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2017 Inductees

Aaron McKeithan, Jr


A native of Goldsboro, North Carolina, Aaron McKeithan has worked the better part of his life serving mankind. After serving his country as a veteran of the Korean War with a tour of duty in England, he moved to Charlotte, North Carolina in 1961 where he retired from Presbyterian Hospital (Novant Healthcare System) after 37 years of service. Mr. McKeithan served on the Charlotte Area Fund Board of Directors in various capacities for fifteen years and epitomizes the community action promise. During his tenure as a board member of the Charlotte Area Fund, he helped to establish partnerships to effect change. He was recognized by the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners in 2016 for his selfless efforts and service. He remains connected with the community and advocates for CAF and its constituents even though he has relocated to Washington, D.C. His favorite quote describes his purpose which is “to serve mankind and to give back by utilizing skills and knowledge acquired through life’s journey.” As indicated by his many and diverse community affiliations, Mr. McKeithan has worked to achieve results that would enhance the lives of others and the community at-large. His leadership for 16 years over a block cluster of 22 neighborhoods and participation on numerous boards and committees in Mecklenburg County demonstrates that productive and involved citizenship is required for community improvements. A graduate of the public schools of Wayne County, McKeithan attended North Carolina A&T University. He has two children, who are proud parents as well. Following their father’s example, they serve their communities in capacities of an educator and a former mental health professional.

Richard Reeves

Richard Reeves opened the Central Haywood High School, an alternative high school, as principal in 1994 and remained principal until 2003. A former, US Naval Signalman and longshoreman, Mr. Reeves taught school and worked as a Dropout Prevention Coordinator for nearly 20 years prior to becoming a Principal. He touched many students’ lives during that time. He started cutting wood after his retirement when a lot on his property in Waynesville needed clearing. Mr. Reeves had wood to give. In 2005, he was called to the wood ministry and connected with Mountain Projects to provide wood to seniors in Haywood County. This unofficial pastor of a group of men who provided wood at no cost to those desperate for ways to stay warm in the colder months, has since has delivered 2,714 loads to seniors, many by himself. Delivering is just a part of the operation. Reeves, many times locates wood or has logs delivered, loads it into the truck, takes it to the wood pile, cuts it in to usable lengths, stacks it and then delivers it. Mountain Projects buys full logs and Reeves cuts them to size. He has his Sunday school class help him on occasion and a volunteer pitches in, too. Mr. Reeves checks in with the seniors he delivers to and makes sure they are doing ok. He often delivers several loads to keep them ahead of the weather. He has also delivered Meals on Wheels, delivering over 8,000 meals since 2005. The world need more servants like Richard Reeves!

Board of Directors

Robert W. Atkinson

Robert W. Atkinson has been a board member on the Johnston-Lee-Harnett Community Action, Inc. Board since 2006 and currently serves as the Board Chair. A retired Chief of the Detective and Narcotics Division for the Johnston County Sheriff's Office, he entered the US Army at an early age - serving for 20 years. Mr. Atkinson retired as a Special Agent and Chief Warrant Officer with the US Army Criminal Investigation Command, Washington, DC in 1990, prior to his employment at Fayetteville Technical Community College as Director of Emergency Services Training. He is dedicated to serving the community and is an outstanding representative of the Johnston County Commissioners on the Board of Directors. Mr. Atkinson graduated from Richard B. Harrison High School before entering the US Army at an early age and served for 20 years. He holds several Bachelor Degrees – Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies/Criminal Justice, Public Administration, Shaw University and Masters of Arts Degree in Public Administration from Shaw University, Masters of Arts degree in Public Administration, Central Michigan University. Mr. Atkinson is a member of Disabled American Veterans and the American Legion.

William E. Connor

Mr. William E. Connor joined the Greene Lamp, Inc. Board of Directors in 2000. He has played a critical role in the leadership of Greene Lamp, Inc. and shared his time and talents with the Agency for 16 years. Mr. Connor very quickly became involved with the Agency as a member of the Executive Committee. He has served on the Executive Committee as an elected officer of the Agency for many years. He also served on the Personnel, Building, Strategic Planning and Finance Committees. Elected Treasurer in 2004, Mr. Connor became the First Vice-Chairman and Chairman of the Board of Directors in 2010. He consistently volunteered to be a part of Head Start On-Site Review Teams and Self-Assessments, CSBG Public Hearings, agency volunteer events, and fundraisers. Not only did he share his time and talents for Greene Lamp, he also volunteers for other agencies, and gives tirelessly to his church family and his neighbors. Under his leadership, Greene Lamp, Inc. has flourished, expanded and acquired new programs throughout Eastern North Carolina and continues to be a capstone in the counties it serves. A native of Greene County, NC, Mr. Connor served his country in Marine Corp Aviation from 1967 to 1971. He has served on many local boards including DSS, Greene County Health Care, Board of Elections, Greene County Health Care, Economic Development Board, and Pitt & Greene Electric Co-op. Married with 4 children, 3 sons and 1 daughter, he is very active in the Masonic Lodge, Eastern Stars and Pyatt’s Chapel AME Zion Church.

