Board of Directors

Elections are currently open for first-term board members.

TLC is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors which sets policy directions and budget priorities for the organization. Board members are nominated by TLC’s Board Development Committee and elected by the general membership. They serve three-year terms and cannot serve more than two consecutive terms.

TLC’s Board Officers include a chair, vice chair, president, treasurer and secretary. The Board Officers are selected from among the Board of Directors. The chair presides at all meetings of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee. The vice chair acts in place of the chair, as needed. The president is the chief executive officer of the organization and is responsible for the management of TLC. The treasurer controls the funds of the organization, ensures that the books are kept properly and prepares or causes to have prepared financial reports. The secretary is responsible for recording the minutes of the Board meetings. Officers serve one-year terms. Read our bylaws here.

The TLC Board also has several standing and ad hoc committees: Conservation Strategies, Development, Executive, Finance & Investment, Governance & Human Relations, and Nominating. The Board often invites experts from the community to serve on appropriate committees. TLC also has a Stewardship Advisory Council.

Current Board Members

Russell Killen, Chair (Wake)

Mavis Gragg, Vice-Chair (Durham)

Jack Clayton, Secretary (Wake)


Norris Cotton (Durham)

Pam Hemminger (Orange)

Alan Hughes (Wake)

Wendee Smith (Wake)

Danielle Spurlock (Orange)

Tahz Walker (Durham)

Jennifer Zuckerman (Wake)


Current Board Members:

Russell B. Killen, (Wake)

Russell was elected mayor of the Town of Knightdale in December, 2007 and served in that role until December 2015. He previously served as a member of the Knightdale town council from 2003-2007. As a partner at Parker Poe and a member of the firm’s board of directors, Russell focuses his practice in the area of construction and land development, including dispute resolution, contract negotiation, and project entitlement. He counsels clients through the complete life cycle of development, from entitlement through construction and the final resolution of any disputes. Russell’s national and international clients include universities, real estate developers, hospitals, hotels, homebuilders, product manufacturers, architectural and engineering firms, and general contractors.

Pam Hemminger (Orange)

Since moving to Chapel Hill in 1986, Pam has held various public offices, including holding elected office as the Mayor of Chapel Hill and as a member and former chair of the CHCCS Board of Education. Pam served as Orange County Commissioner from 2008-2012 and served as Vice–Chair of the Board from 2011-2012. In that capacity, she chaired the Upper Neuse River Basin Authority. Pam continues to Chair the Upper Neuse River Basin Authority and currently serves on the Orange Habitat and Rainbow Soccer Boards. Previous to her involvement in public service, Pam worked as a business manager in several industries (computer, real estate, venture capital). She has a strong background in financial accounting and budgeting and has served as a bookkeeper and financial planner for several local non-profit organizations. She lives with her husband in Chapel Hill. They have four children. Pam enjoys gardening, hiking, cooking, traveling, tennis, and being out of doors.

Jack Clayton, Treasurer (Wake)

Jack Clayton is Regional President for Wells Fargo Triangle East Community Banking. He leads the bank’s broad sales, service, and growth strategies for retail, small business and business banking in the region. Clayton is also responsible for community involvement activities across Triangle East. Clayton joined Wachovia in the International Division, was the General Manager of the New York office, and managed the Latin American Group and the U.S. & Canadian Group. He relocated to Raleigh, where he ran Commercial, Real Estate, Business Banking, and Retail for Eastern North Carolina. He was also City Executive for Raleigh. Clayton earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Wake Forest University, his M.B.A. from UNC-Chapel Hill, and completed a postgraduate degree at NYU. An active member in the community, Clayton is Chair of the Research Triangle Regional Partnership and serves on the board of North Carolina State University’s College of Management and the Research Triangle Service Center. He is a member of the Fifty Group and the Boy Scouts Executive Council. He is past-Chair of the Greater Raleigh Chamber, WakeMed, and the YMCA We Build People Campaign, the Boy Scouts Occoneechee Council, and the American Heart Association Start! Triangle Heart Walk.

