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N.C. A&T Board of Trustees Welcomes New Members, Elects New Officers

09/27/2019

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (Sept. 27, 2019) – The North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University Board of Trustees welcomed new members and elected a new group of officers for 2019-2021.

The new officers are as follows:

Chairwoman Venessa Harrison. President of AT&T Georgia, Harrison was appointed this year by the University of North Carolina System Board of Governors to a second consecutive term as a trustee. She succeeds outgoing Chairman Timothy King.

Vice Chairwoman Hilda Pinnix-Ragland. A retired Duke Energy corporate affairs and business executive, Pinnix-Ragland has served as a trustee since 2017.

Secretary John W. Bluford III. A healthcare administrator and entrepreneur for more than 40 years, Bluford was reappointed this year to a second consecutive term as a trustee. 

New BOT members include:

Mark Copeland serves as the U.S. West Transaction Advisory Services managing partner for EY (formerly known as Ernst & Young). Based in Dallas, Texas, Copeland leads a group of more than 1,200 professionals covering 18 states and 28 offices. Among other roles over a 23-year accounting career, Copeland previously served as the Office Managing Partner for EY in Charlotte, N.C. 

Copeland was recognized in 2011 by The Charlotte Business Journal as one of the “40 Under 40” for making major strides in their careers and communities.

Copeland is a CPA in North Carolina and Texas. He received his bachelor and master degrees in accounting from East Carolina University. He was appointed this year by the N.C. General Assembly; his term ends in 2023.

William Dudley, formerly the deputy secretary of the North Carolina Department of Crime Control and Public Safety as part of a 31-year state government career, now serves as chair of the North Carolina Boxing Advisory Commission and is a management trainer for his company, Dudley Solutions LLC.

Born and raised near La Grange, N.C., he received his Bachelor of Science degree from North Carolina A&T State University in 1972, where he was vice president of the senior class and a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. He earned his law degree from the North Carolina Central University School of Law in 1976. He maintains a limited law practice and is a member of several professional associations.

Dudley previously served as a member of the N.C. A&T Board of Trustees from 2013-2017 and as a member of the N.C. A&T Alumni Association board. He was appointed to the BOT by the UNC System Board of Governors; his term ends in 2021.

Kimberly Gatling is a U.S. Registered Patent Attorney and North Carolina Board Certified Trademark Specialist with the firm of Fox Rothschild LLP in Greensboro, N.C., where she practices in the areas of patents, trademarks, copyrights, software, and related licensing and litigation matters.

A 1996 cum laude graduate of from North Carolina A&T with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, Gatling went on to graduate from George Washington University Law School in 1999 with her Juris Doctor.  She served on the editorial board of the American Intellectual Property Law Association Quarterly Journal while she was in law school. Gatling is licensed to practice law in North Carolina, before the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and before the United States Supreme Court.

Gatling was appointed to the BOT in 2019 by the UNC System Board of Governors; her term runs through 2023.

Bhaskar Venepalli is president and CEO of CiVentiChem, a premier contract R&D services company located in Research Triangle Park of North Carolina. In his 22 years with CiVentiChem, he has been responsible for expanding operations in India and organizing opportunities with India and Europe to help local biotech companies.

He serves on the board of North Carolina Biotechnology Center and as chairman of NC-INPAC, a N.C. based Indian political action committee. In 2010, he was honored as “the Entrepreneur of the year in the Biotechnology & Pharmaceuticals category” by the U.S. Business Journal.

Bhaskar is a graduate of Osmania University, where he was awarded a gold medal for scoring the highest marks in Organic Chemistry.  His was appointed to the BOT in 2019 by the N.C. General Assembly; his term runs through 2023.

Allison Gilmore is president of the North Carolina A&T Student Government Association. She is a senior journalism and mass communication major from St. Louis, Missouri.

She has served in numerous capacities that illustrate her love for people, politics and writing. Gilmore recently interned with Angela Rye as a public policy intern, as well as with Congressman G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.) through the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation.

Upon graduation, Gilmore plans to attend graduate school where she will study International Affairs.