Edwin Deaver

Mayor Edwin Deaver served on the CCAP/Action Pathways board from 1993 until his demise in December 2016, representing the Town of Hope Mills. A gifted administrator, he served as Treasurer, Vice-Chairman, and Chairman. During his tenure the agency grew from one of less than $10M in revenues to over $20M today. He frequently laughed about the technological enhancement describing the "early days" as one where all checks were signed by hand, an arduous piece of work, where now electronic signatures are in place. The agency has grown from serving one county to providing services in 30 counties. Mayor Deaver provided the leadership that guided the board to rebrand as Action Pathways, a name that's a better fit for the agency's expanded service area. He provided calming, non-judgmental leadership in the midst of controversy and always had a poem to lighten the day. He believed to his core in the mission of helping individuals in financial straits get back on their feet. CW4 Edwin Deaver served 39 years in the US Army. Following that he was a 7-term mayor of the Town of Hope Mills. He enjoyed volunteering and was active in numerous organizations including CCAP/ Action Pathways, the National Human Development Committee National League of Cities; the Rotary Club of Fayetteville, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10630, the Cumberland County Mayor's Coalition, U.S. Rep. Mike McIntyre's Military Affairs Council and was an honorary commander of Pope Air Force Base. He was awarded The Order of the Long Leaf Pine on Sept. 1, 2005. Edwin Deaver loved mankind.

Catherine Moody

Catherine Moody has a long standing career in education as a teacher, administrator, school board member and a leader in the educational community. Born and reared in Northampton County North Carolina, she is active in her community and serves on several boards, including Choanoke Area Development Association of North Carolina, Inc. (CADA) and the Northampton County School Board of Education. Ms. Moody received her Bachelor’s Degree from NC Wesleyan and Master’s Degree from Virginia State University in Educational Leadership. A team player, she not only displays a positive image for Workforce Development, Ms. Moody works diligently to improve the lives of all citizens. She started her career teaching nursing at Halifax Community College. During her tenure, Ms. Moody was a motivational specialist, Title III Administrator and a Literacy Skill Specialist where she was instrumental in helping many to receive their GED. She has served as a consultant to the Gregory B. Davis Foundation, the Upper Coastal Plain Joint Community Advisory Committee, Halifax County Branch of University Women, Vice Chairwoman for Turning Point Workforce Development Board of Directors and a host of other organizations, as well the Cooperative Extension Advisory Leaders Committee. Certified as a National School Board Affiliate, Ms. Moody is the recipient of numerous awards and believes in helping with social justice and those in unrepresented and underserved communities. She has and continues to advocate for programs and services for the youth of Northeastern North Carolina. The proud mother of two sons, she is a faithful member of her Roanoke Chapel Missionary Baptist Church, where she is a deaconess and superintendent of Sunday school. Ms. Moody exemplifies community action!

Evelyn Newman

Evelyn F. Newman is a Charlotte native who has devoted her life to serving others. A pioneer in many areas, she has paved the way for others to follow. She has worked diligently in her neighborhood and the county to improve the schools and particularly, services for the poor and seniors. Because of her ability to bridge the gap between sectors in the community and her recognizable work, Mrs. Newman was featured in television commercials with the Mayor regarding civic engagement. As a result of her efforts, her image was erected using mosaic tiles on a column near a gateway to the City of Charlotte from Interstate 85. Mrs. Newman continues to give tireless service to the Charlotte Area Fund as a member of the Board of Directors functioning in various capacities for fourteen years. Although she no longer drives, she is so loyal and dedicated to the agency that she has a family member to bring her to the agency each week to render service. Mrs. Newman is a passionate community activist who is recognized and respected by the people of Charlotte/Mecklenburg County. In her early years, she attended several Charlotte elementary schools and Alexander Graham Junior High. Upon graduating from Central High School in 1940, she was employed for a short time with Crane Company and later began working for Southern Bell as a telephone operator. This was the beginning of a long-standing career in many capacities. She was the first woman appointed District Traffic Manager-TSPS for North and South Carolina. Mrs. Newman retired from AT&T in 1991, having served 50+ Years. She has served on numerous professional organizations in Mecklenburg County.

