Board of Directors
Tom Murray, Board Chair
Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority, CEO
Tom Murray currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer for the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority (CRVA), which is responsible for promoting hospitality, tourism and conventions throughout the Charlotte, N.C. region. The 200-employee CRVA has an operational budget of $50 million, which includes marketing and new business development programs as well as management of Time Warner Cable Arena, Charlotte Convention Center, Bojangles’ Coliseum, Ovens Auditorium and NASCAR Hall of Fame.
Murray has 30 years of international hotel and hospitality executive experience, resulting in a strong expertise in hotel operations, finance, sales, branding, marketing, real estate and franchise development, hotel construction, human resources, and strategic planning and execution. His experience spans hands-on management of hotel properties to strategic planning for multi-national corporations.
For more than six years, Murray served in executive management positions with InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) of Atlanta, where he rose to the position of chief operating officer for the Americas. Under his leadership, Intercontinental experienced a historic period of growth, including the acquisition of Candlewood and creation of Hotel Indigo.
Prior to joining InterContinental Hotels, Murray served with Red Lion Hotels for three years as senior vice president for Hilton Hotel Corporation. He directed the dramatic growth of the brand from nine to 56 hotels before the brand was sold to West Coast Hospitality. Murray oversaw all areas of operation, strategic planning, branding, marketing and development.
Murray also served as vice president for franchise development for Promus Hotels Corporation of Memphis where he worked with numerous leading hotel brands, including Doubletree Hotels, Embassy Suites, Homewood Suite and Hampton Inn. During his seven years with Promus, Murray’s responsibilities included franchise management and development of company owned and managed hotels.
Before joining the CRVA, Murray served as chief executive officer of Lindblad Expeditions of New York, where he led a financial and marketing turnaround of the 30-year-old, ship-based expedition cruise business that operates in alliance with National Geographic. Through his leadership and the support of a private equity firm and two other senior members of the corporate staff, Lindblad was restored to financial and operational health.
Following graduation from Villanova University with a Bachelor of Science degree in accountancy, Murray worked with the Marriott Hotels Corporation in Bethesda, Md. for more than nine years in various operations and accounting positions. He served as assistant controller and controller for numerous Marriott properties, including the first Marriott property in Canada. Murray and his wife, Alison, have two daughters.
Andrew Culicerto, Vice-Chair
Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP, Partner
Andrew S. "Andy" Culicerto is a partner at the law firm of Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP in the commercial litigation department. Andy devotes a significant portion of his practice to construction litigation and general business disputes in state and federal courts in both North and South Carolina.
Andy's extensive construction knowledge has allowed him to frequently publish and lecture on various aspects of construction law throughout the Carolinas.
Andy is active in the Charlotte community. He is member of the Bronko Nagurski Charlotte Touchdown Club Board of Directors, Vice-Chair of the Carolinas Association of General Contractors Suppliers Council, named 2012 Charlotte Business Leader Movers and Shakers and honored as a North Carolina Rising Star by Superlawyer magazine (2011-2015).
Andy graduated magna cum laude from West Virginia University with a B.A. in Finance. and the West Virginia College of Law where he was Associate Editor of Law Review and served as a judicial clerk for Chief Judge David A. Faber, United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia.
Andy lives in Charlotte with his wife, Lori, and their two young daughters, both of which will attend Charlotte Lab School.
Casey Rentch, Treasurer
Wells Fargo, Managing Director
Casey Rentch is a Managing Director in the investment bank at Wells Fargo Securities. In his role at Wells Fargo, Casey serves a global group of industrial clients, providing advice on capital raising and mergers/acquisitions.
Outside the office, Casey is an avid outdoor enthusiast, enjoys horse racing and golf and is an active member of the West Virginia University Alumni Association’s Charlotte chapter.
Casey graduated cum laude from West Virginia University with a B.A. in Finance and received his MBA from the Robert H. School of Business at the University of Maryland. Casey lives in Charlotte with his wife Jaime, and his two children, Ben and Kate.
Carolinas Healthcare System, MD
Nick Clavin, MD is a plastic and reconstructive surgeon who is double board certified in surgery by the American Board of Surgery and in plastic surgery by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Dr. Clavin, a native of New York, completed his general surgery training at New York Presbyterian Hospital, Cornell. While a surgical resident, he was awarded the opportunity to conduct two years of basic science research at New York's Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center - the #1 ranked cancer center in the U.S. After completing his general surgery training, Dr. Clavin pursued his interests at UCLA's competitive plastic and reconstructive surgery program. Dr. Clavin then returned to New York as a Microsurgery Fellow and Clinical Instructor at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center where he performed complex surgical reconstruction for breast cancer patients as well as those burdened by head and neck cancers and extremity cancers. He has authored over 20 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters and has had his research presented and regional, national, and international surgical conferences. Dr. Clavin moved to Charlotte four years ago to work at Carolinas Medical Center and Levine Cancer Center. While the focus of his current practice is microsurgical breast reconstruction, he is also intimately involved in aesthetic surgery, reconstruction of patients who have been traumatically injured, as well as clinical research.
