President’s Advisory Council

The President’s Advisory Council is a group of business, ministry, and civic leaders who come alongside Montreat College in an advisory role as we seek to be a leader in Christ-centered higher education regionally, nationally, and internationally.

2024 President’s Advisory Council Members

Fran Aceto

Mrs. Francis C. Aceto ’75

Fran Aceto is a legal assistant for the Aceto Law Office, her husband Steve’s law firm. She has worked in Montreat College’s Admissions Office and Alumni Office, and she has served on the college’s Board of Trustees and the Alumni Leadership Council. Fran and her husband live in Montreat. She has served on the July 4th Montreat Parade Committee for more than 20 years and served on the board of the Buncombe County Schools Foundation. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, cooking, and traveling.

Skip Allcorn

Mr. Frank W. “Skip” Allcorn IV

Skip Allcorn is the retired president and present co-owner of Coastal Construction Products and the former vice president of the Barnett Winston Company. After graduating from UGA, he went into the Navy, served a missile officer on a destroyer in Norfolk, and became an executive officer and navigator on an ocean-going salvage ship in Pearl Harbor. He has also served as president of San Marco Preservation Society, president of Sealant Engineering and Associated Lines, chairman of Jacksonville Young Life, chairman and co-founder of Echo-Cuba, chairman of Elevate Jacksonville, and a member on many other boards. Skip enjoys competitive sailing, hiking, serving as an elder at Westside Chapel, his grandchildren, and spending time in the North Carolina mountains. He and his wife, Peggy, live in Jacksonville, F.L.

Skip Allcorn

Mr. Kristin “Kris” Allen

Mr. Allen is President of Business Performance Group, Inc., (BPG). For 40 years, Mr. Allen worked as a business consultant to both private sector and public sector clients in the power generation, information technology, pharmaceutical, and post-secondary education markets. He built and sold two successful small businesses and has held executive-level positions in privately- and publicly-held corporations. For three years, he was the Board of Visitors Chairman at Montreat College. For 7-years, he served as a nuclear submarine officer in the United States Navy and taught for two years at the U.S. Naval Academy.

Ann Ashley

Mrs. Ann K. Ashley

Ann Ashley is the founder of Laurel Branch bringing perspective in learning and leadership for her clients. After a 35-year career with Biltmore in Asheville, NC, this semi-retired executive is dedicated to helping individuals and organizations achieve their potential with excellence and balance through coaching, consulting, speaking, and training. She serves on several not-for-profit boards and is the chairman of the board for the North Carolina Business Committee on Education. She enjoys entertaining and outdoor activities with her husband, Matt, and her family in the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina.

Steve Brown

Mr. Steve Brown

Steve Brown is a retired banking executive and current pastor serving churches in the Charlotte area. Steve is a Certified Public Accounting and worked as a financial executive at various financial institutions for 28 years before becoming a full time pastor at Forest Hill Church in 2016. In 2021 Steve decided to become a visiting preacher and enjoys serving various churches and non-profit organizations in the Charlotte area. Steve received his B.S in Business at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his Masters of Divinity at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary. Steve and his wife Nancy reside in Charlotte, North Carolina and have two grown children, Zachary and Michaela. Steve enjoys family time, golf, preaching and working out.

Joe Budd

Mr. Joseph R. Budd

Joe Budd is the Chairman and CEO of the Budd Group, a company that provides janitorial, maintenance, and landscaping to a range of industries across the Southeast and Mid Atlantic. Joe is one of the three trustees overseeing the Glade Valley Scholarship at Montreat College. He attends First Presbyterian Church in Winston Salem and serves on the boards of Corporate Aircraft Association, Piedmont Triad Partnership, Whitaker Park Development Authority, and the advisory board of The Cannon Foundation. Joe served as a Montreat College trustee from 1999-2009, 2010-2013.

