New board members bring commitment and experience to the Wake Tech Foundation


RALEIGH, NC (August 3, 2022) – Four outstanding community leaders have joined the Wake Tech Foundation Board of Directors, bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience. Dr. Audrey Caesar, Karen Shaffer, Marie Suzuki and Kevin Walker share their commitment to WakeTech’s mission with impressive records of local leadership.

Dr. Audrey Caesar is the Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer (CDEIO) for the University of North Carolina (UNC) Health Care System and the UNC School of Medicine. She is working to reduce healthcare disparities and achieve a more inclusive culture within these organizations. Dr. She comes to UNC Health from Raleigh, where she created and led the city’s first Office of Equity and Inclusion. She is an assistant professor in UNC’s School of Government.

Karen Schaefer is a retired software engineer with extensive experience in education. She served as an adult elementary education teacher for Wake Tech at the former Dorothea Dix Hospital and also worked for IBM and Cisco. Schaefer has master’s degrees in both school psychology and computer studies. She is committed to helping people prepare for meaningful, rewarding careers and believes strongly in skills training for career paths that don’t require a four-year degree.

Marie Suzuki is the market manager for PNC’s Carolinas market, where she manages a network of 123 branches in North and South Carolina. She began her banking career in Charlotte and had a 16-year career with Wachovia. In the year Following the RBC conversion, Suzuki moved to Raleigh and led the creation of an integrated and highly productive market for PNC.

Kevin Walker is Managing Director and Head of Credit Suisse Raleigh. In the year In the year He moved from New York to North Carolina in 2013. Walker is on the boards of the NC Tech Association and the Credit Suisse Americas Foundation, and serves as a major sponsor of the CS Americas Veterans Network and co-sponsor of the CS Americas Sustainability Network. He will join the board of the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce this fall.

The Foundation’s Board of Directors leadership team includes Whitney Westbrook (Chair), Candis Parker (Chair-Elect), Tim Burgess (Treasurer) and Dr. Scott Ralls (Secretary). The foundation’s executive director is Matt Smith. Other board members are Mary-Anne Baldwin, Douglas Ball, Natalie Best, Creighton Blackwell, Greg Boone, Alyssa Wright Collopy, Mike Conlon, David “Booth” Crosby, Scarlett Edwards, Tommy Laxo, Dana Martinez, Nick Neptune, Candice Parker, Cheryl . Parquet, Kim Raynor, Will Smith, Walt Tippett, Sharma Vemuri and Pat Wilkins



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