Board of Directors


Judy Mayo, Chair

Judy is a corporate governance and shareholder communications consultant in Charlotte, NC.  She advises public companies on proxy statements, annual reports and other governance reports as well as on communications to employees and shareholders. Prior to establishing her own firm, she held various senior public company legal roles, most recently serving as Vice President – Corporate Secretary and Deputy General Counsel for Piedmont Natural Gas prior to its acquisition by Duke Energy.

Judy received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania and her J.D. from the University of Chicago School of Law.  She was named “Outstanding Corporate Counsel” in 2015 by the Charlotte Business Journal.

Judy, her husband and three children live in Charlotte. She previously served on the Board of Trustees of the Charlotte Ballet and chaired its Outreach Committee. Her current volunteer work primarily centers on the schools that her children attend.

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Johnathan Williams, Vice Chair

Johnathan Williams is a local Financial Advisor and Certified Financial Planner. His team works primarily with medical professionals, business owners, and pre-retirees to help them visualize and realize their greatest potential to achieve their definition of financial security. His team takes a fiduciary approach to ensure their clients receive the same standard of advice and care that they would want for themselves and their own family.

Previously, Johnathan served as an Airborne Infantry Team Leader with the 82nd Airborne Division, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment also known as “The White Falcons”. He deployed to Baghdad, Iraq for a 15 month combat deployment as part of “Surge” operations in 2007 at the age of 18. He served for 5 years and separated from the service in 2011 due to an injury suffered from a parachute malfunction.

Johnathan now lives in Apex, NC with his wife and two daughters and can often be found at their church volunteering in children’s ministry.

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Michael Beam, Treasurer

Michael is a Vice President and Commercial Banker with First National Bank. In this role, he targets companies in and around the triangle while managing a portfolio of existing relationships in excess of forty million.

Michael got his start with Wachovia where he spent seven years in Business Banking. He continued his career at Fidelity Bank where he spent seven years as a Regional Supervisor while maintaining a commercial portfolio with credit commitments in excess of $20 million. He moved to NewBridge Bank in January of 2015 which was acquired by Yadkin Bank and later by FNB.

Michael is a graduate of NC State University and currently lives in Raleigh with his wife and two sons where he is active in the community coaching his son’s sports teams and routinely volunteering for local charities.

Originally from Shelby, NC, Michael spends most of his free time in the eastern part of the state relaxing with his family.


Edward D. Gray, Secretary

Edward D. Gray is an Assistant Federal Public Defender in the Eastern District of North Carolina. Prior to joining the Federal Public Defender’s Office, Ed spent a decade as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Eastern District of North Carolina prosecuting complex international narcotics investigations, organized crime syndicates, cartels and violent crimes. He also represented the government in Adam Walsh cases, involving the civil commitment of sexually dangerous persons. In addition to prosecuting cases, he was a civil attorney defending FTCA, Bivens and catastrophic torts cases for the United States. Prior to joining the United States Attorney’s Office, Ed was in private practice in Raleigh, NC. Additionally, Ed is a retired United States Air Force officer having served as a Judge Advocate on active duty, the USAF Reserve, and North Carolina Air National Guard. He has deployed to numerous areas of operation in the capacity of Deputy Staff Judge Advocate, Command Staff Judge Advocate, and Trial Counsel. While on active duty, Ed successfully prosecuted the first courts-martial in the Central Command Area of Operations. He is a graduate of Howard University, Vanderbilt Law School and The George Washington University. He also served on the Faculty of the United States Air Force Judge Advocate General’s School teaching trial advocacy. Among his numerous awards, Ed has been awarded the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Prosecution of the Year Award, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Mobility Command Judge Advocate of the Year Award, the Twenty-First Air Force Judge Advocate of the Year Award, and was the former Editor in Chief of the Air Force Law Review.