Alfred Riddick

Alfred Riddick has dedicated more than thirty years of service to the Halifax County Public Schools System, teaching at John A. Chaloner, William R. Davie and Northwest Halifax High, and the Extended Day Program. He also worked as an On-the-Job Training Specialist and Extended Day Director having served as a principal at every school level. As principal of Inborden Elementary, he directed the staff through steps to achieve accreditation by the Southern Association of School Accreditation. At Eastman Middle School, he initiated the James P. Comer Model for improving parental participation and strengthening student achievement. At Southeast High, he instituted 4x4 (four by four) scheduling that aligned high school scheduling with college scheduling, making it easier for beginning college students to adjust to college life. Most of his time has been devoted to serving on numerous boards: Board of Directors for CARE/John 3:16; Vice-Chair and Chairman, Halifax County Department of Social Services Board; Board of Adjustments for Halifax County; Halifax County Teen Pregnancy Council; Vice President and President of Halifax County Association of Classroom Teachers; Vice-President of the North Carolina Extended Day Association; President of Halifax-Northampton Alumni Chapter of North Carolina A&T State University; Board of Directors for Choanoke Area Development Association of North Carolina, Inc., now serving as Second Vice President. Alfred Riddick, Sr. was born in Williamston, North Carolina, graduated from Edgar J. Hayes High, and attended North Carolina A&T State University of Greensboro, North Carolina where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. He later earned a Master’s Degree in Education Administration from East Carolina University of Greenville, North Carolina.

Marcelle O. Smith

Marcelle Smith’s goal during his time as a member of the Board of Directors for CADA is to lead and guide policies that coincide with the CADA mission: “to assist low-income citizens to achieve self-sufficiency and a better quality of life”. Serving elected or appointed offices for over fifteen years, he has gained a greater appreciation of life by working with and for citizens on the local and state level. Smith has an extensive background in community service, including service to Mary’s Chapel Missionary Baptist Church as a Trustee, member and past chair of the Halifax County Juvenile Crime Prevention Council, Fire Chief with the Tillery Volunteer Fire Department, member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc., and as a member of Cardinal Innovations Board of Directors. He served on the Scotland Neck Town Council from 2005-07. Mr. Smith has also worked in the Halifax County School system as a teacher and attendance counselor. He is also the co-owner of New Beginnings Funeral Service, Inc. Marcelle O. Smith has dedicated his life to helping others, as evidenced by his chosen career as a Juvenile Court Counselor. A native of Scotland Neck, North Carolina, he graduated from Southeast Halifax High School, later attending Fayetteville State University, majoring in Criminal Justice and obtained a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Nova Southeastern University. Marcelle currently serves as a County Commissioner in Halifax County and serves as their representative on the Choanoke Area Development Association Board of Directors.

David Whitley

As an educator, David Whitley motivated his students with hands-on learning opportunities, especially in science and social studies to enhance their reading skills. A graduate of East Carolina University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education, Mr. Whitley worked as a teacher and assistant principal for Chesterfield County Schools in Virginia. He earned a Master’s of Education in Administration in 1972 from the University of Virginia, however, due to his father’s declining health, he returned to North Carolina to join the family lumber business, which he expanded to include building supplies and a lumber brokerage firm. He also established a real estate business before joining the Chamber of Commerce in 2010. Although more involved in the business side of things, Mr. Whitley continued his interest in education - teaching Adult Basic Education at Martin Community College and serving 12 years on the Martin County Board of Education. He enjoyed activities associated with being a Boy Scout Scoutmaster and could always be counted on to be a baseball or softball coach. His devotion to his church is evident in his service as a Deacon for 12 years, Chairman for 2 terms, a choir member and Sunday school teacher for all ages. He joined other faith groups that held church in an old business facility to reach out to the homeless. Mr. Whitley provided case management for persons in crisis situations, coordinating individual assistance with food, clothing, housing, jobs and medical needs. A frequent visitor at the Vintage Inn, a local assisted living facility, he volunteered countless hours at the BMB Shelter Home treating fatherless boys to camping, fishing trips and basketball games. Realizing the value of attracting new industry to the area and encouraging the growth of small businesses, David Whitley came out of retirement to serve as Director of the Martin County Chamber of Commerce. He and his wife have four grown children and three grandchildren.

