long Island, where he grew up. He earned his BS in Biology from Siena College in Albany, NY before returning to his passion – sales -- this time in broadcasting as an ad rep in Pennsylvania and then in North Carolina. When he’s not on the road in eastern NC extolling the virtues of NCMS membership, Joe enjoys walks with his wife, Lisa, and teenage daughter, Alexa, as well as storytelling, visiting museums and culinary discussions.

 

Joy N. Avery

Member Services Assistant

With the NCMS since 2000

Joy grew up in Garner, NC, but if she has a long weekend you’ll most likely find her at Carolina Beach. By day, Joy is the voice you hear when you call the main NCMS phone line; by night she is a prolific and best-selling romance novel writer with some of the highest ratings on Amazon.com. She and her husband have a Pekingnese/Poodle mix named Rocket. Fellow NCMS staff members also know Joy for her cake decorating skills and the delicious cakes she treats us to on special occasions.

 

Garry Linton

Director, Marketing and Communications

With the NCMS since 1985

Garry has worked as a media tech at Pamlico Community College, a Realtor, a stager and home re-designer and co-owner of L & L Sign Company. Lately he is the videographer behind many NCMS videos including the popular “Bowtie Briefing.” Garry has an Associate’s Degree in Commercial Art and Graphic Design from Pitt Community College and a BS in Business Administration from Mt. Olive College. He grew up in Washington, NC. When not at work, you’ll likely find Garry spending time with his grown daughter, McKayla, at the beach, fishing, doing yard work or on the porch swing with his dog, Pepper.

 

Jackie Davis-Jones

Project Manager, Member Services

With the NCMS since 2007

Jackie grew up in Washington, DC, but went to high school in Raleigh. She has worked as a credentialing analyst and is a published author with Life Changing Book Publishing Company. She enjoys writing, reading, shopping and watching football. She’s the proud mother of North Carolina Central University class of 2014 basketball star point guard Emanuel “Poobie” Chapman, III. Jackie enjoys time with her husband, Cleveland Jones, Jr., and if she had long weekend you’d find her someplace tropical.

 

Joseph Cupolo, III

Director, Member Services, East

With the NCMS since 2015

Joe started his sales career at age 3, helping his dad deliver bread in Brooklyn and on Long Island, where he grew up. He earned his BS in Biology from Siena College in Albany, NY before returning to his passion – sales -- this time in broadcasting as an ad rep in Pennsylvania and then in North Carolina. When he’s not on the road in eastern NC extolling the virtues of NCMS membership, Joe enjoys walks with his wife, Lisa, and teenage daughter, Alexa, as well as storytelling, visiting museums and culinary discussions.

 

Joy N. Avery

Member Services Assistant

With the NCMS since 2000

Joy grew up in Garner, NC, but if she has a long weekend you’ll most likely find her at Carolina Beach. By day, Joy is the voice you hear when you call the main NCMS phone line; by night she is a prolific and best-selling romance novel writer with some of the highest ratings on Amazon.com. She and her husband have a Pekingnese/Poodle mix named Rocket. Fellow NCMS staff members also know Joy for her cake decorating skills and the delicious cakes she treats us to on special occasions.

 

Katherine Croom

Assistant Director, Finance and Administration

With the NCMS since 2014

Before arriving at the NCMS, Katherine served as an accountant at the NC Central Office of Child Support and as a fiscal manager at the NC State University Office of Contracts and Grants. Katherine holds a BS in Accounting from Strayer University. She grew up in Kinston and enjoys traveling, shopping and baking. While she is not a pet person (she’s scared of dogs; allergic to cats and her goldfish died), she does enjoy spending time with her husband, Marco, her son Preston, who is in the Navy, and her daughter, Aliyah, a college sophomore.

 

Kelly Wilson

Assistant Director, Business Operations

With the NCMS since 1993

Kelly was born in Indiana but spent a good bit of her childhood in Ontario, Canada. This may explain her affinity for hockey – she loves the Carolina Hurricanes. When she’s not at a ‘Canes game, doing yard work, reading or hanging out with her canine gang of Bo the Sheltie, Rudy the toy Poodle, and Carbon the Standard Poodle, you’ll most likely find Kelly spending time with her daughter, Bailey, and Bailey's fiance, Josh, in Wilmington.

 

Kristen Shipherd

Kristen Shipherd

Director, Marketing & Web Services

With the NCMS since 2002

Equipped with a BA in Classical Archaeology and Anthropology and a minor in Art History from George Washington University, Kristen’s career path began with editing field reports for an archaeologist and segued into a job with an art auction house as editor of their lifestyle magazine. At the NCMS, she gives the visual pizzazz to our website and other communications.  

When she's not at the Medical Society, you can probably find Kristen in a dance class at the gym or spending time at home with her daughter, Kaleigh.

