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General Assembly names new WCU trustees

General Assembly names new WCU trustees

A former state representative from Matthews and a retired charitable trust director from Winston-Salem will replace former Principal Chief Joyce Dugan and Highlands construction company owner John Lupoli on the Western Carolina University Board of Trustees.

The appointments come from the N.C. General Assembly, which recently named Joseph Crocker and William Brawley to the seats. Their terms will run from July 1, 2021, through June 30, 2025.

Crocker retired in December 2019, having previously worked as the director of Local Impact in Forsyth County at the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust. He is well known for his extensive civic career across the Carolinas. During his tenure with the Trust, Crocker implemented programs that improved the lives of Forsyth County’s financially disadvantaged residents.  

Crocker’s prior positions included director of operations for the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, assistant secretary for community development for the North Carolina Department of Commerce, and senior vice president at Wachovia Corporation.  

Crocker is a WCU alumnus with a degree in business administration, and later pursued a career in banking services. He has additional finance training from the North Carolina School of Banking at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the National Commercial Lending School at the University of Oklahoma, and the American Institute of Banking, among others. Crocker lives in Winston-Salem with his wife, Carol. 

Brawley served four terms as a state representative for District 103.  His most impactful bills include the Strategic Transportation Investments law, the Human Trafficking Restorative Justice Act, and several University Non-Appropriated Capital Projects bills. As a senior chairman of the House Finance Committee, he was involved in writing the budget and in tax reform. He served as co-chairman of the Virginia-North Carolina High Speed Rail Compact for six years.  

Brawley previously served two terms as a commissioner for the Town of Matthews and served 11 years as an appointed park commissioner for Mecklenburg County. He chaired the Citizens Environmental Advisory Committee, the Greenway and Trails Committee and the Strategic Planning Committee. Brawley served on the board of the Catawba Lands Conservancy, the Little Sugar Creek Greenway Steering Committee, and the 1992 Citizens Blue Ribbon Study Committee on County Governance.   

A North Carolina native, Brawley is a U.S. Army veteran and has a degree in accounting from UNC Charlotte. His career began in a Charlotte-based utility in 1978. His early use of computers in government filings and financial modeling led to a career in the application of technology.  

Brawley changed careers to commercial real estate in 2004 and has been involved in infill assembly and property management. Brawley lives in Matthews with his wife, Lila.

Dugan, Lupoli and Board of Governors appointee Kenny Messer all rotated off the Board of Trustees this year after having served since 2013. The Board of Governors appointed Canton resident Timothy “Jake” Robinson to fill Messer’s seat and reappointed current trustees Casey Cooper of Cherokee, Robert “Bob” Roberts of Asheville and Haden Boliek of Fayetteville to new four-year terms.

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