Executive Directors

Daphany A. Hill

Mrs. Daphany A. Hill was promoted to Interim Director of our agency after the loss of a major program. Her willingness to take the reins under such uncertain circumstances was unwavering. The Board required Mrs. Hill to complete her undergraduate degree within 6 months before the appointment became permanent and she met that challenge without delay. The agency experienced a major fire and eviction after 14 years by the county, from a building that was constructed for their operations and are still in transition. Mrs. Hill's continuing commitment to the agency, staff, and mission has been steadfast. The quality and professionalism of our agency programs and staff have grown under her watch. The agency was recently awarded a significant project called NCServes- Coastal which serves veterans and their families in a 20-county area of Eastern NC. Under Mrs. Hill's guidance, program leaders/staff are encouraged to grow educationally and professionally and ECHSA's future is bright. Mrs. Daphany Hill is from Pender County in Eastern NC. She received an Associate's Degree from Cape Fear Community College and her BA from Campbell University. Mrs. Hill began her career in human services as a Group Home Counselor for Lutheran Family Services. She joined DOP Consolidated Human Services Agency (later ECHSA) in 1990 and was promoted to Deputy Director in 1998. Early in 2000 she was appointed Interim Director, pending completion of her undergraduate degree. Upon completion of her education at Campbell University, she was officially named Executive Director of Eastern Carolina Human Services Agency, Inc., a position she currently holds. Mrs. Hill is married to a retired military veteran. They have two sons, one daughter, and grandchildren she adores!


Larry Alston

Larry Alston - aka connector, communicator, collaborator, and coordinator assisting individuals to become champions, was elected as the “The Essential Piece” NCCAA Employee of the Year for consistently going above and beyond in service for Choanoke Area Development Association of North Carolina, Inc. in 2016. His mission is enabling individuals to become self-sufficient. He has collaborated with various entities and elected officials to help over 3,600 individuals increase their skills to obtain HRD, Career Readiness, Safe Serve certificates and Weatherization Technician Certifications, to better prepare themselves for employment opportunities. Mr. Alson has coordinated job opportunities providing more than $250,000 yearly and assisted in initiating a Regional Job Fair attended by over 1500 unemployed individuals. He joined forces with the US Marine Corp’s Toys for Tots program to provide toys for CADA’S Head Start children. He provided certificates of appreciation to friends of CADA for their assistance to programs. Larry Alston consistently searches for innovative ways to make CADA’s programs successful. Born in Halifax County, Mr. Alston is a graduate of Weldon City Public Schools and Elizabeth City State University, where he obtained a Bachelor of Science in Sociology and served as the state vice-president of the student NC Education Association. He completed the Core Master’s Program at East Carolina University. Mr. Alston has been employed with Halifax and Edgecombe Public Schools, Nash-Edgecombe Economic Development, and the North Carolina Community College System. Mr. Alson has been with CADA for sixteen years. He serves as district leader at Word Tabernacle Church in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. He and his wife have two children and four grandchildren.

Ruby R. Bryant

Born and raised in Smithfield, NC, Ruby Bryant became involved in community action as a Head Start parent at Johnston-Lee-Harnett Community Action in 1978 and worked with the Policy Council. She later served on the Board of Directors. Ms. Bryant worked in the CSBG Program from the very beginning in Harnett County. She is currently the Human Resource Director for the agency and hasn’t stopped yet - being involved in all aspects of the agency’s operations. Additionally, she serves on the North Carolina Community Action Association’s Board of Directors as the Chairperson for the Central District. A graduate of Johnston Community College and Mt. Olive College, Ms. Bryan received her Master’s degree in Public Administration from Strayer University. She has also served on the Smithfield Housing Authority Board and is a Certified Community Action Professional (CCAP).

