About - Board of Directors


Graham Sharpe, Chair, Business Analyst, The Redwoods Group

Graham is a Business Intelligence Manager at The Redwoods Group, a B-corp that provides insurance and management consulting to socially responsible, youth-serving organizations. In that role, he is developing the company’s business intelligence and data analytics strategy and practice. He is originally from the Triangle and is a graduate of Duke University (BA, Public Policy) and UNC Chapel Hill’s Kenan-Flagler Business School (MBA). He has worked for the Development Finance Initiative at the UNC School of Government, advising local governments on specialized finance in catalytic development projects and previously worked at Polytechnic High School in Fort Worth, TX for three years as an AP US History teacher and social studies department chair. Graham and his wife, Elise, have a baby boy and love to learn, travel, and root for the Blue Devils.

Robert Gofourth, Vice Chair, Vice President, Operational Strategy and Performance, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina 

Robert brings to the board 25 years of operations and risk management experience. Since 2014, he has been VP of Operational Strategy and Performance at Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina where he leads quality, compliance, informatics, process improvement and business readiness within the company’s operations.

Prior to joining BCBSNC, he led both the operations and, later, risk management functions for Citizens Property Insurance in Jacksonville, Fla. He has also lived abroad in Poland and the Netherlands.

A native Floridian, Robert earned his undergraduate degree in political science from the University of Florida and an MBA from Regis University in Denver, Colo. He earned his Six Sigma Black Belt in 1999.

Robert loves to travel, racking up 232 nights in hotels one year, and practice Vinyasa power flow yoga. His long-standing interest in history prompted him to drop by the Museum on a downtown walk soon after arriving in Durham, and he’s been hooked ever since.

Carlton Wilson, PhD, Immediate Past Chair, Dean & Associate Professor North Carolina Central University

Carlton E. Wilson is an associate professor of history and dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at North Carolina Central University (NCCU).  He received his B.A. in history from North Carolina Central University ; his M.A in British history from The Ohio State University; and his Ph.D. in modern Britain from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

A native of Warrenton, NC, Wilson moved to Durham as an undergraduate.  Before becoming Dean of Arts and Sciences, he served as Chair of the Department of History and Dean of the College of Liberal Arts at NCCU.  He has held several positions in professional organizations including Chair of the American Historical Association’s Committee on Minority Historians and member of the executive councils for the Southern Conference on British Studies and the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. He is a current member of the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina Press.

Mitchell Tuchman, Secretary, Attorney, Morningstar Law Group

Tuchman describes his professional background, move to Durham and motivation for serving on the Museum Board.  “Fourteen years ago I moved to Durham to commence a new career, my third, as a copyright attorney.  In fact, I was offered an opportunity to work in any of several North Carolina cities and chose Durham because of its proximity to Washington, D.C., where I had attended law school and where my friends resided.  The offer permitted me to transfer back to D.C. after two years, but I never left.

“I love this city.  I love it as it is, but I’m curious about what I missed.  People I meet here, wonderful though they are, make me think of those I never met.  Buildings I admire remind me of those they had been demolished before I could appreciate them.   Current events bring history to mind and make me wonder how I can become a son of Durham today.

“Because of my years as head of publications at the L.A. County Museum of Art and before that as senior editor at the UCLA Oral History Program, because I had served on the documentary selection committee for the Los Angeles film festival and am today an intellectual property attorney, I imagined that my experiences might have value for the Museum of Durham History and for Durham itself.  Being a part of the museum was and continues to be a rewarding commitment.

“Joining the Museum Board was a gateway event for me. I now serve also on the Durham City-County Appearance Commission and the County Library’s Durham Reads Together planning committee. I am learning, if you want to know your city, serve.”

Vicky Garcia, Treasurer, VP of Strategy and Development, Latino Credit Union

Vicky Garcia has lived in North Carolina since 2001. She is currently Senior Vice President of Strategy and Risk Management for the Latino Credit Union, where she leads the analysis, measurement, evaluation and control of the organization’s financial risks.  She also helps prepare, coordinate and implement the credit union’s overall strategy. From 2005 to 2014, as vice president of operations, Garcia managed the credit union’s lending program and worked in product development, operations and compliance.

Prior to joining the credit union, Garcia worked for eight years in corporate relationship management and risk analysis in Citibank Colombia in Bogotá. She has a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, Colombia, and an M.B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Garcia’s running gear is never out of reach, even when she travels for business. She’s completed three half-marathons and finds running a great excuse to visit new places.

