October 19, 2021

Discovery Place elects seven community leaders to its Board of Trustees

Media Contact Sarah Wheat swheat@discoveryplace.org

CHARLOTTE – Discovery Place recently elected seven new members to its Board of Trustees, all of whom are serving three-year terms that expire in 2024. Joining the Board of Trustees are:

Jason Bernd, president, Matthews Medical Center. Bernd leads overall hospital operations and collaborates with Novant Health Institutes and Novant Health Medical Group to implement strategic initiatives that align with the mission and vision of Novant Health. He has held a variety of positions with Novant Health since joining in 2006 and has served on various community nonprofit boards, including the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra and Susan B. Komen. Bernd has a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Virginia and a master’s degree in business administration from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Melody Birmingham, senior vice president and chief administrative officer, Duke Energy. In her role, Birmingham is responsible for the information technology, enterprise security, administrative services and supply chain organizations. She has more than 25 years of executive and leadership experience in the utility and automotive manufacturing industries, including serving as state president of Duke Energy’s Indiana operations. Birmingham has a bachelor’s degree in science from Perdue University and a master’s degree in business administration from Strayer University. An active member of the community, she serves on the boards for the Urban League of Central Carolinas and the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra. Birmingham also serves as the executive sponsor of the NC Chapter of American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE).

Tera Black, chief operating officer, Charlotte Checkers. Black oversees the day-to-day business operations of the Charlotte Checkers with an emphasis on overall marketing strategy. She is also responsible for the integration of all areas of the team’s efforts in public relations, community relations, game operations, sales and involvement with non-profit organizations. Black majored in kinesiology at San Diego State University and has been with the Checkers since 2006. Currently, she is the only female COO in the American Hockey League and was the first woman to have her name engraved on the Calder Cup following the Checkers’ championship run in 2019.

Todd Gorelick, principal executive manager and co-founder, Gorelick Brothers Capital. A graduate of Princeton University, Gorelick is a returning board member with more than 30 years of family office and professional investment experience. In his current role, he leads a team that has more than 80 years of collective investment and operating business experience. Prior to founding Gorelick Brothers Capital, he was chief executive of Atlantic Title Insurance Company and began his professional career as an analyst with a commercial real estate banking firm.

Stefanie Holland, vice president, deputy general counsel, corporate and assistant secretary, Albemarle Corporation. In her role, she serves as principal legal counsel supporting the company’s governance, reporting and corporate needs as a publicly traded company, and she works closely with the Board and senior executive leadership. Holland also oversees the company’s global subsidiary and joint venture governance structure and supports the treasury, tax and other corporate functional teams within the company. She received her JD and MBA degrees from Cleveland State University and her BA in business administration from Baldwin-Wallace University.

Sagar Rathie, managing director, Crescent Communities. Rathie leads all aspects of commercial development and new investment growth through regions including North Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia and Florida. He is responsible for acquisitions, predevelopment and financing and brings extensive capital markets experience to his role, having collectively raised over $3 billion in capital throughout his career. Rathie received his MBA from UNC-Chapel Hill, Master’s in Engineering from Duke University and BS in Biomedical Engineering from UNC-Chapel Hill.

Derek Wang, CEO and founder, Stratifyd. Wang founded Stratifyd, an AI-powered customer data analytics company, following a professorship in Computer Science at UNC-Charlotte and after years of experience in research science, machine learning and analytics. Wang serves is one of a select group of technology leaders invited to join the Forbes Technoloy Council based on his depth and diversity of experience in the field. He has also been recognized for his contributions to the local tech community, including his commitment to promoting diversity and women in technology. Wang grew up in Beijing and received a Ph.D. in Computer Science from UNC-Charlotte.

“It is more important than ever to have an enthusiastic and engaged Board of Trustees as we emerge from the pandemic and look toward the future of this organization,” said Catherine Wilson Horne, president and CEO of Discovery Place. “We are pleased to have this group, all experts in their respective fields, join us and help guide the direction of Discovery Place. We look to their leadership as we continue examining the museum experience and our role in the community in this ever-changing environment.”

The Discovery Place Board of Trustees is responsible for ensuring that adequate financial and other support is available through a broad variety of sources in order to deliver high-quality STEM education to all members of the community and position Discovery Place as a hub for science education in the Carolinas. Each Discovery Place trustee serves on at least one standing board committee. Trustees approve organizational policies, review operational goals, advocate for the organization, support organization staff and contribute financially to the Museums’ success.

The Discovery Place Board of Trustees is led by Paul Camuti, of Trane Technologies, as chairman; Aditya Bhasin, of Bank of America, as vice chair of External Affairs; Doug Esamann, retired from Duke Energy, as vice chair of Internal Affairs; and Joclyn Balanda, of PNC, as secretary.

For a full list of the Board of Trustees, click here.

About Discovery Place

One of the leading hands-on science museums in the nation, Discovery Place brings science, nature, and design together to create transformative experiences that enable the community to understand, enjoy and apply science to their lives. Discovery Place is a 501c3 nonprofit and leader in STEM education to the Carolinas through four distinct museum experiences—Discovery Place Science, Discovery Place Nature, Discovery Place Kids Huntersville and Discovery Place Kids Rockingham. Discovery Place serves over 750,000 people a year—through Museum visitations, interactive educational programming, professional development training and community outreach initiatives—shaping a future where people embrace science to create opportunities, build hope, solve problems and bring positive change for our world. In 2017, Discovery Place was named as a finalist for the National Medal by the Institute for Museum and Library Science. Discovery Place is supported, in part, by the Infusion Fund and its generous donors.