Dianne W. Bynum

Dianne W. Bynum exemplifies paying it forward. Ms. Bynum started her professional career in Early Childhood Education in 1991 upon completing an Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Roanoke-Chowan Community College. She was immediately hired by a Head Start program as a teacher assistant. A former Head Start parent, this working mom was inspired to continue her education, graduating from the Rural Economic Development Institute, receiving her Bachelor’s Degree from Shaw University and a Master’s Degree in Instructional Education from Central Michigan University. She is also an Affiliate Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) Trainer and became an Ordained Evangelist in 2009. She has been a teacher assistant, child development teacher, center manager, mentor, early childhood education manager and is now the Head Start/Early Head Start Director for Choanoke Area Development Association of North Carolina, Inc. (CADA) where she has been an employee for 15 years. Ms. Bynum serves on numerous boards and advisory committees within the five-county service area including the Hertford/Northampton County Smart Start Board of Directors, Better Beginnings for Bertie’s Children Leadership Team, Roanoke-Chowan Community College Early Childhood Education Advisory Committee and is Board Chair of the Ahoskie Soul Saving Station Bible College. In her current position, she partners with local agencies to increase the quality and quantity of services available to needy children and families. She has also participated in grant-writing that brought resources to children and families within four of the most underprivileged counties in Northeastern North Carolina. Dianne Bynum is a wife, a mother of five children, and grandmother of six. She enjoys ministering to inmates at state and local correctional facilities delivering a message of hope as an ordained minister.

Jacqueline Melton

As CADA’S Hertford County Community Services Manager, Jacqueline Melton is known as the go-to person --if she doesn’t know the answer she will refer you to the person or agency that does. As a certified Housing Counselor, she has assisted families with foreclosure prevention, home ownership, rehabilitation and modification of their homes and recovery from natural disasters such as Hurricane Matthew. Ms. Melton knows how to put resources together to best assist families in need. She freely shares her knowledge and has mentored numerous student interns from Elizabeth City State University and Roanoke-Chowan Community College who are now employed in local government and agencies. Active with the Hertford County Communities in Schools, Jacqueline Melton was born in New Jersey, grew up in Amityville, and lived in Uniondale in Long Island, New York. She is a graduate of Shaw University where she obtained a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration/ Management with Summa Cum Laude Honors. Ms. Melton has been previously employed with Marine Midland Bank at Two World Trade Center New York, Hertford County Government-Finance and Code Enforcement Department. She has been on staff with Choanoke Area Development Association of North Carolina, Inc. (CADA) for seventeen years. A graduate of the Rural Economic Development Institute, Jacqueline Melton is a widow with two children, seven grandchildren, and one great-grandson.

Wendy Poteat

Wendy Poteat has worked for BRCA for 33 years. Ms. Poteat began her employment as a Community Service Worker, working in the communities, accepting Head Start and Weatherization applications and, at one point, driving a van for the Congregate Nutrition Program. She also worked in the Housing Program conducting energy audits for the Weatherization Program. Poteat worked closely with clients with grants for home repairs with NC Housing Trust Fund, Housing Preservation Grant, Rural Economic Community Development, Urgent Repair and New Construction Programs. She also worked with the Consumer Credit Counseling program and taught Homebuyer Counseling classes to potential homeowners. One of Ms. Poteat's many notable accomplishments occurred in early 2016. Through her perseverance, she was able to secure services to assist a client having surgery to restore her vision. Ms. Poteat has worked with BRCA and its clients since 1983. During her tenure, she was nominated for Employee of the Year by her peers in 2011-12. Her hobbies include gardening and working with flowers. Ms. Poteat is family-oriented and enjoys spending time with her children and granddaughter. She looks forward to another addition soon.

Olivia Taylor

A native of Hertford County, Olivia Jenkins Taylor has served as a Choanoke Area Development Association of North Carolina, Inc. (CADA) employee for fourteen years in several capacities from Head Start Center Director to Teen Parent Coordinator to CADA Employment and Training Program Director, supervising WIOA programs in five counties. Due to her experience and customer service skills, she was asked to represent the Northeastern North Carolina Workforce Development Board as a liaison with a major Virginia employer that was closing. Ms. Taylor has explained her commitment as, “As an employee for a community action organization you learn that it isn’t about making money, but about being a networking agent to disadvantaged families who need the services to become self-sufficient. If your heart isn’t for people, you are in the wrong line of business.” Ms. Taylor has also provided services for youth involved with the Juvenile Justice system. She attended Hertford County Public Schools and graduated from Ahoskie High School. After attending St. Augustine’s College of Raleigh North Carolina for two semesters, she returned home to work with Blue Ridge Shoe Company in Aulander, North Carolina and married. After a twelve year hiatus from school, she returned and obtained an Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education at Roanoke Chowan Community College, later completing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology/Social Work at Elizabeth City State University. She is a graduate of the North Carolina Economic Development Institute. Ms. Taylor has a son and daughter, and is a proud grandparent of four grandchildren.

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