Bob Ashley, Former Interim Executive Director, Preservation Durham

Bob Ashley retired in June 2017 as editor of The Herald-Sun, where he oversaw news and editorial operations at the daily newspaper in Durham.

He returned to that post, from which he retired in January 2011, in June of 2012. In the interim, he was executive director of Preservation Durham, the non-profit historic preservation organization. Currently, he’s back in that post on a temporary basis as the organization searches for a permanent executive director.

He first joined The Herald-Sun as editor in January 2005. Before coming to the Herald-Sun, he was editor for nearly 11 years of the Messenger-Inquirer in Owensboro, Ky. He previously was editor of the Centre Daily Times in State College, Pa.

His journalism career started when he worked part-time for the weekly Mount Airy (N.C.) Times, in his hometown. After college, he began work as a reporter for The Raleigh Times, advanced to city editor, and then moved to The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer. There, his jobs included assistant metropolitan editor, deputy features editor, deputy metro editor, features editor and assistant managing editor. He left the Observer for the Centre Daily Times; both were Knight Ridder newspapers.

He is a 1970 graduate of Duke University with a B.A. in history, and was managing editor of the Duke Chronicle. He has served on a number of industry and community boards, including the N. C. Press Association, Preservation Durham, Durham’s Partnership for Children, the Volunteer Center of Durham, Pennsylvania Society of Newspaper Editors, the State College Symphony Orchestra, Healthy Horizons (in Owensboro), the Professional Advisory Committee for the Western Kentucky University Department of Journalism, and the Greater Owensboro Alliance for Education and Workforce Development.

He is an elder in the Presbyterian Church. His wife, the former Patricia Andrews, also a 1970 Duke graduate and Mount Airy native, recently retired as director of the Division of District and School Transformation for the N. C. Department of Public Instruction and now teaches part-time and does consulting work. They have one son, Andrew, a 2011 graduate of the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill and in a doctoral program in anthropology at New York University.

Nancy K. Bernstein, Consultant

Nancy K. Bernstein recently retired from her position as Senior Executive Director of Foundation Relations and Corporate Giving for Duke Medicine. In her role at Duke, she identified grant-making organizations and foundations that support medicine and connected them with priority programs, projects, and faculty.

For six years prior to her appointment at Duke Medicine in October 2001, Bernstein was founder and Executive Director of the Durham Workforce Partnership, a non-profit organization in Durham which acted as a public/private catalyst for excellence in workforce preparation. In that role, she developed programs connecting businesses and public schools in order to improve the educational and workforce opportunities for Durham’s youth.

Bernstein also has worked for the State of North Carolina, both as a federal grants administrator for the North Carolina Community College System and as a Program Officer for Workforce Preparation in Governor James B. Hunt’s Office. Prior to her positions in state government, she worked with Cosmos Corporation, a Washington D.C. consulting firm where she was involved in grant program evaluation for national foundations, including the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Charles Steward Mott Foundation.

Bernstein obtained her B.A. from Hamilton College, in Clinton, New York, and received an M.A. in anthropology, with a specialization in archaeology, from the University of Arizona in Tucson.  She lives in Durham with her husband and dog and enjoys visiting her two children in Boston and Prague.

K. Emerson Beyer, Associate Director for Corporate and Foundation Relations, Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, Duke University

K. Emerson Beyer is Associate Director for Corporate and Foundation Relations at the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke University. Previously, he served as Institutional Giving and Corporate Relations Officer at Environmental Defense Fund, and before that as Director of Exhibitions Fundraising at the Museum of the City of New York. He received his M.A. in Arts Administration from the Art Institute of Chicago where he also worked in the development department. He has been a Durham resident for 10 years. His civic engagement in Durham includes volunteering as a walking-tour guide for Preservation Durham, serving on the Stewardship Committee of St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, convening the Durham History Seminar Club, and organizing the White Trousers Garden Party and Deviled Egg Pageant, a benefit for Urban Ministries of Durham.

Jerry Gershenhorn, PhD, Professor of History, North Carolina Central University

A native of Brooklyn, New York, Gershenhorn earned a B.A. in economics and a B.S. in accounting from the State University of New York at Binghamton. He moved to Durham in 1989 to pursue graduate work, earning an M.A. in history from North Carolina Central University and a Ph.D. in history from UNC-Chapel Hill. Gershenhorn currently is professor of history at NCCU, where he teaches U.S. history, world history and North Carolina history.