 

Kristen Spaduzzi

Director, Value-Based Health Care

With the NCMS since April 2017

Kristen was born in Hong Kong, but grew up in Marietta, GA and Union City, TN. She earned her BS in Exercise Science and her MS in Sports Management at Middle Tennessee State University. She has worked as a practice manager at UNC Physicians Network and the director of center operations for Lifesigns in Raleigh. Not one to be idle, Kristen got her real estate license while out on maternity leave with her daughter, born in 2013. In her downtime, Kristen does love watching Georgia football, live music, reading and exploring.

 

Katherine Croom

Assistant Director, Finance and Administration

With the NCMS since 2014

Before arriving at the NCMS, Katherine served as an accountant at the NC Central Office of Child Support and as a fiscal manager at the NC State University Office of Contracts and Grants. Katherine holds a BS in Accounting from Strayer University. She grew up in Kinston and enjoys traveling, shopping and baking. While she is not a pet person (she’s scared of dogs; allergic to cats and her goldfish died), she does enjoy spending time with her husband, Marco, her son Preston, who is in the Navy, and her daughter, Aliyah, a college sophomore.

 

Kelly Wilson

Assistant Director, Business Operations

With the NCMS since 1993

Kelly was born in Indiana but spent a good bit of her childhood in Ontario, Canada. This may explain her affinity for hockey – she loves the Carolina Hurricanes. When she’s not at a ‘Canes game, doing yard work, reading or hanging out with her canine gang of Bo the Sheltie, Rudy the toy Poodle, and Carbon the Standard Poodle, you’ll most likely find Kelly spending time with her daughter, Bailey, and Bailey's fiance, Josh, in Wilmington.

 

Kristen Shipherd

Kristen Shipherd

Director, Marketing & Web Services

With the NCMS since 2002

Equipped with a BA in Classical Archaeology and Anthropology and a minor in Art History from George Washington University, Kristen’s career path began with editing field reports for an archaeologist and segued into a job with an art auction house as editor of their lifestyle magazine. At the NCMS, she gives the visual pizzazz to our website and other communications.  

When she's not at the Medical Society, you can probably find Kristen in a dance class at the gym or spending time at home with her daughter, Kaleigh.

 

Kristen Spaduzzi

Director, Value-Based Health Care

With the NCMS since April 2017

Kristen was born in Hong Kong, but grew up in Marietta, GA and Union City, TN. She earned her BS in Exercise Science and her MS in Sports Management at Middle Tennessee State University. She has worked as a practice manager at UNC Physicians Network and the director of center operations for Lifesigns in Raleigh. Not one to be idle, Kristen got her real estate license while out on maternity leave with her daughter, born in 2013. In her downtime, Kristen does love watching Georgia football, live music, reading and exploring.

 

Kristina Natt och Dag, PhD, MA

Vice President, Leadership Development

With the NCMS since 2014

Kristina received her undergraduate and MA degrees in Human Rights from Lund University in Sweden and her Ph.D. in educational research and policy analysis from NC State. At the NCMS she oversees the leadership development activities of the Kanof Institute for Physician Leadership, which includes organizational development services. Her career has taken her all over the world including working with Estee Lauder companies as director of education and development in New York and throughout Europe. Her experience also includes the finance sector as well as non-profit.

She has served as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the George Washington University and was more recently affiliated with Executive Education at Poole School of Management at North Carolina State University. Kristina, her husband Magnus and their two children, Alexander and Emma, enjoy the beautiful North Carolinian weather, spending time outdoors as a family hiking and boating.  

 

Nancy Lowe

Director, Specialty Society Management Services

With the NCMS since 2005

Nancy grew up in Charleston, WV, and received her BS in Political Science at Guilford College, where she also was a DJ at the campus radio station. A recipient of the Planner of the Year and Hall of Fame awards from the Carolinas Chapter of Meeting Professionals International, Nancy has held event planning positions in the pharmaceutical, legal and insurance industries and worked in hospitality sales, catering and convention services before arriving at the NCMS. She loves waterskiing, music and travel and spending time with her husband Quinn and her son, Colin, a student at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

 

Pam Highsmith, MEd, CFRE

Vice President, Advancement and Donor Relations

With the NCMS for 17 years

Born and raised in Burgaw, NC, Pam earned her BA in Education at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and her M.Ed. at The Citadel. She taught English for six years and was the Executive Director of the Alice Aycock Poe Center for Health Education and a hospice administrator. Pam also has experience as a lifeguard, a bank teller and is handy with a skill saw. When she is not spending time with her large extended family, which includes three siblings and their spouses, 11 nieces and nephews and 20 great nieces and nephews and counting, you’ll likely find Pam swimming, biking, running or cheering on the Tar Heels.

 

Riaz Mullick

Vice President, Finance and Administration

With the NCMS since 2016

Riaz is a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Information Systems Auditor and holds an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh. He spent most of his childhood in New Castle, PA, and began his career at what is now Bank of New York Mellon in Pittsburgh. He has also worked for a Transamerica sub-prime finance joint venture and a non-profit financial institution as well as a Federally Qualified Health Center in North Carolina. When not crunching numbers, Riaz enjoys watching movies (his favorite is Back to the Future) and spending time with his wife, Shireen.

