Mary Dillon is a partner in the law firm of Ellis & Winters LLP, where she represents clients in a wide-range of complex commercial and products litigation. She is one of the original founding partners of this boutique law firm. Mary received her B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she was a Morehead Scholar. She earned her law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law and later received a M.Ed. from the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Education. Mary serves on the Regional Selection Committee for the Morehead-Cain Foundation. She is a member of the North Carolina Bar Association’s Citizen-Lawyer Task Force. She serves on the board of directors for the North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys. Mary grew up in Sparta, North Carolina, in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and is proud to call herself a North Carolina native. She moved to the neighborhoods of downtown Raleigh in 1993 in order to be close to the city’s vibrant arts environment. She is passionate about the arts community and its impact on making Raleigh one of the best places to live.
Dan Douglas, the Director of Urban Planning and Design at KlingStubbins South East, has 15 years of experience in urban planning and design. Mr. Douglas most recently served as the founder and Director of Raleigh’s Urban Design Center. He wrote the Raleigh Livable Streets Plan that led to over $2.5B of reinvestment in the city center, including the reopening of Fayetteville Street, a new Convention Center and the development of Raleigh’s new signature, high-tech public space – City Plaza. In 2007 Mr. Douglas won the prestigious Eisenhower Fellowship – supporting eight weeks of travel throughout the European Union, studying sustainability, public-private partnerships and the urban strategies accompanying introduction of high-speed rail. In April 2008, Mr. Douglas was honored with the first ever Downtown Advocate Award by the Downtown Raleigh Alliance.
Carl Nordgren is an entrepreneur, a writer, a teacher, and a creative populist. He helped lead the founding of Cellular One of the Triangle, and FGI, a marketing service agency in Chapel Hill, and a half dozen other start ups. His novel Anung was adapted for the stage by the Vitalist Theater Company of Chicago. For the past ten years he has been teaching courses designed to help students become creatively entrepreneurial, mostly at Duke; he’s shared the creative populist message at nearly two dozen other schools including NCCU and NC State. He was Entrepreneur in Residence at his alma mater, Knox College. He lives with his wife Marie in Durham, where they raised three adult daughters.
SARAH POWERS/Vice Chair
Sarah Powers is an artist based in Raleigh, North Carolina whose mixed media work focuses on industrial and rural landscapes and landscape details. Her work has been featured in galleries across the U.S. including Rhode Island’s risd l works, The Sarah Doyle Gallery at Brown University and The Collectors Gallery, Long View Gallery, Vision Gallery and Artspace in North Carolina. Powers is a graduate of Rhode Island School of Design. Sarah is also an experienced arts administrator. From 2000-2004, she was gallery director of the Providence Arts Club in Providence, R. I., from 2004-2005, she was Manager of Donor Relations for Carolina Ballet, and has been the Executive Director of the Visual Art Exchange since 2005.
Mary Silver is a visual artist based in Raleigh, North Carolina since 2005. She has worked as a textile and fashion designer in New York. Her paintings and mixed media works are heavily influenced by the spirit of surrealism and abstract expressionism. Mary has served on the Advisory Board of the Contemporary Arts Museum, Raleigh since 2008. She received her BA in Communication Design/Illustration from Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York.
BETH YERXA/Executive Director
Beth Yerxa has been involved in the arts community in the Triangle since 2001, when she served on the Raleigh City Council’s Task Force created to write the current Raleigh Public Art Policy. Once this document was created, she was appointed by Council to the Raleigh Arts Commission, where she served from 2003 to 2009, including three years as Chair of that Commission. Beth practiced environmental regulatory law and litigation for 13 years, most recently as a partner at Smith Helms Mullis and Moore in Raleigh. She also currently serves on the Board of the Visual Art Exchange and on the Board of the North Carolina State Arts Society.