In 2004, he published Melville J. Herskovits and the Racial Politics of Knowledge (University of Nebraska Press). He has also published articles on 20th century African American history in the North Carolina Historical Review, the Journal of African American History, Journalism History, and Souls: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture and Society. In 2010, he was awarded the R.D.W. Connor Award from the Historical Society of North Carolina.  In spring 2009, he was a Scholar-In-Residence at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York. Gershenhorn was a founding member of the Museum’s History Advisory Committee. In January 2018, his book, Louis Austin and The Carolina Times: A Life in the Long Black Freedom Struggle, will be published by the University of North Carolina Press.

In addition to pursuing historical interests, Gershenhorn loves to travel. He has visited 45 states and over 20 countries.

Jane Goodridge, Community Volunteer

Jane Goodridge has a long history as an active community volunteer. Since moving to Durham in 1996, she has served on the board of Preservation Durham, Friends of the Durham Library and Threshold Inc. Presently, she is co-chair of the Friends of the Durham Library book sales.  She is also a founding board member of the Museum of Durham History.

Previously, she served on the Board of Education in Farmington, Conn., for ten years. Also, in Farmington, she served as Chair of the Board of the Stanley-Whitman House, an 18th century house museum, and oversaw an extensive investigation and restoration of the house, working with some of the foremost experts in the field. In New Jersey, she served on the board of Rockingham, the site of George Washington’s final revolutionary War headquarters.

Goodridge grew up in Pittsburgh, where she attended The Ellis School. She graduated from the University of Rochester with a degree in history, although her first job was as a computer programmer. She also worked for two years for Population Resource Center, a non-profit in Princeton and Washington D.C., which organized programs on demographics for policy makers.

She and her husband George are veteran travelers, having visited 20 countries in the past 15 years, usually working in a stop in England to catch a football match or two.

Joshua Gunn, Vice President of Member Investment, Durham Chamber of Commerce

Brenda Howerton, Durham County Commissioner

Brenda Howerton has served on the Durham Board of County Commissioners since 2008. In August 2017, she will become President of the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners, the first Durham County Commissioner to be elected to this statewide senior leadership office.

Howerton serves on the Durham Technical Community College Board of Trustees and is Chair of the Durham Joint City/County Planning Committee.  She also serves on a number of local, state and regional commissions, including Durham’s Convention & Visitors Bureau Tourism Authority and Downtown Durham, Inc.

Howerton, an executive coach and organizational effectiveness professional at Howerton Consulting, Inc., focuses on enhancing the bottom line through human capital.  She oversees the firm’s work in executive coaching, performance management, career development, team building, and leadership development that increases productivity and effectiveness.

Her background includes extensive experience in coaching and facilitating for businesses, higher education, state and local government, and nonprofit organizations.

Howerton earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from Shaw University and certifications for Executive Coaching, Mentoring and Advanced Leadership from North Carolina State University.  She has been a faculty member at Durham Technical Community College and a coach for Leadership Triangle.

Howerton resides in Durham, where she was commended by the city’s Human Relations Committee for her commitment to justice and equality.  She has also been honored by the United Negro College Fund. Her most important honor, however, is being a mother and a grandmother of three.

Charlie Reece, City Councilmember

Alice Sharpe, Realtor, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services York Simpson Underwood

Alice Sharpe is a native of Durham, an alumna of Hillside High School and Duke University, and a staunch advocate for Durham in general and downtown in particular. She has made Downtown Durham her home for almost 25 years.

“Durham has such a rich history in terms of people and places that provide an important backdrop for today. Being part of the Museum of Durham History allows me to be a tiny part of making that history known to all in Durham and beyond.”

Renee Snyderman, M.A., M.B.A., President, Snyderman Fund

Renee Snyderman is president of the Snyderman Fund, a private foundation that invests in health care transformation and personalized medicine initiatives nationwide as well as in arts, culture and education on a regional basis. She is also managing director of RSN Enterprises, which provides consultation and select capital to companies focused on transforming health care and enabling the principals of personalized medicine.

Renee received her BFA and her MBA from East Carolina University.  She received her MA and Health Policy Certificate from Duke University.  She and her husband Dr. Ralph Snyderman enjoy learning about diverse cultures and health care practices through immersive travel experiences around the world.

