Board Expansion Reflects Foundation’s Commitment to Broaden Reach Across the State

DURHAM, NC – June 19, 2018 – NC IDEA, a private foundation committed to supporting entrepreneurial ambition and economic advancement in North Carolina, announced today the appointment of two new members to its Board of Directors. Joining the Board of Directors are Walter Frye, Executive Director for the Charlotte Regional Fund for Entrepreneurship (CRFE) and Dr. Garrett Hinshaw, President of Catawba Valley Community College (CVCC).

“As NC IDEA continues to broaden its reach across North Carolina, we welcome the addition of Walter and Dr. Hinshaw to the board,” said Karen LeVert, Board Chairman of NC IDEA. “We are very fortunate to have such high caliber individuals join the strong leadership foundation we have in place as we continue our ambition to increase impact across North Carolina’s diverse entrepreneurial communities.”

The two newest members of the NC IDEA Board of Directors include:

Walter Frye
Walter Frye is currently Executive Director for the Charlotte Regional Fund for Entrepreneurship (CRFE), a public-private partnership established to strengthen the entrepreneurship ecosystem in the Charlotte region. He most recently launched Innovate Charlotte, as the operating entity for the CRFE. Frye serves as a director, advisor, mentor, board member, volunteer and angel investor in organizations and companies within Charlotte’s thriving entrepreneurship ecosystem, with particular interests in social impact investing and FinTech. He is a career financial services and technology executive with over 15 years of executive experience in large financial services and technology companies to include Merrill Lynch, Bank of America, Ally Financial and Fiserv. In addition to joining the NC IDEA board, Frye serves on the Charlotte Advisory board for Truliant Federal Credit Union and the advisory board of SP3 Capital.

Dr. Garrett Hinshaw
Dr. Garrett Hinshaw currently serves as president of Catawba Valley Community College (CVCC). Under his leadership, CVCC has continued its history of empowering individuals to aspire, dream and achieve. The College serves as a leading entity in redefining the region’s economy through his collaborative efforts to develop partnerships at the local, state and national levels. In 2015, Dr. Hinshaw was named as President of the Year by the State Board of Community Colleges. In addition to joining the NC IDEA board, Dr. Hinshaw serves as a presidential representative on the National Junior College Athletic Association and serves on the boards of the National Association of Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) and the Catawba County Economic Development Association Board, among other organizations.

The newest board members join current directors: Board Chairman Karen LeVert, CEO of Southeast TechInventures & Ag TechInventures; Peyton Anderson, CEO of Affinergy; Greg Brown, President and Owner of Cardinal Finance; Patti Gillenwater, President and CEO of Elinvar; and Sean O’Leary, CEO of Synthio.

NC IDEA is an independent private foundation committed to supporting entrepreneurial ambition and economic advancement in North Carolina. Today, the organization fulfills this mission through multiple grant and assistance programs. NC IDEA ECOSYSTEM funds organizations across the state that execute creative programs to support entrepreneurs. Similarly, NC IDEA ENGAGE is a community-focused grant program supporting individuals and organizations that facilitate entrepreneurship activity. Over the last decade, the NC IDEA SEED program has awarded over $5M in non-dilutive grants to 125 high-growth companies across the state. Since 2011, over 150 companies have participated in NC IDEA LABS, formerly Groundwork Labs, to guide founders developing an idea or product. NC IDEA SOAR, a program founded in 2012, supports female entrepreneurs leading scalable businesses in raising capital through mentorship, strategic advice and connections. NC IDEA LEAD, the Foundation’s newest program, provides leadership training for founders of high-growth companies. Learn more at