Timothy Bugg

Mr. Timothy K. Bugg ’07

Tim Bugg is the president and CEO of Capstone Health Alliance. He has nearly 30 years of experience in the supply chain field, with more than 25 years in healthcare. He graduated from Montreat College in 2007 and is a member of the Council of Supply Chain Executives, the HSCA Board of Directors, and the IDN Summit Advisory Board. Mr. Bugg also serves with the local chapter of the United Way, Vistage CEO Group, and is the founder and president of the girls’ fastpitch organization, WNC Extreme. He and his wife, Linda, have two children and currently live in Fletcher, N.C., and attend Biltmore Church.

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Mr. Carl I. Carlson, IV

Carl Carlson serves as a managing partner of CICIV Holdings, LLC. Residing on the board of Piedmont Financial Trust Company, Richardson Corporation, and the Charleston School of Law Foundation, Carl also serves on the audit committee for three additional companies: Piedmont Associates, Piedmont Southeastern, and Piedmont Harbor. In addition, he is licensed to practice law after having graduated with his doctorate, magma cum laude, from the Charleston School of Law. Carl’s interests include traveling, collecting, historic preservation, golden retrievers, southern antiques, and boating.

Melissa Duarte

Mr. Michael Collie

Mike Collie established Collie Financial Planning, Inc., located in Asheville and Black Mountain, N.C., in 2005. He is passionate about combining competent and diligent investment management with purposeful life planning, giving families a path to achieving their goals and financial freedom. Mike and his wife, Randi, live in Montreat and are the proud parents of three young men. He enjoys spending time with his family and friends and being outdoors. He and Randi attend Christ Community Church (EPC) in Montreat.

Portrait of Dixon Cunningham

Dr. Dixon C. Cunningham

Dixon Cunningham is the Emeritus Professor of Finance at Furman University. In the past, he served on the boards of Neighborhood Focus and Erskine College, and he currently serves on the boards of Miracle Hills Ministries; Palmetto Farms, Inc.; First Presbyterian Church Foundation; Palmetto Farms Foundation; and First Presbyterian Academy, Inc. Dixon earned his doctorate at the University of Virginia and lives with his wife, Eudora, in Greenville, S.C. His hobbies include farming, yard work, walking, reading, and investing.

Chris Curry

Mr. Chris Curry

Chris Curry is a missionary-entrepreneur. Following college (Wake Forest University ‘87), Chris worked across the southeast and abroad for twenty years. In 2004, Chris returned to the US to start Catalyst Investments, for the purpose of meeting the challenges and opportunities of the new emerging North American culture with a bivocational approach. He now owns and manages Catalyst Investment Properties from his home in Black Mountain, NC. Chris loves sailing, debating with friends in his local pub, building, and vision. He is currently working towards creating a ministry/business model where all levels of competing cultures can meet, learn communication/conflict skills, and thrive.

Javier Garcia

Mr. Javier J. Garcia ’13

Javier Garcia is an alumnus of Montreat’s MBA program. He has over 25 years of experience in sales, marketing, customer support and global business. He has worked for Eaton Corporation for over 22 years and currently serves as the manager of the project management organization. Prior to Eaton, he worked for IBM and the Coca-Cola Company. Javier serves as the United Way Chairperson at Eaton and as founding officer and Vice Preesident of Prospanica North Carolina. He and his wife, Maria, have been married for over 28 years; they have a daughter; and they attend St. Barnabas Catholic Church in Arden, N.C.

Jesse Gardner

Mr. Jesse M. Gardner ’02

Jesse Gardner is a senior project engineer with Civil Design Concepts. After completing his bachelor’s in mathematics from Montreat College, he earned his master’s in engineering at North Carolina State University. He is skilled in road design, utility infrastructure design, grading, storm water management, flood modeling/permitting, and water and sewer pumping stations. Jesse and his wife, Jessica, live in Black Mountain, N.C.

Bill George

Dr. William G. George

Bill George has served as head of school at Asheville Christian Academy since 1992. A native of Ohio, Dr. George received his BA in history from Cleveland State University, his MA in educational leadership from The Ohio State University, and his Ed.D. from the Graduate Theological Foundation. Bill and his wife, Lynn, live in Asheville, N.C. They have six children and twelve grandchildren. When he isn’t busy working as an educator, he is a volunteer guardian ad litem. He likes to hike, backpack, garden, research, and spend quality time with his family.

