Mary Bethel became the first Executive Director of the Coalition in September 2018. Prior to that, she served as President of the Coalition from 2015 to 2018. She retired as Associate State Director for Advocacy with AARP North Carolina in 2015. At AARP, she worked to develop and implement AARP's advocacy activities and initiatives in the state. This included efforts which were state focused as well as those pertaining to national initiatives and campaigns. Prior to coming to AARP in October of 2005, she worked for almost 30 years with the N.C. Division of Aging and Adult Services in a variety of administrative, supervisory and program capacities. She is the recipient of numerous awards for her advocacy work including the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the 2015 Excellence in the Field of Aging Outstanding Service Award from the N.C. Association on Aging, and the 2012 National AARP Lyn Bodiford Award for Excellence in Advocacy. She has graduate and undergraduate degrees from NC State University.
Tracy Colvard is Chair of the Coalition’s Board of Directors. He is the Vice President of Government Relations and Public Policy with the Association for Home and Hospice Care of North Carolina. Prior to joining the Association in early November of 2007, he worked for the NC Division of Medical Assistance (the state Medicaid office) for almost 10 years serving as a CAP/DA Consultant for the first seven years and then as the state’s PCS, PCS-Plus, CAP/DA, and CAP/Choice Manager. Tracy began his career in home care at Ashe Services for Aging in rural western North Carolina while working as a Social Work case manager and Supervisor for CAP/DA for their large in-home aide program. He also does contract lobbying for various clients before the North Carolina General Assembly and Congress.
Charmaine Fuller Cooper is Chair-Elect of the Coalition’s Board. She is the Associate State Director for Advocacy with AARP North Carolina. In this role she focuses on state and federal advocacy issues that impact the age 50-plus population and their families. With nearly two decades of advocacy and civic engagement experience, Charmaine is a committed aging advocate who has served in leadership roles with the American Heart Association, the North Carolina Department of Administration as the Director of the state’s Justice for Sterilization Victims eugenics compensation effort, and the Carolina Justice Policy Center. A graduate of North Carolina Central University and North Carolina State University, this Durham resident and Vance County native is a tenacious leader and relationship builder committed to elevating aging issues and improving the health and financial security of all North Carolinians as they gracefully age.
Chad Walker serves as Secretary/Treasurer of the Board of Directors. He is the Director of Community and Government Affairs for Transitions LifeCare (founded as Hospice of Wake County). He oversees the community engagement, education, and partnerships in all seven counties that Transitions LifeCare serves. He also is active in public policy and government affairs regarding aging services, nonprofits, healthcare, and the home health, hospice, and palliative care industry. Chad received his undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill focusing in Business and Entrepreneurship. He then received his graduate degree from NC State University focusing on Public Administration and Nonprofit Management. He is passionate about helping community organizations achieve more by using efficient and effective business practices.
Bill Lamb serves on the Coalition’s Executive Committee in his role as Past President (2012-2015) of the Coalition. He worked for 30 years for the NC Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) where he was in planning and administrative positions with the NC Division of Social Services and the NC Division of Aging and Adult Services (formerly called Division of Aging) where he oversaw the development of the first Aging Services Plan for the State. Following his retirement from DHHS, he had an 11 year career as Associate Director for Public Service at the UNC Institute on Aging. He retired from this position in November of 2012. Bill has been involved with Friends of Residents in Long Term Care since the early 1990’s and served as the Board Chair for Friends twice. He currently serves as Executive Director of the organization. He was tapped to serve a term as President of the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long Term Care. Bill is also a leader in the field of Social Work in the state. He received a Pioneer Award from the Coalition in 2018 for his long-time outstanding contributions to the field of aging in North Carolina.
Martha Fowler has been a very active member of the State Employees Association of North Carolina (SEANC) for over 35 years while representing active state employees as well as retirees. As a member of the SEANC Board of Governors, she serves as Chairperson of the Insurance Board of Trustees and Vice Chairperson on the Retiree Council. Beginning October 1, 2018, she began a two-year term as First Vice President of SEANC. Martha continues to advocate for state employees and retiree’s goals, rights and benefits. During the span of her career, she has chaired numerous committees, served on boards, and held positions in her church. Martha retired in 2012 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with 33 years of state service.
Frances Messer is the Executive Director off the NC Assisted Living Association. She has been in this position since April of 2013. Prior to coming to the Association, she worked for the NC Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) from 2007 to 2013 as a trainer with the Adult Care Licensure Section of the NC Division of Health Service Regulation (formerly the Division of Facility Services). Previous to that, she was President of Beacon Health Care Services, Inc. She has also worked as a Director of Nursing and a Nursing Home Administrator. She has over 30 years of experience training adults in the private sector and state government. She is a graduate of Western Carolina University and lives in Raleigh.
Ray Riordan is the Vice President of Operations at The Carolinas Center (TCC). He came to TCC from the American Cancer Society, where he served as the North Carolina Director of Grassroots Lobbying and Advocacy. In this role, he developed and implemented strategic volunteer engagement and legislative advocacy campaigns that were designed to encourage elected officials and candidates to make cancer a top priority on the local, state, and national level. Prior to joining the American Cancer Society, he served in the North Carolina Office of the Governor where he worked with non-profits, faith-based, and local government organizations across the state to develop and implement community volunteer programs that helped meet unmet community needs. He completed his graduate work at NC State University and has over 10 years of broad experience in program development, grants management, government relations, and public relations.
Janice Tyler is the Director of the Orange County Department on Aging. She was Vice-President of the Coalition from 2016-2018. She has served on the Board of the NC Association on Aging since 2011, including serving as President from 2014-2016. She served two terms as the Chair of the NC Senior Center Alliance and remains an ex-officio member of the steering committee. She is also a member of the Southern Gerontological Society, the American Society on Aging, the National Council on Aging and the National Institute of Senior Centers. Prior to being appointed the Director of the Orange County Department on Aging in 2011, she worked for 24 years as the Senior Centers Administrator with the Department. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has completed advanced study in aging and is a graduate of the NC Division of Aging and Adult Services’ Ann Johnson Senior Center Institute.