Karen LeVert Succeeds Randy Myer as Chairperson; Three New Directors Join Board

DURHAM, NC – July 18, 2017 – NC IDEA, a private foundation committed to supporting entrepreneurial business innovation and economic advancement in North Carolina, announced today the election of Karen LeVert as Board Chair; along with the election of three new directors Peyton Anderson of RTP, Greg Brown of Charlotte and Patti Gillenwater of Raleigh. This announcement coincides with the launch of the Foundation’s new website.

“The leadership and guidance of our Board enables us to advance the Foundation’s mission and vision,” said Thom Ruhe, President and CEO of NC IDEA. “Our newest members are distinguished members of North Carolina’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and bring a wealth of expertise and energy to our activities. We are fortunate to have such accomplished business leaders supporting our efforts to strengthen the entrepreneurial future of North Carolina,” Ruhe concluded.

This new leadership brings a wealth of experience to the Foundation:

Karen LeVert has served on NC IDEA’s board for two years prior to being elected Chair. She is currently President and Co-Founder of Southeast TechInventures and Chief Operating Officer and Co-Founder of Ag TechInventures, Inc. Karen’s business experience encompasses both corporate and entrepreneurial worlds with over twenty-five years of successful leadership experience in start-ups, technology commercialization and executive management.

Peyton Anderson is CEO of Affinergy, a Duke spinout commercializing peptide linkers as coatings for medical devices, and is one of the Triangle’s notable and successful entrepreneurs. Previously, Peyton was founding CEO of SciQuest, Inc. and raised over $175 million in capital prior to the company’s IPO in 1999.

Greg Brown is President and Owner of Cardinal Finance which provides fractional CFO and other financial advisory services to small and mid-sized businesses. He is also the Administrator of Charlotte Angel Fund, one of the most active angel investor funds in North Carolina. His career has been devoted to serving entrepreneurs and the companies that they create as a trusted business partner and investor.

Patti Gillenwater is President, CEO and owner of Elinvar, a highly innovative executive search firm. Patti is an experienced business leader who has extensive nonprofit and professional association board experience. Patti’s experience as an entrepreneur is highlighted by her successful navigation of major changes in the industry and her creative approach to reinventing the business model of her firm with the result of sustaining business success while evolving and growing the firm’s capabilities and focus.

The newest board members join current directors; Board Chair Karen LeVert, Lee Buck, Randy Myer and Sean O’Leary. Recent outgoing directors include, Jeff Barber and Mitch Mumma, who generously served two complete board terms.

is a private foundation committed to supporting business innovation and economic advancement in North Carolina. Today, the organization fulfills this mission through four initiatives. The Ecosystem Partner Grant program funds organizations across the state that execute creative programs to support entrepreneurs. Over the last decade, the Seed Grant program has awarded over $5M to 120 high-growth companies across the state. Since 2011, more than 130 companies have participated in the Groundwork Labs startup program. SoarTriangle, a program founded in 2012 to address the proven funding gap for female entrepreneurs, formally became a foundation program in August 2016. Learn more at www.ncidea.org.