Douglas J. Hillman

Mr. Douglas J. Hillman

Doug Hillman is an engineer who discovered the joy of helping teams improve and grow manufacturing businesses. He has worked primarily in Aerospace and other highly engineered product industries, including an assignment as VP / GM of Kearfott Motion Systems in Black Mountain. Following the turn-around and sale of Aerosonic Corporation in Florida, where he was CEO, he started WindRose Ventures as an advisory firm to help companies improve and grow. Doug served on the Pinellas County Economic Development Advisory Board and the Dean’s Advisory Council for the University at Buffalo School of Engineering. He and his wife Andrea are members of Sulphur Springs Freewill Baptist Church in Waynesville.

Douglas J. Hillman

Dr. Katherine Jeffrey

Katherine Jeffery is a generational strategist and business consultant who specializes in developing strategies that help organizations navigate five generations working side-by-side in the workforce. Katherine holds degrees from Indiana University, Clemson University, and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and she has spent over 20 years studying human behavior and working with Millennials. An entrepreneur and agent of change at heart, she is also the CMO and Co-Founder of MADE FREE, a social enterprise that designs and manufactures products to help address extreme poverty and human trafficking, as well as promote ethical jobs. Katherine lives in the beautiful mountains of western NC with her husband, Brad.

Douglas J. Hillman

Mr. Bob Klepper

Mr. Robert P. Klepper is the global chief underwriting officer for property, energy and construction risks at AXA XL Insurance, with his office based in New York City. Bob holds an engineering degree from Clemson University and resides in Fletcher, NC with his wife Lisa and their four children. He is a member of Central United Methodist Church in Asheville, where he and his family remain active in various global missions projects. His interests include fishing, skiing and adventure travel.


Kenneth Kramer

Mr. Kenneth W. Kramer

Ken Kramer is the executive director of Givens Highland Farms in Black Mountain, N.C. He has served as executive director since 2015 and has over 25 years of experience working in the retirement community industry. He also serves on the board of the YMCA and as a coach for the NC Leading Age Leadership Academy. He and his wife, Sarah, live in Old Fort, N.C., and have six children. They attend St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church in Swannanoa, N.C.

Kenneth Kramer

Mr. Barnwell P. McArthur

Palmer McArthur is Of Counsel and former partner with Moore & Van Allen PLLC, a Charlotte-based law firm. Palmer is also a Certified Public Accountant, having practiced in the tax department of the Dallas, Texas office of PriceWaterhouse. Palmer has a B.S. in Commerce from the University of Virginia and a J.D., with Honors, from the University of Texas School of Law.

Palmer and his wife of almost 43 years, Caroline, reside in Charlotte, and have four sons, two daughters-in-law, and four grandchildren. Palmer and Caroline are members of Westminster Presbyterian Church, where he has served on the Session. Palmer is active with the United States Tennis Association and is an avid hunter and outdoorsman. Since retiring, he has also periodically been taking courses at Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte. Palmer grew up vacationing in Montreat, and has previously served on its Board of Trustees.

Photo of Parrish McCormack

Mr. J. Parrish McCormack

Parrish McCormack serves as lead counsel to Nuveen’s Energy & Infrastructure Group. He is Vice President, Associate General Counsel – Asset Management Law at Nuveen, a subsidiary of Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America (TIAA). He earned his Juris Doctor from Case Western Reserve University School of Law, and his undergraduate degree cum laude from Duke University. Parrish served as a member of the board of advisors of the Duke Law Global Financial Markets Center for several years and is a former director of the Charlotte Chapter of American Corporate Counsel. An Eagle Scout and a classically trained singer and pianist, Parrish has served for many years on the boards of non-profit classical music organizations and other charitable organizations. He currently resides in Charlotte, NC.

