Vice President, Client Services, Business Development & Legal
Kaley Childs Karaffa, Esq.
Kaley Childs Karaffa joined CBE in September 2015 as Vice President, Client Services, Business Development & Legal. Kaley advises corporate boards and CEOs on corporate governance matters, board and director effectiveness, CEO and leadership evaluation and performance, board and management alignment, and compliance and risk matters. She works with public, private, and nonprofit organizations in a wide range of industries globally. Prior to joining CBE, Kaley served as General Counsel of Clarolux LLC. Before beginning an in-house practice, she practiced law in New York City with a focus in real estate, banking law, and litigation.
Prior to attending law school, Kaley served as Program Director of Jefferson County Teen Court. Kaley is currently the Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Northside Charter High School in Brooklyn, NY, and serves as an Advisor and on the Council for Seattle Cancer Care Alliance’s Patient and Family Advisory Program. She served as Co-Chair of the CLE Committee of the North Carolina Bar Association Corporate Counsel Section from 2015 through 2017. Kaley founded and served on the Board of Directors of YP Civitan of Greensboro from 2013 through 2016. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree cum laude in Political Science from Samford University and a Juris Doctor from Pace University School of Law. Kaley is admitted to practice law in the State of New York.
President & Chief Legal Officer
Phil Neiswender, Esq.
Phil is a founding investor and advisor to CBE and is currently the President and Chief Legal Officer, and a member of the Board of Directors. In his role with CBE, Phil advises the board of directors and senior management at public, private, and not for profit entities. He particularly focuses on board governance and compliance roles, board effectiveness, and strategic alignment between the board and senior management. Phil is also a frequent moderator and panelist for legal and governance related topics. Prior to joining CBE full-time, Phil held several senior leadership positions at both public and private companies, including Chief Operating Officer, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary roles. Throughout his career, Phil has been sought out to advise his respective boards and management teams around legal, compliance and governance matters. Immediately prior to joining CBE, Phil was Executive Vice President for Operations & Corporate Development, and Chief Legal Officer at Xevo, Inc. (purchased by Lear Corporation), Chief Operating Officer at Garagiste, Inc., and General Counsel, Vice President of Legal at BSQUARE Corporation (NASDAQ: BSQR). He also held both legal and business roles at Getty Images, Inc. during its season as a publicly traded Company (NYSE: GYI), and was an attorney at Graham & James, LLP and Riddell Williams, PS, in Seattle, WA. Phil obtained his J.D. from the University of Virginia and his B.A. from the University of Washington. He is a member of the Washington bar.
Executive Assistant & Office Manager
Anne has a degree in English and Political Science from James Madison University. Prior to working at the Center for Board Excellence, Anne worked in the district office of Congressman Howard Coble. She has also worked as a paralegal and as a research assistant at a public relations firm.
Senior Executive Officer
Tom has been an advisor to CBE since its inception. His experience and expertise are in the design, administration, and delivery of assessments. Tom’s senior management experience in the fixed income, equity, and derivatives markets on Wall Street, and in serving institutional investors in the US, UK and Europe, informs his valuable insight related to regulatory matters, financial strategy, investor relations, team dynamics, and company culture. Tom also adds a global strategic perspective to the team’s assessment capabilities.
Having held FINRA Series 24, Series 7 and Series 63 licenses for over 25 years, Tom also brings in-depth understanding of what public companies’ corporate governance responsibilities are with respect to the financial markets, institutional investors and the public. Tom earned his BA from Washington and Lee University, Lexington, Virginia. He is a member of the Society for Corporate Governance.
Operations & Technology Specialist
Dohnysha Collins currently serves as Operations and Technology Specialist. Dohnysha is a 2018 graduate of Winston-Salem State University, Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. Prior to employment at the Center for Board Excellence she completed undergraduate research in motivation and academic identity and completed an internship at the iCan House.
Paul Dodge III
Paul Dodge III, a graduate of East Carolina University, joined the CBE team in December 2016. During his college career at East Carolina University, Paul studied Criminal Justice and German Composition. Prior to joining the Center for Board Excellence, Paul was a Merchandising Representative for R.H. Barringer Distributing Company.
