Our Board of directors

Kim Lawyer

Chair
3

Kim is the Communication Manager for ACES: The Society for Editors. Her focus is on member engagement through committee volunteers, communication outlets, and the annual conference. She has been working in Association Management since February 2012 but her nonprofit experience began even earlier while still in college at Purdue University (West Lafayette, Indiana). Her association background consists of meeting and event planning as well as internal operations. She is an active volunteer with both the Association Executives of North Carolina (AENC) and the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE). She helped launch AENC’s young professionals’ network, FUEL, and served as the committee Chair in 2015-2016.

Why she serves:

“My passion is helping other people and building community. Being involved with the Partnership allows me to make a difference in the community I live and work in, and help be a part of the solution to end homelessness.”

Sharon Edmundson, MPA, CPA

Treasurer
3

Sharon Edmundson is currently a Deputy Treasurer and the Director of the State and Local Government Finance Division of the North Carolina Department of State Treasurer.  She has over 30 years of experience in accounting with most of that being in the local government arena.  She also currently serves as adjunct faculty at the School of Government at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Sharon currently serves on the Governmental Accounting and Auditing Committee of the NCACPA, the AICPA State and Local Government Expert Panel, and the Women in Public Finance Committee of the Government Finance Officers Association. Sharon is a graduate of Leadership North Carolina, Class XXII. When not working she loves to spend time at the beach with her husband Drew and their three dogs. 

Why she serves: 

“My work as a public servant in the accounting field has given me the business experience of how government works.  By serving with the Partnership I can see how that work affects the lives of citizens in Wake County and help to make a difference to its most vulnerable people.”  

David Smoot

Past Chair
3

David L. Smoot PhD serves as Past Chair of the Board for the Raleigh Wake Partnership to End and Prevent Homelessness.  He was active in developing the Oak City Outreach Center and in planning the Oak City Center Multi-Service Center. David became active with the Partnership through efforts of downtown churches to engage more effectively with those who are experiencing homelessness. He has been the Missions Chair and Administrative Board Chair for Edenton St UMC. David draws on his experience as a Child & Family Psychologist in working with those without homes and with service providers. He trained at Ohio University, Penn State, and Children’s Hospital National Medical Center in DC before coming to Raleigh in 1988. Smoot also has served the NC Psychological Association as the Legislative Chair, Federal Advocacy Coordinator, and President. He and his wife, Beth, who co-founded The Green Chair Project, raised two children in Raleigh.

Why he serves: The first and last answer for me is the people. Several years ago, I became friends with people living on the street and it was a great awakening for me to discover how strong our friendship could become. Later, I met some of the most amazing people who day in and day out serve these friends and I knew I wanted to be part of the solution to homelessness. In the middle of those two reasons, my faith and my thirst for more effective ways to see everyone have a home compel me to be part of the Partnership to End Homelessness.

Tracy Dixon

Your Subtitle Goes Here
3

Tracy Dixon has over 17 years of experience in developing, managing and implementing projects, programs and outreach in the public and nonprofit sectors. She is an experienced strategic planner and implementer addressing long term, complex and interdependent systems. She is a skillful facilitator with the ability to lead community decision-making and to coordinate diverse stakeholders toward a shared vision. Her leadership results in empowering and sustaining culture change within organizations. Tracy has deep experience in environmental, social and economic sustainability with double master’s degrees in Public Administration and Natural Resources. Tracy currently serves as the Director of Strategic Initiatives for NC State University Facilities and Energy Systems.

Tracy is a mother, partner, daughter and caregiver. She is an avid learner, organizer and connector forever called to public service.

Tracy’s present and past leadership and service roles include the Raleigh Wake Partnership to End Homelessness Board of Directors, Beehive Collective Board, Wake County School District 6 Board Advisory Council, Stough Elementary PTA Advocacy Chair, NC State University Council on the Status of Women Chair, Wake County Precinct Official, NC State Paid Parental Leave Task Force, NC State Sustainability Council Strategic Planning Chair, NC State Turtle Rescue Team, Leadership North Carolina Class XXI, Society of Women Environmental Professionals Program/Events Co-Chair and Treasurer, NC Sustainable Energy Association Board of Directors and Executive Committee, Triangle Net Impact Board of Directors and Events Chair, Emerging Green Builders Leadership Team, NC Green Power Speakers Bureau, National Association of Environmental Professionals, Sustainable Sandhills Initiative, NC State University Graduate Association of Public Administration Executive Council.

Tracy’s collaborative leadership style led to being named one of NC State’s 125 Transformational Women and NC State being recognized for sustainability by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, the Princeton Review, the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, the City of Raleigh and APPA/the Association for Higher Education Facilities Officers.

Why I Serve:

“I care about our community, especially those who are among our most vulnerable citizens. I want to be a part of the collective impact that ends homelessness and builds sustainable communities.”

Frances Dibrell Bisby

Vice-Chair
3

Frances Bisby grew up in Wilson, North Carolina, and came to Raleigh to attend NCSU earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering. After almost 20 years in transportation design and planning, she retired following her heart into the community and founded her own consulting firm, the Transformation Exchange, LLC, in 2016, on the premise that we have only one community to which we all belong. So, the responsibility to come together, to remove barriers, and to open access to opportunities belongs to everyone that calls it home.

Why she serves: 

“Homelessness has always weighed heavy on my heart. It began as a child working alongside my mother in St. Timothy’s soup kitchen and with my father in workforce development in one of the most vulnerable communities in Wilson. As an adult, those impressions stayed with me and took root in my work here in Wake County. Homelessness is about a series of failed systems and, for those experiencing homelessness, the journey to, and from, the circumstance depends largely upon the “heart of their community.” Its commitment to finding a solution, compassion in the face of need, and perseverance when the road is long. I cannot think of a greater need, or a weight heavier, than seeing our neighbors without safe shelter, access to basic needs, and opportunities to thrive.  It is by faith that I followed these heartstrings and I am grateful, and humbled, to stand with so many amazing advocates and organizations that answered this same calling.”

