Doug Emmons


Doug Emmons is the Chairman of Chatham Literacy’s Board of Directors. He has 40 years of experience in high tech marketing, business development, product management, software development, and IT consulting. He retired from EMC Corp., where he was director of SAP Global Solutions Marketing. Doug previously held senior positions at Compaq Computer and Digital Equipment Corp. He started his career at a startup software company designing, developing, and product managing financial applications software. He is on the board of the Chatham Economic Development Corporation and lives in Pittsboro with his wife, Joanne.

Larry Hicks


Larry Hicks is the Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors. He is a retired higher education administrator/educator, who most recently served as the Director of Housing and Residential Education at the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill. Larry has extensive experience in strategic planning, financial planning, organizational development, and creative approaches to student learning, development, and success. Plus he is an advocate and practitioner of multicultural competency building and personal skill development. Larry and his wife, Susan, moved to North Carolina in 1985. Over the years, Larry has served on and chaired several county and county-affiliated boards and committees relating to health, land use and strategic planning, and economic development.

Christine Kehrer


Christine Kehrer, treasurer of Chatham Literacy’s board and chair of the Finance Committee, is a survey researcher with extensive experience in public policy research and financial services. She has authored studies of compensation practices and the drivers of profitability in bank brokerage firms. Since moving to Pittsboro from Princeton, she has contributed time to Fearrington Cares, Chatham Connecting, and Chatham Literacy’s Finance Committee. She also has continued as a partner in a firm consulting for banks, insurance companies, broker dealers, and investment companies.

Barbara Smith Irwin


Barbara Smith Irwin, secretary of the Chatham Literacy board and a member of the Development Committee, is a retired librarian who has been an active volunteer since moving to Chatham County 20 years ago. She was head of special collections at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and, earlier, library director at the New Jersey Historical Society. She also served as president of her national professional association, Archivists and Librarians in the History of the Health Sciences. Barbara served as library chair for UNC Health Care Volunteers for 10 years and was on that group’s board. As a member of the Fearrington Women’s Club, she founded and served as chair of The StoryTime Project, in which members read to students in Chatham pre-schools.

Norma Bryant


Apostle Norma Bryant has served the Chatham County community for over twenty years as the Pastor of Liberty Chapel Church in Moncure.  She retired in 2013, after 28 year of service offering a wealth of knowledge in the development and implementation of educational technology tools and applications in the classroom for the Medical Laboratory Technology…

B Demers


B Demers is a retired health care professional, attorney, and educator of professional adults and every time she reinvented herself she became active in a non-profit, public service sector of the field she was in.  That is how she looks forward to spending her remaining years.  B places a high value on life and self-sufficiency…

Mary Harris


(bio coming soon)

Joan Lipsitz


Joan Lipsitz is a senior fellow at MDC, Inc., in Durham, where she is an advisor primarily in the southeast to foundations and nonprofits on philanthropy, school improvement, and youth development. She served as program director for elementary and secondary education at Lilly Endowment from 1986 to 1995. Prior to that, she established and directed the Center for Early Adolescence at UNC-Chapel Hill. She began her career as a secondary school English teacher. Joan is chair of Chatham Literacy’s Governance and ad-hoc Strategic Planning committees.

Linda Nalty


Linda Nalty began and ended her career as a Registered Nurse in hospital clinical settings. Over more than 40 years, Linda’s education and work evolved to include program development and evaluation, education, and community collaboration. She has extensive experience in curriculum development and teaching, as well as strategic and operations planning. Linda’s diverse background includes…

Susan Newell


Recently retired attorney; served as pro bono attorney and child advocate for abused and neglected children; past board member of two 501(c)(3) entities with responsibilities for strategic planning and finance; former volunteer coordinator for mobile meals program; and mentor for an after school and summer program providing meals and tutoring to low income students.

Rev. Mechelle Thompson

Board Member

Reverend Mechelle Thompson is the wife of Rev. Carl E. Thompson, Sr.  They have three adult children, Carla Thompson, Dr. Karen Barbee and Carl Thompson, Jr. Reverend Thompson has served her community for over forty years as an activist and organizer in various capacities.  She has also served as an administrator by occupation, having served…