Glen Blumhardt

Glen Blumhardt is an North Carolina estate planning attorney with Raleigh-based Chambers & Ennis.  His practice focuses on asset and wealth preservation by implementing a broad range of simple asset transfer techniques to highly sophisticated wealth transferal planning strategies. This encompasses charitable gifting methods as well as small business development techniques all in view of asset protection considerations along with potential income tax and estate tax related issues.

Prior to the profession of law, Glen served as an Infantryman in the United States Army for over 20 years.  Commissioned as a Lieutenant from North Carolina State University, he began his career locally at Fort Bragg in the 82nd Airborne Division and retired from service following battalion command.  He is a second generation Army Paratrooper with combat and operational experience in Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Hungary, and throughout the Middle East.

Glen is a former chair of the NCHF.  He and his wife have two children and live in the Chapel Hill area near the family farm which pre-dates the Revolutionary War.

Ellis Boyle

Ellis is a Partner at Knott & Boyle, PPLC. Ellis and Joe Knott have been working together as a team since early 2015.  Before that, Ellis ran his own law firm helping clients with a range of issues.  This experience gave him the ability to focus on the challenges they faced and how to efficiently and effectively meet their goals.

Immediately prior to opening his own law firm, Ellis served as General Counsel and Deputy Secretary at the North Carolina Department of Public Safety (DPS).  DPS has over 27,000 employees and is responsible for the North Carolina prison and probation/parole systems, State Highway Patrol, Emergency Management, National Guard, and the juvenile justice system.

Prior to working for DPS, Ellis served as an Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) in the Eastern District of North Carolina for two years.  He worked in the Civil Division and had 19 trials in federal court.  He also had extensive experience representing the United States against negligence and medical malpractice claims for personal injuries under the FTCA and in bankruptcy cases.

Ellis is from northeastern North Carolina.  He was born and raised in Edenton.  He earned a degree in history from Davidson College.  After graduating, he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant by his Army R.O.T.C. program.  He served as an infantry officer in the U.S. Army for four years and left as a Captain, spending time primarily in Ft. Benning, Georgia and Ft. Riley, Kansas.  After serving in the Army, Ellis earned a law degree from Wake Forest University Law School, where he served as a member of the Law Review.  Upon graduation, Ellis spent a year as a law clerk for the Honorable Claude Hilton, a U.S. District Court Judge in the Eastern District of Virginia.


Andi Curtis

Andi Curtis serves as Government Affairs Manager for WakeMed Health and Hospitals. In her role at WakeMed, she manages the community relations program, building and maintaining relationships with local government officials, key governmental staff members, local businesses and community leaders in Wake County and throughout the immediate region.

Andi has served in several non-profit leadership roles in North Carolina including the Girl Scouts North Carolina Coastal Pines, the Cary Chamber of Commerce and the Wake Forest Chamber of Commerce. Andi joined the NCHF in 2012 and is passionate about supporting military families in need in North Carolina.

Andi, her husband and three children reside in Wake Forest, NC.


David Hayden

Colonel (USA retired) David Hayden joined Smith Anderson in 2011, after serving as the general counsel and board secretary for USfalcon, Inc.  Colonel Hayden has extensive experience in government contracting, corporate investigations (internal and government) and employment law.  Colonel Hayden previously served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, investigating and prosecuting federal crimes as well as supervising all military attorneys authorized to practice in federal court in eastern North Carolina.  He was appointed by the Governor to serve on the North Carolina Military Affairs Commission where he currently chairs the Economic Development Committee.

Colonel Hayden served in the United States Army for 29 years before retiring in 2005.  Colonel Hayden served as both an Engineer and Judge Advocate Generals Corps Officer.  Hayden’s military career included 12 years of airborne assignments at Fort Bragg, N.C., engineer company commander, criminal law professor and department head at the U.S. Army JAG School, senior litigation attorney and branch chief for the U.S. Army Litigation Division, deployment to Afghanistan as the senior legal advisor to the theater commander, and senior legal advisor to NORAD and the United States Northern Command.

