Jeffery Edwards-Knight, Chair
Jeffery Edwards-Knight is a native of South Carolina. He moved to Charlotte, NC in 1984. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice from the University of North Carolina Charlotte. Jeffery is a supervisor of HIV/ STD Community Testing Outreach program at Mecklenburg County Health Department in Charlotte, NC. He has served in this position over eight years. He has worked in the field of HIV for over 10 years as an advocate and a professional. He started his work in the HIV/AIDS field with the Metrolina AIDS Project as the MSM Health Educator in 2006. In the past he served on the boards of the Charlotte Lesbian and Gay Community Center and the Metrolina AIDS Project. He has served on the State Community Planning Group with North Carolina Communicable Disease Unit and the Mecklenburg County HIV Council. Jeffery was selected to attend and graduated recently from the African American HIV University sponsored by the Black AIDS Institute in collaboration with UCLA. Jeffery was featured in the POZ 100 Celebration of 100 long-term survivors. He has presented at numerous conferences and organized workshops around HIV. His current community involvement includes the Charlotte BTAN (Black Treatment Advocates Network) where he serves as co-chair. He enjoys his involvement with Holy Covenant United Church of Christ, where he serves as an elder and spending time with his husband and two dogs.
Alicia is a native of Philadelphia and has lived in North Carolina since 1997. She received a bachelor’s degree in Social Work in 2009 from UNC-Greensboro, a Master’s in Public Health from Capella University and is currently working on a doctorate in Public Health also at Capella University. Alicia was diagnosed with HIV in 2001 and made a decision in 2004 to become an HIV/AIDS activist, educator, and speaker. Alicia is a member of the Positive Women’s Network (PWN-USA) and SisterLove-2020 Leading Women’s Society. Alicia has spoken for organizations such as Piedmont Health Services and Sickle Cell Agency, Guilford Community AIDS Partnership (GCAP), Guilford County Health Department, and Triad Health Project. She has also spoken at area universities, public schools, community health events, and churches. Alicia has appeared on FOX 8 News, News 2, 90.1 WNAA, BETs Wrap It Up Campaign, the Busta Brown Show, in AOL Health, POZ Magazine, The Guilford County Women’s Journal and Divine Connections WebTV & magazine just to name a few. As an HIV/AIDS activist and educator, Alicia is also the CEO and Founder of I Will Live which is a foundation whose goal is to help the community understand the importance of STD and STI prevention and knowing your HIV/AIDS status by getting tested as well as living healthy and productive lives through empowerment and education.
Vanessa Duren-Winfield is a native of Winston-Salem, NC. She has three degrees from North Carolina A&T State University; B.S. Business Administration, M.S. Adult Education, and Ph.D. in Leadership Studies. She serves as Director of Research for the School of Health Sciences and assistant professor in the Healthcare Management Program at Winston-Salem State University. She is a health disparities researcher and her primary research interests include HIV/AIDS, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes with special emphasis addressing disparities in quality of care for minority populations. She served 15 years as a Research Associate at Wake Forest University School of Medicine where she served in numerous capacities that include grant writing, clinical research trials management, the development of research protocols, evaluation tools and intervention design. She has extensive experience applying community-based research methods while working with diverse populations and multi-disciplinary teams. Since her arrival at WSSU in 2007, she has received funding to conduct a variety of community-based research studies in her areas of expertise. She recently received funding from The UNC-Center for AIDS Research to design an HIV/AIDS Knowledge and Behavior Intervention for HBCU college students. In 2007 she traveled to Malawi, Southeastern Africa to help teachers craft culturally comprehensible HIV/AIDS educational materials using low-level technologies. The technologies have since been implemented in the educational curriculum of the country. Vanessa has a passion for helping students reach their fullest potential and currently mentors 12 undergraduate students exposing them to “hands on” behavioral and biomedical research activities. She has published both nationally and internationally.
Tony Franco is a long-time and dedicated activist in supporting the lives of those impacted by HIV/AIDS. Tony graduated from New York University in 1980, and earned his JD from Pace University School of Law in 1985. Tony has volunteered with a number of HIV/AIDS organizations in Los Angeles, California and most recently here in North Carolina including the Western North Carolina AIDS Project. He is a long term survivor and has thrived living with HIV for over 25 years.
Leslie Johns, Treasurer
Leslie Johns is a Certified Public Accountant, currently working with Halliday, PLLC, CPAs in Chapel Hill, NC. Les started his career in New York City and moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1976, working with several CPA firms before starting his own firm Johns & Simmons, CPAs, with good friend Michael Simmons. An opportunity at Duke University Medical Center for his wife, Angela, brought them to the Triangle in 2001. Les has been active on the boards of several nonprofit organizations, including a community hospital, a parochial high school, and most recently the Orange County Rape Crisis Center.
