Board of Directors

 

Stephanie Nesbitt received her law degree from The University of Michigan Law School and is certified as a Superior Court Mediator, Family Financial Mediator, and a Clerk of Court Mediator. Having served as an Assistant District Attorney, and also as an arbitrator for sixteen years, she has vast experience with the court system, the law community and the public. In her more than 20 years of law practice, she has earned a reputation for unwavering integrity and fairness. Ms. Nesbitt is a member of the North Carolina Bar Association, the Wake County Bar Association, and the Michigan State Bar. She serves as a committee chair of the Clerk Mediation Committee of the Dispute Resolution Commission, in her capacity as a Court Management Specialist at the NC Administrative Office of the Courts.

 

Laura Edwards is the Founder and Board Chair of Women AdvaNCe. She is a trailblazing civic leader with a passion for women’s issues, social justice, environment, and the arts. Edwards has dedicated decades to various boards in her home state of North Carolina, including the NC Arts Council, Penland School of Crafts, and NC Equity. She is the Co-Founder and Board Emeritus of Lillian’s List of NC. She currently serves as Trustee on the Julian Price Family Foundation. Edwards has been awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, one of the most prestigious civilian honors in our state. She lives with her partner and children in Chapel Hill.

 

 

Ann Gerhardt serves as a consultant and coach to nonprofit women leaders.  She has spent a career working for the rights, health and well-being of women and their families.  On her docket have been child care advocacy and training; women’s reproductive health in the U.S. and Africa, launch of the abortion pill and emergency contraception, teen pregnancy prevention; domestic violence and financial literacy programs.   In the last several years she has worked on the launch of the Affordable Care Act, and on AmeriCorps programs serving veterans and in workforce development.   Two of her most satisfying coaching and consulting relationships have been with UNC Moxies and the Community Refugee Project.  She earned the Z. Smith Reynolds sabbatical award and served on the Board of the NC Council of Women.  She has a Master’s in Public Health Policy and Administration from UNC, is a loyal Tar Heel, and a Buddhist meditation teacher.  Ann lives in Chapel Hill with her husband and enjoys spending time with her family and friends, gardening, and going to the gym.

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Janeen Gingrich has worked in the social justice arena for 22+ years, starting out as an overnight shelter manager at a domestic and sexual violence program in rural SW Virginia. Her background is in clinical social work, which has given her extensive experience facilitating groups and conversations in diverse situations. Janeen has spent the past 10 years consulting with nonprofits with an emphasis on capacity building, leadership and organizational development, and grassroots fundraising. Janeen has also built non-profit development programs from the ground up for a range of organizations, with budgets from $250,000 to $20M annually, and with local, statewide, and international focuses. Janeen has a passion for change management and was recently the interim CEO at SHIFT NC.

 

Antionette Kerr is a nonprofit leader, media correspondent, author of Modern Media Relations for Nonprofits, publisher of Bold & Bright Media and lover of all poetry. Native of Lexington, NC, she spent her youth living in pockets of economically-distressed neighborhoods. She went on to study journalism and African American history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she began researching and writing about the influence of race, gender, and politics. Kerr has provided training for the National Council of Nonprofits, The Nonprofit Marketing Guide and The Nonprofit Academy.

 

 

Ericka Faircloth (Nicki) originates from Scotland/Robeson Counties, and received her undergrad degree in International and Global Studies from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She has taught the English language abroad in Amman, Jordan, and in recent years has worked alongside her people to protect their ancestral lands, as well as pushing unification amongst all people. In her spare time she enjoys videography, studying spiritual teachings, and connecting with the spiritual realm. Ericka lives in Raleigh with her husband, Fares, and their dog Charro. 

 

 

Polly Schattel is originally from Birmingham, AL, and was trained as a journalist, but soon moved into filmmaking. Since then she has worked with cable networks, Oscar and Emmy-winners, rock stars, thought leaders, non-profits, think tanks, politicians, painters, advertising agencies, composers, athletes, writers, activists, photographers, veterans, corporate executives, physicians, filmmakers and more–even a canine detective. Her award-winning work has been shown at film festivals and on televisions and movie screens across America and around the world.