Director, Research & Content
Adrianne was graduated from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public and International Affairs with a Master of Public Administration, Robert Morris University where she completed a paralegal certificate program, and Indiana University with a Bachelor of Arts. Prior to joining CBE, she worked at the North Carolina State Board of CPA Examiners. She brings to CBE experience as a legal assistant for a law firm specializing in health law and as project manager and researcher for a consulting firm serving healthcare, higher education, academic medicine, economic development, and tourism organizations. Adrianne also volunteers at BackPack Beginnings in Greensboro as Food BackPack Program Chair for Greensboro elementary schools.
Director, Operations & Project Quality
Stephen Perrone currently serves as Director of Operations. He graduated from Guilford College with a degree in Business Administration. Prior to joining the Center for Board Excellence, Stephen worked for seven years as an Operations Controller for United Airlines.
Operations & Technology Specialist
Aly currently serves as an Operations and Technology Specialist. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a degree in English. With a background in computer science, she has worked with UNCW’s biometrics research lab. In college, she was a member of the literature staff of UNCG’s arts and literature magazine. Before joining the CBE team, she worked as a Business Coordinator for Verizon Wireless.
Technical Operations & Client Delivery Specialist
Henry L. Torres, Jr.
Henry Torres currently serves as Technical Operations and Client Delivery Specialist for CBE. Henry is a graduate of The University of Alabama and joined the team in July 2017. During his college career at Alabama, Henry double majored in Economics and Finance. Prior to joining the Center for Board Excellence, he served as Global Markets Analyst for Deutsche Bank AG.
Joshua Simmons took on the role of an Operations Specialist with the Center for Board Excellence in June 2018. Previously he fulfilled the responsibilities of a Data Management Assistant with CBE during a 9-month professional fellowship program called the Piedmont Fellows. Before joining the team at the Center for Board Excellence he worked as a Subject Tutor at the Learning Center of Virginia Wesleyan University, a Resident Assistant at the Virginia Governor’s Foreign Language Academy, and in other comparable roles within educational organizations. He is a May 2017 graduate of Virginia Wesleyan University with a degree in Mathematics and German Studies who finds joy in many of the smaller occasions of life.
Jon Paul Epanchin
Jon Paul Epanchin joined the CBE team in August 2017 as Project Manager shortly after earning his MBA from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. While at UNCG, he worked as a Graduate Assistant at the Bryan School of Business and Economics. During this time, Jon Paul also co-founded the Business Analytics Association of UNCG and was captain of the MBA Program’s first Business Analytics Case Competition in Iowa. Jon Paul obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, Marketing from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.
Project Coordinator & Operations Specialist
Nicholas Grogan is Project Coordinator and Operations Specialist at the Center for Board Excellence and an MBA graduate from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Prior to his current role at CBE, he was a Marketing and Technology intern and a fellow with the Campus Greensboro Fellowship Program. His previous work experience includes being a managing chef at a local restaurant in Greensboro. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Creative Writing from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Marketing and Research Specialist
Bianca Rumbaugh serves as an a Marketing and Research Specialist for the Center for Board Excellence. She recently completed a professional fellowship program with the Piedmont Fellows. Before joining Center for Board Excellence, Bianca worked at Christopher Newport University as a Research Fellow for the Department of American Studies and as a Subject Tutor for the Center for Academic Success. Bianca graduated magna cum laude from Christopher Newport University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and American Studies.
CEO & Founder
“We architected and designed CBE to provide unique support to boards and the professionals who guide an organization’s governance and strategy.”
Byron’s career has focused on developing efficiencies in the areas of management, technology and business development. His experience includes roles as a CEO, directorship, and in finance. His board experience consists of both corporate and not-for-profit director roles. Along with corporate governance and management expertise, Byron has worked in England, Europe, post-war Balkan countries, and Australia. Byron is a member of the Society for Corporate Secretaries, ICSA, NACD, and IOD.
Byron is a graduate of Harvard Business School (OPM) and James Madison University (BA – History and Literature).
Operations & Technology Specialist
Madison Wulf serves our team as an Operations and Technology Specialist. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a degree in Marketing and a minor in Psychology with a focus on consumer behavior. Her previous experience includes working in the digital marketing field alongside small companies and entrepreneurs. Before joining the CBE team, she worked as a Sales Coordinator for 97 Display.
Corporate Secretary & Legal Advisor
Nick Purrington, Esq.
Nick Purrington founded the firm Purrington Moody Weil LLP in April of 2000. Nick’s practice focuses on investment fund formation and representation, including the structuring of fund managers. Nick is also CBE’s Corporate Secretary.