Veleria Levy is the Senior Account Executive for Avita Pharmacy in Salisbury, NC and is the 2nd Vice-Chair of the North Carolina Democratic Party (NCDP). She is the Founder & President of Purses and Politics, which is a non-partisan group that gathers women together to discuss political issues. Veleria is also a member of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and the NAACP.
Veleria has been an advocate for education and volunteers her time as a Board Member for Gemstones Academy and as a member of the PTO. She also serves as one of the appointees from the Rowan County Commission to serve on the Salisbury-Rowan Human Relations council, as a member of the Rowan County Chamber of Commerce Government Affairs Committee, and is a member of the Community Development Commission for the City of Kannapolis. Veleria holds a degree in Political Science from NC A&T State University.
Adam Linker is currently a program officer in the Healthcare Division at the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust. Prior to coming to the trust, he was the Co-Director of the North Carolina Justice Center’s Health Access Coalition, a statewide nonpartisan consumer advocacy organization. At the Justice Center, Adam analyzed state and federal health care legislation and regulations, lobbied lawmakers, wrote reports and editorials, and spoke to community groups. Over the years he has worked extensively with the North Carolina AIDS Action Network to ensure that state and federal policy responds to the needs of people living with HIV and AIDS. He also represents consumers on several state task forces studying how best to implement federal health reform in North Carolina. In addition, Adam is a designated consumer representative to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Adam has also been a health care and education reporter for Triangle Business Journal. He has a master’s degree in African American history from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and a master’s degree in journalism from UNC. Adam grew up in Raleigh and attended UNC as an undergraduate.
Mindie Loebach, Vice Chair
Mindie Loebach is originally from Naperville, Illinois. Mindie relocated to Raleigh to attend UNC-Chapel Hill where she obtained her BA in psychology. Mindie’s dedication to non profit service began by helping victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. She has since worked with other non- profit organization including a foundation that brought art to local communities, helping to bring a center for individuals with Autism into being, working with at risk youth and serving the local ASPCA to help animals in need. In her spare time Mindie enjoys sailing, spending time with friends and traveling.
Elaine Martin has been a speaker and leader within the transgender and the broader LGBTQ communities for the last 25 years. She has previously served as the Chair of the Equality North Carolina C4 board and is a former President and Programming Chair of “The Southern Comfort Conference,” the largest conference of transgender people in the world. She speaks and presents frequent seminars on an array of topics regarding transgender rights, transitioning, policy, workplace, relationships, health and the many challenges faced by trans people and those who love and work with them.
Elaine spent a widely varied 23 years in the banking industry at the executive level, owned a small aviation company, and is the current owner of “Power of Diversity,” which specializes in consulting, coaching and training for employers of trans people and their trans employees. She is also an Associate Consultant to Total Engagement Consulting by Kimer, which specializes in LGBTQ employee/employer integration and education in the workplace. Elaine holds a BA in Psychology from SUNY Buffalo, an MBA in Finance from the University of New Mexico and is married with children.
Sandy Moulton, Secretary
Sandy Moulton is retired from GlaxoSmithKline where she was Executive Director of the company’s foundation that provided over half a billion dollars annually in medicines and healthcare services to low income patients. Since retiring from GSK, she has served as Interim Associate Dean of Advancement for the Gillings School of Global Public Health at UNC, and currently is a principal at The Xenia Group, Inc. She formerly headed the North Carolina Certificate of Need Program and was an attorney for the North Carolina General Assembly on healthcare and social services.
At UNC, Moulton was a director on the Gillings School of Global Public Health Foundation Board where she served as Chair, and also was a member of the UNC Board of Visitors. She is a member of the UNC Global Leadership Council. Throughout her career she has been involved in HIV/AIDS services and has worked with a number of community health organizations including the AIDS Service Agency of Orange County and the Alliance of AIDS Services Carolina (founding member.) She currently is on the boards for HarborPath, and the North Carolina AIDS Action Network. In addition, she previously was a member of the North Carolina Child Advocacy Institute Advisory Council, the North Carolina Association of Biomedical Research Board, and the Eligibility and Enrollment Committee of the North Carolina Health Planning Commission.
Moulton earned three degrees from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: a bachelor’s in history, a law degree, and a master’s of public health in health policy and administration.