Paige Jacob

Secretary
3

Paige gained her earliest experience as a writer and editor in her role with a custom magazine publishing company in Raleigh. She worked with a team to produce magazines for regional hospitals and wrote health articles to meet the various marketing needs for each hospital. 

As her children grew, Paige worked for several years as a teacher’s assistant within Wake County Schools. Her experiences at the elementary school level opened her eyes to various issues children and their families face in our area.

Why she serves:

“I read a news story about homeless families and the struggles they face. The headline stated 40 percent of Americans are one paycheck away from poverty. That shocking reality brings the extent of homelessness and those struggling with poverty front and center for me. I want to make more of an impact on my community by helping find solutions for those with housing insecurities. I understand how one set-back can put things in motion that makes it difficult for people to recover and also how easily they can find themselves displaced. As this issue continues to grow, it is crucial to find real solutions.”

Ed Barberio

Your Subtitle Goes Here
3

Ed is the Deputy Director for Wake County’s Housing Affordability and Community Revitalization Department.  Ed has 35+ years of local government experience in community and economic development as well as public housing, serving communities in both south Florida and North Carolina.    Ed loves history and is an avocational archaeologist; he’s worked on many significant archaeological projects in Florida, as well as MIA-POW recovery missions in Europe.

Why he serves:

“I am Wake County’s representative on the Board.  I’ve spent my career in public service and serving on this Board provides another opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of our community’s most vulnerable residents.”

Wendy Gantt

Your Subtitle Goes Here
3

Wendy Gantt is a Licensed Professional Counselor who has lived in Raleigh most of her life.  Wendy has worked in the field of behavioral health for 27 years.  She attained her BA in Psychology from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1988 and her Master’s degree in Agency Counseling from NCCU in 1996.  A primary focus and area of interest clinically is young child mental health and attachment.  Wendy began her early career as an educator and focused on young children with behavioral disorders.

Wendy has worked for Alliance Behavioral Healthcare since it became a MCO in 2012.  In previous years she has worked on grants focusing on early childhood mental health, early intervention services, integrated child mental health in pediatric practices, and has worked in the field of elementary education and preschool special education.

Wendy lives in Raleigh with her husband, two children, two dogs, and cat.  She loves to craft and is a big UNC basketball fan.

Why she serves:

I feel that housing is a Social Determinant of Health that can build a foundation for a family or individual so that they can build on other strengths and needs.  Finding ways to meet someone’s most basic needs is crucial before any type of intervention or supports can move beyond a state of crisis.

Maddie Horner

Your Subtitle Goes Here
3

Officer Horner has worked with the Raleigh Police department for over 12 years. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Appalachian State University and a Master’s in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Cappella University.  She has served on the PEH board for one year and very much enjoys her time working with at-risk populations. 

Why she serves:

I serve because I believe we can make the world a better place for all its inhabitants.

John Niffenegger

Your Subtitle Goes Here
3

John Niffenegger is a Senior Planner for the City of Raleigh Department of Housing & Neighborhoods, Community Development Division. The focus of his work is affordable housing and homelessness.

Why he serves:

I represent the City of Raleigh on matters pertaining to homelessness and homelessness service delivery. I also believe that everyone deserves access to a safe and decent place to call home, and The Partnership plays a vital role in helping ensure that no Wake County resident will go without.

Nicole Wilson

Your Subtitle Goes Here
3

Nicole Wilson, a North Carolina native, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) at the Durham Veterans Affairs Health Care Center. Nicole joined the Durham VA after obtaining a Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology and Sociology. Nicole obtained a Masters in Social Work in 2010 and has focused her career solely on serving our Nation’s Veterans. Nicole currently serves at Grant and Per Diem Liaison, which includes working with local non-profit organizations that provide transitional housing services for Veterans.

Why she serves:

While serving on the Board, she desires to continue to work towards the goal of ending Veteran homelessness.

Peter Morris, MD, MPH, MDiv

Your Subtitle Goes Here
3

Dr. Morris moved to North Carolina to attend medical school at UNC Chapel Hill. Dr. Morris practices pediatrics, public health and preventive medicine as a hospitalist and medical director for over 25 years for Wake County (Raleigh and surrounding area) Human Services Agency.  Dr. Morris now serves as the executive director of Urban Ministries of Wake County.

Why he serves:

Rather than “do for” or “do to” or even “do with,” he believes it is more important to “be for” our neighbors – to be for them in crisis, in health, and in opportunity, with service and advocacy. He prefers to serve not clients, but neighbors with hospitality; not consumers in a food pantry, but shoppers in a self-serve client-choice nutrition program; not residents, but guests in the Helen Wright Center for homeless women; and not see patients, but partners in health in the Open Door Clinic.

Rachel Pohlman

Your Subtitle Goes Here
3

Rachel Pohlman serves as the Nutrition Director at the Poe Center for Health Education. Rachel is a registered and licensed dietitian (RD, LDN). Rachel started her career teaching environmental education. After working at a school in Zimbabwe in the 1990s, Rachel switched her focus to public health. Rachel is passionate about improving the health of communities by empowering individuals with knowledge and pairing knowledge with policy and environmental changes to make it easier to practice behaviors that support health. Rachel currently serves on many coalitions working to improve access to healthy foods and safe places to be active. This includes serving as the co-liaison for the NC State Nutrition Action Coalition.

Why she serves:

My passion is to create change on a community level so that everyone has the opportunity to thrive. Serving on the board will allow for meaningful collaboration to best serve the needs of the community.