Norris Cotton (Durham)

Norris is a Financial Advisor in Durham, NC. He is a Certified Financial Planner®, a Certified Investment Management Analyst® and First Vice President with a national firm.  He grew up fishing and water skiing on the Mississippi River and adjacent Delta lakes. After college, he joined the US Marine Corps, serving 20 years and retiring with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Norris is a member and past president of the Durham/Orange Estate Planning Council. He is also past President of Durham’s Genesis Home Board of Directors and remains active with the organization, which provides transitional housing and services for homeless families. He is past-President of the Forest Hills Neighborhood Association.  Norris currently serves on Clean Jordan Lake Board as well as on the Durham Veterans Administration Hospital’s Institutional Review Board. An alumnus of Mississippi State University, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business and a Master of Business Administration (management/insurance emphasis). He also holds a Master of Business Administration (finance emphasis) from The George Washington University. Norris and his partner, Tracy Mancini, live in Durham with their wire-haired pointing griffon, Mudge. They enjoy sailing their Shannon 43 sloop Solstice, biking, kayaking, and continental and international travel.

Mavis Gragg, Chair (Durham)

Originally from Black Mountain NC, Mavis graduated from UNC- Chapel Hill and Pepperdine School of Law. In addition to being a lawyer, Mavis has extensive experience in conflict resolution and a Master of Dispute Resolution degree. In her practice, Mavis synthesizes her professional experiences as a lawyer and mediator with her passion for helping individuals and families maintain and grow wealth. She accomplishes this by dedicating her energy to assisting her clients with estate planning, estate administration, and heirs property matters. Mavis particularly appreciates working with clients who have low to moderate wealth because she is able to counsel them in planning and problem solving that meets critical needs. Mavis enjoys being active in the community. She is the founder and host of Legal Sips, a public dialogue aimed at providing community members with a greater understanding about legal issues that impact them and the attorneys who work on those issues. She also serves on the board of directors for Dispute Settlement Center and is an adjunct professor at North Carolina Central University School of Law.

Alan Hughes (Wake)

Alan has more than 25 years of senior leadership experience in information technology, including serving at some of the nation’s leading companies. He is the former Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina. Prior to that, he served as Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer. Alan has a strong record of helping global organizations make the most of information to meet financial, competitive and regulatory needs. His accomplishments have included integration of complex systems, improvement of customer Web capabilities and reduction of operating costs without sacrificing service. Alan has an MBA from New York University and a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from the State University of New York – Old Westbury.

Danielle Spurlock (Orange)

Danielle is an assistant professor in the Department of City and Regional Planning at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Human Biology at Stanford University and her M.P.H, M.R.P., and Ph.D. from UNC-Chapel Hill. Her specialization is land use and environmental planning and she teaches in the areas of environmental policy and development dispute resolution. Danielle’s research investigates the land development process from stakeholder engagement to the on-the-ground implementation of policies, programs, and projects.

Jennifer Zuckerman (Wake)

Jen Zuckerman is the Director of Strategic Initiatives for the World Food Policy Center within the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University, where her work focuses on supporting model food system development in North Carolina. Previously Jen served for eleven years at the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation as the Senior Program Officer for Healthy Living, focusing on increasing access to safe active environments and on providing sources for healthy, locally sourced food, with a commitment to early childhood development and food systems. Prior to the Foundation, Jen administered federal and state grants  at NC State University’s Recreation Resources Service where she worked with parks and recreation agencies across the state to help develop partnerships for the benefit of community health.

She currently serves as the Chair of the Center for Environmental Farming Systems Advisory Board, Vice-Chair of the National Academies of Medicine Early Childhood Innovation Collaborative, Chair of the Steering Committee of the Sustainable Agriculture and Food System Funders Network and on the Board of Directors of the Triangle Land Conservancy and Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation.  Jen has also served on the Steering Committee for the North Carolina Institute of Medicine Early Childhood Obesity Prevention Task Force and the Statewide Prevention Task Force. She earned her undergraduate and masters degrees from NC State University in Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management.

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