Dr. Clavin and his wife Keri moved to Charlotte from New York four years ago. They have two children - their oldest, Hudson, currently attends Charlotte Lab and their youngest, Harper, will be starting kindergarten at Lab this fall. They love travelling as a family, time at the beach, and socializing with friends and family.
Emko Capital, Founder and Managing Partner
Dean Emmerton is the Founder and Managing Partner for Emko Capital, a lower-middle market investment and advisory firm investing in family-owned aerospace & industrial businesses. Prior to founding Emko, Dean was an Associate Partner at McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm, where he worked with Fortune 500 companies on problems of Strategy and Marketing & Sales. Dean was a leader in the Marketing & Sales practice at McKinsey, and led McKinsey’s service line for Marketing & Sales in Aerospace & Defense. He has a background in manufacturing engineered products, previously with Milliken & Company in Spartanburg, SC as a production engineer, and next with Celgard in Charlotte as a Projects Engineer for manufacturing battery components.
Dean graduated cum laude from University of South Carolina, with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering and with Honors from SC Honors College. He received his MBA from the Harvard Business School with Distinction.
Dean is a Charlotte native and previously attended Myers Park High School in Charlotte. Dean lives in Charlotte with his wife, Andrea, and three children, Alyce, Colin, and Reid. Alyce will be attending Charlotte Lab School.
Wells Fargo, Senior Vice President, Cross Segment Strategy & Integration
Lisa Frison leads a team to develop strategies across diverse and multicultural segments and integrate with consumer segments and line of business partners to better serve their financial needs. In her previous role as African American segment strategy leader, Lisa was responsible for developing and leading the enterprise strategy for driving engagement among African American consumers and communities. She is a thought leader, delivering data, cultural insights and strategic consultation to business groups across the company to help advance segment engagement.
Lisa joined Wells Fargo in 2006 as a sponsorships manager on the corporate marketing team. In this role she provided leadership and consultation to the Southeastern Community Bank, Wealth, Brokerage and Retirement, and Diverse Segments teams in evaluating, negotiating and managing sponsorships to increase brand awareness, drive business development and support community and corporate reputation initiatives. Lisa led a cross-functional team along with the Arts & Science Council and Charlotte Center City Partners to plan the Wells Fargo Community Celebration. This official market introduction provided unprecedented access to Charlotte’s museums and cultural facilities and showcased a variety of diverse performing arts to the community.
Lisa began her professional career in 1992 at Xerox Corporation in Rochester, New York where she held several positions including Manufacturing Supervisor, Cost Engineer and Finance & Business Strategy Planner/Analyst. In 1999, she joined The Walt Disney Company, Resorts Brand Management team where she led the development and execution of an integrated marketing plan to open Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, a 1,300 room deluxe resort. During her tenure at Disney, she was instrumental in launching Disney's Visa Credit Card at Walt Disney World, the largest and most complex strategic alliance in the portfolio, for which she was recognized with Disney's highest honor – the “Partners in Excellence” Award.
Originally from Buffalo, New York, Lisa earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Clarkson University. At Clarkson, she was instrumental in conceiving and founding SPECTRUMM - Students Proposing to Engineer Cultural and Thorough Relations Uniting the Minority and the Majority, the purpose of which was to unite students across differences in order to serve the community. She received her Master of Business Administration from the University of Rochester William E. Simon School Of Business with a concentration in Marketing and Finance and was elected to Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society.
With a strong passion for education, she previously served as board chair for KIPP Charlotte, a free, open-enrollment, college preparatory school serving fifth through eighth graders. Lisa is also a founding member of the Charlotte cohort of Pipeline Angels, a network of new and seasoned women investors, who are changing the face of angel investing and creating capital for women and non-binary femme social entrepreneurs.
Lisa and her husband James live in the Charlotte area.
Cresent Communities, President, Commercial and Mixed Use
Brian Leary joined Crescent Communities as president of its commercial and mixed-use business unit in 2014. In this role, he directs the company’s office, industrial and retail developments and property management across the country. Through Brian’s 22 years of experience in real estate, he’s overseen an excess of $2B in development.
Prior to joining Crescent, Brian held senior management positions with Jacoby Development, Inc., Atlanta Beltline, Inc., AIG Global Real Estate, Atlantic Station, LLC and Central Atlanta Progress. As the managing director of Jacoby Development, a national developer of corporate, mixed-use and retail projects, he launched ONE Daytona, a 4.5-million square foot joint venture with International Speedway Corp. Previously Brian served as president and CEO of Atlanta Beltline, Inc., the organization executing the implementation of the BeltLine, one of the largest, most wide-ranging urban redevelopment projects in the United States. When complete, the $3B+ project will provide a network of public parks, multi-use trails, transit, public art and thousands of units of housing along a historic 22-mile railroad corridor circling Atlanta.