Photo of Parrish McCormack

Dr. Don W. Printz

Don Printz is a retired dermatologist who grew up in Asheville. He earned his B.S. at Duke University, where he was an Angier B. Duke Scholar, and his M.D. at UNC Chapel Hill. After completing his residency at Charity Hospital in New Orleans, he joined the U.S. Public Health Service at the CDC in Atlanta. Later, he established a private dermatology practice in the Atlanta area, where he worked until his retirement. Don splits his time between Atlanta and Asheville, where five of his eight grandchildren reside. In addition to his medical career, he is passionate about free market economics and is active in several non-profit institutions. Don is a member of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Arden, NC.

David Simas

Mr. William E. Scheu

Bill Scheu is a commercial real estate lawyer at Rogers Towers, P. A. in Jacksonville, Fla. He has served on many governmental boards, task forces, and many non-profit boards. Bill was the chair of the Board of Trustees of Columbia Theological Seminary (2007-2014) and was elected interim president in 2014. He and his wife, Peggy, moved to Montreat in January 2018 after being Montreat cottagers for many years. They have previously served on the Board of Visitors at Montreat College.

Dr. Jeffrey J. Sich

Dr. Jeffrey J. Sich

Jeff Sich is associate professor emeritus of microbiology, immunology, and tropical medicine at The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. He served as a faculty member or in administrative positions at several institutions of higher education and as chair of the undergraduate microbiology committee on the Board of Education and Training at the American Society for Microbiology. He earned his Ph.D. and M.S. in microbiology and molecular biology from the University of Cincinnati. He lives in Davidson, N.C., and has served the Evangelical Presbyterian Church as a ruling elder, college ministry committee member, choir member, and Sunday school teacher.

David Simas

Mr. David Simas

David Simas has been an employee benefit consultant with USI Insurance Services since 2003. He and his team assist Montreat College with its employee benefits program. Prior to USI, He worked for Marsh USA and CIGNA Healthcare. David and his wife, Caroline, have four children and reside in Charlotte, NC.

David Simas

Mr. Rob Veerman

Rob Veerman is former managing partner and founder of EventsCom (now known as Heard Global). He began his career as a TV news cameraman then served as video producer for Campus Crusade for Christ before starting a company to provide audio visual production support for large ministry events and corporate meetings. He is a graduate of UNC Charlotte. Rob is an elder at Christ Covenant Church in Matthews, N.C. He and his wife Susan live in Charlotte.

Thomas G. Widmer

The Honorable Thomas G. Widmer

Tom Widmer is a commissioner for the Town of Montreat. He retired as director of development for The Outreach Foundation, a global Presbyterian mission ministry, and he now serves on the Board. He also spent many years in the health care industry. He is co-chair of the United Way Allocations Committee and formed the woodworking ministry for underprivileged youth, called Nehemiah’s Workshop. He and his wife, Katie, live in Montreat and attend Christ Community Church (EPC).

Mr. Glenn W. Wilcox, Sr.

Mr. Glenn W. Wilcox, Sr.

Glenn Wilcox, Sr., is president and chairman of the commercial real estate company Tower Associates, chairman of Wilcox Travel Agency, and co-owner of the Blue Ridge Printing Company. He resides in Asheville and is a member and life deacon at Asheville’s First Baptist Church. He is the former chair of the Board of Trustees for Appalachian State University and has served on many other boards, including Gerald Mann Ministries, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary Foundation, Meredith College, Mars Hill College, Wingate College, and Western Carolina University Foundation. He enjoys golf and travel, and he has five children, 10 grandchildren, and 13 great-grandchildren.

Bob Wynne

Mr. Robert W. Wynne, III

Bob Wynne is president emeritus of Brown-Wynne Funeral Homes based out of Raleigh, N.C. He has served as chairman of the Board of Trustees of Montreat College and as a member of the Board of Visitors. He is also a former member of the N.C. House of Representatives and N.C. Senate, a former chairman of the Board of Visitors and trustee of Peace College in Raleigh, former chairman of Enterprise Bank in Raleigh, and former president of Building Together Ministries and the Raleigh Jaycees. Bob is a graduate of Davidson College and lives in Montreat, N.C.