MICRO and SEED Grant Applications Open July 29th!

News & Insights

NC IDEA Foundation Elects New Board Chair and Directors

Jerry Edmonds III, Ed.D. Succeeds Peyton Anderson as Chairperson; Three New Directors Join Board

 DURHAM, NC – June 13, 2023 – NC IDEA, a private foundation committed to supporting entrepreneurial ambition and economic empowerment in North Carolina, announced today that the organization has elected Jerry Edmonds III, Ed.D. as Board Chair, along with the election of three new directors; José Alvarez of Charlotte, Krista Covey of Research Triangle Park and Keith Luedeman of Charlotte.

“NC IDEA is fortunate to have a visionary board comprised of accomplished business leaders with the bold ambition to empower North Carolinians to achieve their entrepreneurial potential,” said Thom Ruhe, President and CEO of NC IDEA. “Our newest directors are distinguished members of the State’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and join the Board with direct experience of NC IDEA programs, all having been former ECOSYSTEM grant recipients and served as reviewers for our SEED grant program,” Ruhe added.

We are excited to have the talent and expertise of each of these individuals in furthering the mission of the Foundation:

Jerry Edmonds III, Ed.D. has served on NC IDEA’s board for two years before being elected Chair and has also served on the North Carolina Black Entrepreneurship Council since its formation in 2020. He is currently the Vice President of Workforce and Community Engagement at Vance Granville Community College in Henderson, NC. Previously he served in varying roles as Dean of Workforce and Economic Development and Small Business Center Director at Halifax Community College in Weldon, NC. In 2018, Edmonds launched Willow Creek Tennis Retreat, LLC and the Edmonds Tennis and Education Foundation, dedicated to utilizing the game of tennis to provide academic and athletic opportunities for under-resourced youth throughout rural North Carolina.

José D. Alvarez is the vice president of Prospera North Carolina, a nonprofit focused on providing bilingual support and assistance to Hispanic entrepreneurs looking to start or expand their businesses. Prospera North Carolina provides the state’s Latino community with culturally focused and in-language business support to help increase economic opportunities through entrepreneurship. Alvarez’s current responsibilities include statewide operations, fundraising, designing programming, and managing community and government relations. A University of Central Florida graduate, Alvarez’s professional experience and passion during the last two decades have focused on multicultural marketing and small business support.

Krista Covey is president of First Flight Venture Center in Research Triangle Park. Her passion is serving high-impact entrepreneurial ventures and helping them achieve success. She has been supporting the development and growth of early-stage companies through her work building and leading award-winning innovation hubs in Florida and Texas. She has an extensive background in banking and finance and has experience in business incubation and acceleration, strategic management, business development, marketing, economic development, economic gardening for high-growth science and tech companies, and public relations. As an entrepreneur at heart, she has also grown her own successful finance business with a profitable exit and served on several startup boards and numerous community and industry boards.

Keith Luedeman is the founder and former CEO of goodmortgage.com, an award-winning internet mortgage lender. Luedeman led goodmortgage.com to be recognized for many successes including, Best Place to Work for Mid-Size Companies and Online Lender of the Year by the MortgageBankers Association. Under Luedeman’s guidance, goodmortgage.com was named to the Inc. 5000 five times, earning it a place on the Inc. 5000 Honor Roll. Earning individual awards along the way, such as NCTA Tech Exec of the Year, Luedeman developed a reputation as a passionate entrepreneur who shares his business wisdom as Board Chair of Innovate Charlotte, Board Chair of the Queens University Entrepreneurial Leadership Circle Advisory Board, an active investor in the Charlotte Region and as a mentor to startups.

The newest board members join current directors; Garrett Hinshaw, Ed.D., Linda Hall, Luke Walling, Sonja Ebron, Spencer Disher, and Stelfanie Williams, Ed.D.

About NC IDEA Foundation
NC IDEA is an independent private foundation committed to equitably empowering North Carolinians to achieve their entrepreneurial potential. Through our powerful combination of competitive grants and programs and a network of strategic partners, we help entrepreneurs when they need it most. NC IDEA’s resources are highly competitive, enabling the Foundation to support North Carolina’s most ambitious entrepreneurs. We believe entrepreneurs transform communities and view our work as a catalyst for positive change. Learn more at ncidea.org.