While vice president of AIG Global Real Estate, he oversaw the design and development of Atlantic Station, a 13.5-million square foot joint venture that, at the time, represented the largest urban brownfield redevelopment in the United States and currently includes the approximately 1.5 million square feet of retail, 1.5 million square feet of LEED-certified Class-A office, 3,000 residential units and a 120-room hotel. In 1998, he successfully negotiated with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for Atlantic Station to become the first project of its kind in the United States. In addition, Brian’s development experience spans the country with successful assignments in Hawaii, the Midwest and in Central Florida. His focus on urban development and sustainability included leading a national coalition to create a $2 billion alternative energy and energy efficiency tax-exempt financing program with the U.S. Treasury and EPA.
Prior to Atlantic Station, Brian worked for Atlanta’s downtown development organization, Central Atlanta Progress (CAP). With CAP and COPA, Inc. (the nonprofit development arm for the Centennial Olympic Park area) Brian helped implement the first taxincrementfinancing (TIF) district in the State of Georgia.
Brian is a graduate of Georgia Tech’s College of Architecture with an undergraduate degree in architecture with minor concentrations in land development and real estate, and in addition, holds a master’s degree in City Planning from Georgia Tech. While focusing on transportation and land development in graduate school, he finished a redevelopment plan for the Atlantic Steel property that would provide the basis for Atlantic Station.
Over the years, Brian has spoken to groups across the United States on Smart Growth, real estate development and leadership. He has presented on Capitol Hill, the National Partners for Smart Growth, the Real Estate Roundtable, and previously served on AIG’s & ICSC’s Sustainability Committees. He has been published nationally and has taught at Georgia Tech where he currently serves on the College of Architecture’s Executive Council.
Brian is a member of the Board of the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce and Charlotte’s science museum, Discovery Place, the Charlotte Center City Partners Planning & Development Committee and recently served on the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art Gala Host Committee, the Catawba Lands Conservancy Steering Committee. Prior to moving to Charlotte from Atlanta, Brian served on the Board of Trustees of Leadership Atlanta and ULI’s Livable Communities Coalition Council, the Governing Board of Atlanta Medical Center, on Emory University’s Board of Visitors and the Woodruff Arts Center Roundtable. He is a member of the Urban Land Institute (ULI), NAIOP, ICSC and formerly of Atlanta’s Downtown Rotary club. With his wife Whitney, he chaired the Atlanta Police Foundation’s Annual Gala and graduated in the inaugural class of the Institute for Georgia Environmental Leadership. He is also an alumni of the Atlanta Regional Leadership Institute, served on the Department of Homeland Security’s Advisory Council’s Academe, Policy & Research Committee, the US Mayor’s Institute for City Design, and at the request of the Mayor of Atlanta, previously served as Chairman of the City’s Public Art Advisory Committee. Brian also served on ULI Nashville’s Development of Excellence Awards jury for 2016.
Brian, his wife and their two daughters reside in the City of Charlotte.
Rashidah Lopez Morgan
Education First, Senior Consultant
Rashidah Lopez Morgan works with K-12 education leaders to create and implement organizational strategies and talent management solutions that meet the needs of all students. She has worked with many state and local education agencies, including Achievement School District in Tennessee, Denver Public Schools and the New York State Department of Education, and she also has worked with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Hewlett Foundation.
Rashidah credits a quality education with positively impacting the trajectory of her life and she holds this hope for every child in America. She focused her career on improving the conditions of K-12 education when she began to observe alarming statistics on the academic success of children of color. Prior to Education First, Rashidah worked for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, as a Broad Resident, where she led talent management and principal pipeline initiatives. She also worked at Wells Fargo, Microsoft, American Express and Accenture prior to focusing her career on K-12 education.
Rashidah graduated magna cum laude from Spelman College with a B.A in psychology. She also obtained her MBA in Marketing/Strategy at University of Michigan Ross School of Business in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She resides in Charlotte, North Carolina with her husband Bernard and her son Roman. Her community involvement has included parent advisory committee member for First Presbyterian Church Child Development Center, advisory board member for Citizen Schools North Carolina and member of Cotswold Elementary School Leadership Team. She enjoys salsa dancing, karaoke and great stories.
GreerWalker, LLP, Senior Manager
Nicole is a Senior Manager in the assurance practice at GreerWalker LLP. With over 12 years of experience, she serves clients in a variety of industries, specializing in construction, manufacturing, and distribution. In addition to assurance services, Nicole also delivers financial due diligence and other mergers and acquisitions services to a variety of businesses.
Nicole is active in the Charlotte community and currently serves on the boards of Fashion & Compassion and Construction Financial Management Association.
Nicole graduated from Virginia Tech and relocated to Charlotte nine years ago with her husband, Zack. Nicole and Zack live in Charlotte with their children, Ava and Wilder.
TriNet, Inc., Corporate Counsel
Lindsay works as Corporate Counsel at TriNet Group, Inc., a professional employer organization (PEO) that provides comprehensive human resources solutions for small to midsize businesses. She has spent her law career practicing litigation and labor and employment law. Lindsay is originally from Richmond, Virginia, and she graduated from the University of Virginia and Washington & Lee University. She has lived in Charlotte for 13 years. Lindsay and her husband Glenn have three children and their oldest, India, attends Charlotte Lab. They are big fans of the Panthers, outdoor adventures at North Carolina's local and state parks, and time spent with family and friends.