Lenny Knott

For the past 30 plus years Lenny Knott has worked in the commercial construction industry with a general contractor in North Carolina, serving in both the Charlotte and Raleigh markets. Currently he is employed by Barringer Construction, a Charlotte based company, and is helping to build their Raleigh team.

Lenny comes from a family with a strong military history. A father who served in the Air Force, 2 brothers who served in the Marine Corps, a brother in the Air Force and another in the Army. Lenny is a former United States Marine himself. While serving in the Marine Corps in the early 80’s he was part of a multinational peace keeping force that served in Beirut, Lebanon. After leaving the Marine Corps he served 4 more years with the North Carolina Army National Guard.

Lenny has been the dedicated husband of Cissie Knott for the last 40 years. He is also the proud father of 3 exceptional children, and 9 beautiful grandchildren. He holds a “bachelors degree” in the “History of Ideas” and “Biblical Studies” from Southeastern College at Wake Forest and a “Masters of Divinity” Degree from Southeastern Biblical Seminary. He has served in a multitude of positions in the local church over many years.

Dedication, commitment, faith and hard work sum up Lenny’s philosophy of love and life.


Dennis Peterson

Dennis serves as Vice President and a Digital Manager within Wells Fargo’s Digital Channels Group. Primarily supporting online security and authentication, he was the lead Wachovia business analyst supporting the Wells Fargo/Wachovia online banking customer migration.   He previously served as the President of the bank’s Eastern Region and Charlotte Chapter of the Veterans Team Member Network.  Initially hired by First Union, he has worked for the combined company for the last 24 years.

Dennis earned a commission in the US Navy Supply Corps from the University of Nebraska Navy ROTC program.  After 22 years of service, he retired as a Commander. During his initial active duty service, he served as the Assistant Supply Officer for USS Crommelin (FFG 37).  Recalled to active duty in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, he served as the Personnel Support and Disbursing Officer for Naval Support Activity Bahrain.

In addition to his service with NC Heroes’ Fund, he also is a member of the North Carolina Committee for the Employers Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) and volunteer for both Charlotte Bridge Home and Concerned Veterans for America (CVA).  He is also a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 9488.

A native of Nebraska and an avid Cornhusker football fan, he lives in Charlotte with his wife.  He has two sons and one grandson.

Julie Roper

Julie Roper is currently the Economic Development and Local Government Manager for Dominion Energy in Gastonia, North Carolina. Julie is responsible for communications with city and county officials as well as economic development and community involvement in the surrounding Charlotte and Asheville area. She has a MPA from Appalachian State University and prior to joining Dominion Energy thirty-one years ago, she served in the United States Air Force for four years.  Julie has served on the boards of various civic organizations such as Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, Alliance for Youth and Children, Vice-Chair, of Gaston County Homebuilders Association and represented Gaston County as a state director for the NCHBA .  She served as the board chair of Habitat for Humanity, Montcross Chamber of Commerce, and Crime Stoppers of Gaston County. In addition to the NCHF board, she currently serves on the Gaston County Economic Development Commission as Vice-Chair, North Carolina Economic Development Association, Schiele Museum and the Montross Chamber of Commerce.

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Scott Stone, Founder

Scott D. Stone, P.E. serves as President of American Engineering Associates – Southeast, PA, a regional civil and engineering & surveying firm. Scott is also the chairman and founder of the North Carolina Heroes Fund. He got involved because, “Our military men and women, and their families, sacrifice so much to defend our freedom. NCHF is just a small way of saying thank you for their tremendous efforts and commitment.”

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Kendria Sweet, Executive Director

Kendria Sweet serves as executive director of the NCHF. In this capacity, she is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Fund.

Before coming to the NCHF, she was co-executive director of The Patriot Charities. Kendria, her husband and two boys live in Charlotte, NC.