Robert D. Teer, Teer Associates

Robert D. Teer, Jr., is president and CEO of Teer Associates, a commercial development firm located in Research Triangle Park, where Teer began his career in 1969. The Teer family has been associated with commercial construction and real estate development since 1909, when  Teer’s grandfather, Nello Teer, began a company that grew into one of the 100 largest contractors in the U.S. . In the past 45 years, Robb Teer has developed more than 3.5 million square feet in the Triangle area.

Teer was a member of the United States Army Reserve for 28 years, retiring at the rank of lieutenant colonel. A Durham native, he graduated from Durham High School and went on to  earn a Bachelor of Science degree from East Carolina University. He completed postgraduate programs at the University of Tennessee and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and also graduated from the Army Command and General Staff College.

Teer’s professional and business involvement include serving on the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority, the North Carolina Turnpike Authority, and the Triangle USO of North Carolina. He is  a member of the Research Triangle Park Board of Design.

A homebody, Teer seldom travels far from home and family, although Myrtle Beach beckons in nice weather.

Kimberle Walker, Sr. Public Affairs Specialist, Office of Chief of Police, City of Durham

Kimberle Walker has 28 years of public and private sector experience, including 12 years with the Durham Police Department 10 years in the Durham City Manager’s Office/Public Information; two years as Assistant Project Director with Research and Evaluation Associates, Inc. (Chapel Hill); and five years in the Public Information Office of the of Durham County Manager.

A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Kim is an alumna of the University of Georgia where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications-Broadcasting, with minors in political science and sociology. Kim is also a 1993 graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill’s Institute of Government’s County Administration Program and the Executive Leadership Institute of the National Forum for Black Public Administrators (2003).

Kim’s private sector work focused on program evaluation of initiatives in public schools and universities across the country, including studies in Nashville, TN; Providence, RI; Milwaukee, WI; and Baltimore, MD.

Currently Kim manages several community engagement, marketing and media efforts for the Durham Police Department. She has received multiple state and national awards for her work in communications, community service and the department’s National Night Out observances.

Kim is proud to call Durham home, having relocated here nearly 30 years ago as a newlywed. She and husband, Freeman, are the proud parents of Taylor, a student at Winston-Salem State University.

Syrena Williams, JD, MBA- The CW Law Group, PC

Syrena utilizes her educational experience gained from her MBA and JD, coupled with her work experiences to assist individuals and organizations with every aspect of their business including coaching in organizational management, targeted networking, group facilitation, project management, contract negotiations, conflict resolution, mediation and legal needs.

Ms. Williams has with her over fifteen years of business planning, strategic planning, project management, networking, effectiveness and efficiency process training and facilitation experience. Ms. Williams has served as a consultant to several organizations providing extensive support with identifying and recognizing goals, areas for improvement, and unresolved issues. She works to ensure seamless training on and implementation of new strategies and techniques that advance the organizations’ missions and shareholder’s interests, when applicable. She specializes in long-term coaching to ensure that new systems, techniques and procedures result in proven value to clients while being discreet in her visibility.

Ms. Williams’ keen interest in helping her community develop and grow drives her work to arm others with relevant, timely information in order to maximize their ability to advocate for and achieve their own success. She has mentored numerous Black-owned fledgling businesses to improve their back-office processes and procedures. Her many roles with organizations have provided her an opportunity to utilize and grow varied skills sets to enhance their skills, goals and capabilities of others. She is an active member in her community, Durham, North Carolina.

Jim Wise, Community Volunteer

Jim Wise arrived in Durham, sight unseen, as a Duke University freshman in September 1966 and has remained a Bull Citizen for all but four years since then.

In 2015 he retired after 34 years of writing and editing for Durham newspapers, covering at one time and another (if not all at once) arts, government, politics, police, business and, in particular, local history. He is author of Durham: A Bull City Story and Durham Tales: The Morris Street Maple, the Plastic Cow, the Durham Day That Was and More … as well as On Sherman’s Trail: The Civil War’s North Carolina Climax and Murder In the Courthouse: Reconstruction and Redemption in the North Carolina Piedmont. He has also taught Durham and Southern history classes for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Duke University.

Wise is a Duke graduate and holds a master’s degree in folklore from the University of North Carolina. He is a former editor of Duke alumni publications and of Tar Heel: The Magazine of North Carolina. He and his wife, Babs, have two children, who live in Texas and Durham, and three grandchildren.