Proudly and passionately transgenderPolly is based out of the beautiful mountains of Asheville, North Carolina. She lives with her wife and son and three dogs and two cats.”

 

Natalie Hengstebeck serves as an ambassador for science, bridging the divide between science and policy to advance social equity and the well-being of women, children, and families. As a first-generation university student, she intimately understands the significance of education to improve people’s lives. Since earning her PhD in human development and family studies and research methodology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, she has worked as postdoctoral fellow with the the North Carolina Chapter of the Scholars Strategy Network. She is based at the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University. In this role, she serves as a “matchmaker” building relationships between researchers and North Carolina’s local, state, and federal lawmakers. Previously, she studied psychology, sociology, professional writing, and communications and media studies at DePaul University. In addition to working as a Fulbright research fellow in sociology and public administration at Erasmus University Rotterdam in the Netherlands, she has worked at the SAS Institute, RAND Corporation, and the National Research Center on Hispanic Children and Families.

 


Emily Hagstrom
, also known as Em, is an Information Communication Specialist and Research Analyst at the NC Council for Women and Youth Involvement. She’s a writer, researcher, and advocate for gender equity and LGBTQ+ justice and loves talking to folks about community and support! Emily was born and raised in North Carolina and can generally be found spending too much time with her cats, hiking, playing mediocre guitar, and persuading people to watch Call Me by Your Name with her.

 

 

 

 

Janice Hillanbrand is a county government professional currently based in Forsyth County, NC. Growing up with deaf parents, she saw first hand the effects of systemic poverty and discrimination as well as the difference good community partners can make. She has worked diligently to assist in fundraising efforts for victims of domestic violence in both Wake and Davidson Counties. Janice developed her passion for efficient and effective government services young after she served as a House Page for the NC General Assembly. She received her Masters in Public Administration from UNC Chapel Hill and her Bachelors in Political Science from Campbell University. She has also worked at the City of Clinton, NC and the Program Evaluation Division at the NC General Assembly. She currently lives in Winston-Salem with her husband and dog.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leadership Team

Laura Edwards is the Founder and Board Chair of Women AdvaNCe. She is a trailblazing civic leader with a passion for women’s issues, social justice, environment, and the arts. Edwards has dedicated decades to various boards in her home state of North Carolina, including the NC Arts Council, Penland School of Crafts, and NC Equity. She is the Co-Founder and Board Emeritus of Lillian’s List of NC. She currently serves as Trustee on the Julian Price Family Foundation and the Educational Foundation at UNC-CH. Edwards has been awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, one of the most prestigious civilian honors in our state. She lives with her partner and children in Chapel Hill.

 

 

Antionette Kerr is a nonprofit leader, media correspondent, author of Modern Media Relations for Nonprofits, publisher of Bold & Bright Media and lover of all poetry. Native of Lexington, NC, she spent her youth living in pockets of economically-distressed neighborhoods. She went on to study journalism and African American history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she began researching and writing about the influence of race, gender, and politics. Kerr has provided training for the National Council of Nonprofits, The Nonprofit Marketing Guide and The Nonprofit Academy.

 

 

Ericka Faircloth (Nicki) originates from Scotland/Robeson Counties, and received her undergrad degree in International and Global Studies from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She has taught the English language abroad in Amman, Jordan, and in recent years has worked alongside her people to protect their ancestral lands, as well as pushing unification amongst all people. In her spare time she enjoys videography, studying spiritual teachings, and connecting with the spiritual realm. Ericka lives in Raleigh with her husband, Fares, and their dog Charro. 

 

 

Jo DeLosSantos spent the first half of her professional career in finance at Fortune 500 companies and the second half has found her teaching English, writing and humanities in higher education settings. She is currently a professor at High Point University, but taught for 15 years in the North Carolina Community College System. She has an MA in English and communication from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She lives with her partner and children in the NC Piedmont Triad where she is passionately involved in women’s and HIV/AIDS advocacy, nonprofits and fundraising.  Jo is the Communications Director at Women AdvaNCe.

 

 

Staff