 

Kristina Natt och Dag, PhD, MA

Vice President, Leadership Development

With the NCMS since 2014

Kristina received her undergraduate and MA degrees in Human Rights from Lund University in Sweden and her Ph.D. in educational research and policy analysis from NC State. At the NCMS she oversees the leadership development activities of the Kanof Institute for Physician Leadership, which includes organizational development services. Her career has taken her all over the world including working with Estee Lauder companies as director of education and development in New York and throughout Europe. Her experience also includes the finance sector as well as non-profit.

She has served as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the George Washington University and was more recently affiliated with Executive Education at Poole School of Management at North Carolina State University. Kristina, her husband Magnus and their two children, Alexander and Emma, enjoy the beautiful North Carolinian weather, spending time outdoors as a family hiking and boating.  

 

Nancy Lowe

Director, Specialty Society Management Services

With the NCMS since 2005

Nancy grew up in Charleston, WV, and received her BS in Political Science at Guilford College, where she also was a DJ at the campus radio station. A recipient of the Planner of the Year and Hall of Fame awards from the Carolinas Chapter of Meeting Professionals International, Nancy has held event planning positions in the pharmaceutical, legal and insurance industries and worked in hospitality sales, catering and convention services before arriving at the NCMS. She loves waterskiing, music and travel and spending time with her husband Quinn and her son, Colin, a student at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

 

Pam Highsmith, MEd, CFRE

Vice President, Advancement and Donor Relations

With the NCMS for 17 years

Born and raised in Burgaw, NC, Pam earned her BA in Education at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and her M.Ed. at The Citadel. She taught English for six years and was the Executive Director of the Alice Aycock Poe Center for Health Education and a hospice administrator. Pam also has experience as a lifeguard, a bank teller and is handy with a skill saw. When she is not spending time with her large extended family, which includes three siblings and their spouses, 11 nieces and nephews and 20 great nieces and nephews and counting, you’ll likely find Pam swimming, biking, running or cheering on the Tar Heels.

 

Riaz Mullick

Vice President, Finance and Administration

With the NCMS since 2016

Riaz is a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Information Systems Auditor and holds an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh. He spent most of his childhood in New Castle, PA, and began his career at what is now Bank of New York Mellon in Pittsburgh. He has also worked for a Transamerica sub-prime finance joint venture and a non-profit financial institution as well as a Federally Qualified Health Center in North Carolina. When not crunching numbers, Riaz enjoys watching movies (his favorite is Back to the Future) and spending time with his wife, Shireen.

 

Shanda Estwick

Executive Assistant, Specialty Societies

With the NCMS since 2016

Shanda is the youngest of six siblings, growing up in the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens. She holds an office applications certification from ElmCor in Queens and has three children of her own. Shanda has worked as a fundraising and development coordinator and a nonprofit event coordinator. Her passions include makeup artistry, the culinary arts, fashion and interior design and literature. She also is a lover of comics and history.

 

Sue Ann Forrest

Assistant Director, Legislative and Political Action

With the NCMS since 2016

Sue Ann holds a BA in English and Communication Studies with a minor in Marketing from Campbell University, where she served as Student Government President, Miss Campbell University, and where she is still active as an Alumni Board Member and Student Union Foundations Board Member. She currently is also pursuing her Masters of Public Administration at East Carolina University. In her precious free time she enjoys volunteering as a Scholarship Committee Member for the Miss North Carolina Scholarship Pageant and as a Steering Committee Member for the NC Museum of History Young Associates group. She grew up in Greenville, NC, and when she truly wants to relax you’ll find her on the beach at the Outer Banks with a good book.

 

Shanda Estwick

Executive Assistant, Specialty Societies

With the NCMS since 2016

Shanda is the youngest of six siblings, growing up in the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens. She holds an office applications certification from ElmCor in Queens and has three children of her own. Shanda has worked as a fundraising and development coordinator and a nonprofit event coordinator. Her passions include makeup artistry, the culinary arts, fashion and interior design and literature. She also is a lover of comics and history.

 

Sue Ann Forrest

Assistant Director, Legislative and Political Action

With the NCMS since 2016

Sue Ann holds a BA in English and Communication Studies with a minor in Marketing from Campbell University, where she served as Student Government President, Miss Campbell University, and where she is still active as an Alumni Board Member and Student Union Foundations Board Member. She currently is also pursuing her Masters of Public Administration at East Carolina University. In her precious free time she enjoys volunteering as a Scholarship Committee Member for the Miss North Carolina Scholarship Pageant and as a Steering Committee Member for the NC Museum of History Young Associates group. She grew up in Greenville, NC, and when she truly wants to relax you’ll find her on the beach at the Outer Banks with a good book.