Brodderick D. Roary is a native of South Carolina. He has a Bachelor of Science in Marketing and a Bachelor of Science in Management for Coker College. After completing his undergraduate degrees he attended Francis Marion University for a Master’s in Education. Brodderick currently serves as the Operations Manager with the Western North Carolina Aids Project. Prior to joining WNCAP he worked for a local CBO in Charlotte serving as the Ryan White Program Manager for several years and lastly as Project Manager for a CDC funded prevention and education program working with African American/Latino Gay, Bisexual Men and the Transgender Community in Mecklenburg County. In the past he has served on the Mecklenburg County Syphilis Elimination Effort Task Force, Mecklenburg County HIV/AIDS Council, Region II MSM Task Force, State Community Planning Group with North Carolina Communicable Disease Unit, Ryan White Part A Quality Management Committee and mentor with a Different Roads Home- For the Good Road Mentoring Project. He is currently a trainer for the In It Together – National Health Literacy Project for Black MSM.
Dr. Diana Rowan is an Associate Professor in the School of Social Work at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She is the principal investigator on a research study funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Minority AIDS Research Initiative. This $1.1 million project focuses on HIV prevention for young African American gay/bisexual men and transgender women through culturally based social networking. Dr. Rowan has published numerous peer-reviewed research articles on HIV in minority communities, including the house ball community. She is author of a 2013 textbook entitled, Social work with HIV and AIDS: A case-based guide. Prior to coming to North Carolina, Dr. Rowan worked as a private practice licensed social work clinician around issues related to same-sex sexuality, transgender identity, and living with HIV. Dr. Rowan has done cross-cultural research in several countries of southeastern Africa and for the last four years has taken students to Malawi for coursework and research each year. When not working, Diana enjoys watching high school, college and NFL football, and eating Popeye’s fast food. She is also a U.S. Army veteran.
Allison Rice is a Clinical Professor at Duke Law School and director of the Duke Health Justice Clinic. She has devoted her career to advocating for low-income people in North Carolina. For over a decade, she has focused exclusively on representing people living with HIV/AIDS. She provides direct representation and supervises law students who assist HIV+ clients as part of their legal training. She also engages in HIV policy research and advocacy, particularly related to healthcare access for people living with HIV. She lives in Durham with her husband and two college-age kids.
Cindy Snyder is a Director of Community Government Relations for ViiV Healthcare, a pharmaceutical company 100% focused on HIV. In her current role, Cindy works with patient advocates and policy makers on health policies that improve access to care for people living with HIV, at the federal level and in several states. Prior to joining ViiV Healthcare, Cindy was with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), working with Medicaid programs and commercial insurance plans. She has held past positions in the Policy and State Government Affairs departments, where she focused on HIV funding and access issues associated with Medicaid and AIDS Drug Assistance Programs. She previously served on the board of Be Active NC, and is the chair of Duke Lutheran Campus Ministry committee through her church. Cindy is a member of the North Carolina State Bar and lives in Durham with her husband and two daughters.
J. Wesley Thompson
Wesley Thompson has practiced medicine for 30 years and has opened Thompson Medical Group in Charlotte, North Carolina. He provides care to the HIV/AIDS population and the LGBTQ community of Mecklenburg County and surrounding counties. He is a board certified physician assistant and the first physician assistant to be certified as an HIV Specialist in the state of North Carolina and one of the first in the United States. He has coinvestigated in over 60 clinical trials for new medications to treat HIV. He lectures locally, statewide, and nationally to medical conferences, to patient groups, and provider groups. He serves as guest lecturer and adjunct professor at Davidson University, Duke University, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and Central Piedmont Community College, Wake Forest University and Wingate University. He serves as a speaker for the National Ryan White Action Campaign. He is the Co-Chair of the Southeast Chapter of American Academy of HIV Medicine (AAHIVM), serves on the North Carolina ADAP provider committee, and is on the North Carolina AIDS Action Network (NCAAN) Board of Directors. He was the Medical Co-Chair of the Quality Management Ryan White Committee for Mecklenburg County 2012 – 2014. He also serves on the Board of Directors for CarolinasCare ASO and served on the Board of Directors for the Regional AIDS Interfaith Network (RAIN) and the AIDSWALK Committee for 6 years. He served as Co-Chair of the Mecklenburg County Commissioners HIV Task Force. He received his Bachelor of Art at Wake Forest in 1982, and received his Bachelor of Health Science and Physician Assistant degree at Duke in 1987 and his Master in Health at Duke in 1991. He attends St. Peter’s Episcopal Church where he has served as a Eucharistic Minister. Wesley, with the love of his life and spouse, Trey Owen recently celebrated 29 years together. They live in Charlotte, North Carolina with their two dogs Astro and Jackson.