Nick began his career in the Capital Markets group of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, in New York, New York. At Milbank, Nick focused on the firm’s investment fund formation practice and worked on numerous public and private securities offerings. In July 1998, Nick left Milbank to relocate to North Carolina, his home state, where he joined Schell Bray Aycock Abel & Livingston in Greensboro. At Schell Bray, Nick continued to focus on public and private securities law transactions and worked on several M&A transactions.
Nick was graduated from Princeton University, where he received an A.B. in politics and participated in the Russian Studies program. He received his law degree from Georgetown University, where he was a Ford Foundation scholar and graduated magna cum laude and Order of the Coif. Nick is a partner in our North Carolina office and is a member of the state bars of North Carolina and New York.
Vic Cochran is the president and owner of Sharp-Carter Flooring Corporation, a commercial floor covering contractor. He has been with the company since 1978 and became sole owner in 1991. Prior to his employment with Sharp-Carter, he was vice president and secretary of Barker-Cochran Construction, his father’s business, from 1973 to 1978, and was employed with Planned Estates Services from 1971 to 1973.
Vic served on the Guilford College Board of Trustees from 2001-2010 and was reappointed in 2013. Vic also currently serves on the board of directors for the Nussbaum Center for Entrepreneurship. He formerly served on the board of governors for Operation Smile of North Carolina, and the board of directors of the North Carolina Floor Covering Association. He is a member and past president of the Greensboro Rotary Club.
Dan held the position of COO of The Hillhaven Corporation in Tacoma, WA and subsequently became the founder and president of a group of property leasing and nursing home management companies.
He now focuses his efforts on community and non-profit activities after disposing of his ownership interests. Dan has served on several state boards, including the Central Carolina Health Planning Commission, the Medical Care Commission, and the Medical Foundation of NC. Dan served as the former vice chair of the Governor’s Advisory Board on Aging. Dan served on the Guilford College Board of Visitors class of 2004 and as chair for 2002-2003. Dan served on the Guilford College Board of Trustees from 2002-2011, serving as Vice-Chair in 2010-2011. He was reappointed to serve on the Guilford College Board of Trustees in 2013. He currently serves as Chair of the Board of Advisors for the Guilford College Center for Principled Problem Solving, and member of the Board for the Cross Company. Dan currently serves on the Guilford County Council on Aging, and the Regional Advisory Council on Aging serving the 13 counties of the Piedmont. He also serves as the secretary for the Reidsville Rotary Charitable Foundation.
Mark A. Smith, Esq.
Mark is an attorney and founding partner at Smith Mustille LLC. His practice focuses on the representation of executives, government officials and professional athletes, large international banks and venture capital-backed startup companies. Mark handles various types of commercial, tort, contractual, and criminal litigation (chiefly white collar). He manages various corporate transactions and functions as a corporate counsel/adviser. Years of experience as a Williams & Connolly litigator and former Assistant US Attorney have provided expertise in the procedures of both civil and criminal law. Mark has served as an advisor to CBE since its inception and was an early investor.
Mark received his J.D. degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and was a Prettyman-Stiller Fellow at the Georgetown University Law Center. He has been admitted to the bars of the District of Columbia and Maryland. Mark has lived and worked in the Washington, D.C. area for more than 25 years and is originally from Hartford, Connecticut.
Liz Arky is the principal in Arky Group Consulting, LLC, a specialty firm providing strategic, government relations and development advice to corporate and non-profit clients. She was formerly Global Managing Director, Office of Government Relations for Accenture, a $30 billion global management consulting, technology and outsourcing company. Liz joined Accenture in 1999 to design, build and manage the global government relations operation. She managed legislative, political and business development strategies. Specific issues included: taxation, immigration, data privacy, government procurement, and geographic expansion. She was a trusted advisor to company leadership and board of directors on the implications of policy for the company and its clients. She also managed global corporate citizenship initiatives on education and workforce development.
Chris Latta is the founder and Managing Member of Claridge Capital LLC, a private investment firm focused on the lower middle market.
Prior to founding Claridge Capital, Mr. Latta held various investment banking and principal investing positions with Wells Fargo Securities, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley Capital Partners and Bowles Hollowell Conner & Co. He has over 18 years of M&A and corporate finance transaction experience as both an advisor and principal in a broad range of industries, including financial services, consumer products, defense and aerospace, information technology, energy, and industrials.
Mr. Latta earned a Bachelor of Arts degree summa cum laude with high honors in Economics from Vanderbilt University and received an MBA from The Wharton School at The University of Pennsylvania.