The Staff and Governing Board for 2016
Carolina Coastal Classrooms' Board of Directors is comprised of diverse individuals concerned about improving education for our youth. We are thankful for the leadership and experience each of our board members brings.
The Executive Board
Dr. Gordon Watts is the Chairman of the Board for Carolina Coastal Classrooms. He is the President and CEO of Tidewater Atlantic Research and the Institute for International Maritime Research. His specialty is underwater archaeology and marine research. He is a retired history professor from East Carolina University and was part of the recovery team that discovered and raised the USS Monitor off of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.
Ben Bunn is the President and CEO of Carolina Coastal Classrooms. He is a retired naval officer, navy pilot, and former educator and public school administrator.
Rex Willis is the Vice Chairman for Carolina Coastal Classrooms. He is a prominent and distinguished New Bern lawyer with the firm of Ward and Smith. He has a strong interest in sailing and the environment.
George Oliver is the Secretary of Carolina Coastal Classrooms. He is a partner in the law firm of Oliver, Friesen and Cheek in New Bern, and is also an experienced sailor, boater and musician.
Charles Parkeris the Treasurer for Coastal Carolina Classrooms. He is a native New Bernian, has spent the last 46 years in Information Technology providing IT Professional Services at the the last 16 years. Upon returning to New Bern, he has volunteered time and effort to Carolina Coastal Classroom and its mission.
Board of Directors
Scott Aiken is the Grandson of Ada Mae Hodges Cowan, namesake of the skipjack ADA MAE and longtime volunteer and supporter of Carolina Coastal Classrooms. Scott is in the seafood distribution business in eastern North Carolina.
Mike Askew is a former Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Board for Carolina Coastal Classrooms. He is the Facilities Director for both Camps Sea Gull and Seafarer, YMCA camps for youth in Arapahoe, NC.
Mark Mangum is a prominent business man in New Bern with considerable experience in banking. A native of Fauquier County Va., he is a graduate of Atlantic Christian College. He is an avid historian of the Civil War and has been extensively involved in preservation programs for the New Bern Battlefield.
Dr. Jessica Meiller currently on staff at the American University in Washington, D. C. and formerly with the staff of the Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, DC. She has also served as the Director of Academic Programs for the Living Classrooms Foundation in Washington, DC. She is also one of the original founding board members of Carolina Coastal Classrooms.
Jim Meyer is a successful businessman with national and international experience. He is a longtime supporter of Carolina Coastal Classrooms and volunteer crew member onboard the skipjack ADA MAE.
Chris Richey is a financial advisor in New Bern. He is an experienced waterman, boat builder and recreational fisherman.
John Ward is a retired New Bern attorney and Member of the Tryon Palace Commission.
Advisory Council Members
Robin Arnold works as a Research Historian with Tidewater Atlantic Research in Washington, NC. She has significant legal knowledge in historical and contemporary archival research in admiralty law, wills, maps and land records, public records and civil and military court proceedings. She also worked closely with the Institute for International Maritime Research for many years and is most knowledgeable about the history, acquisition and restoration of the skipjack ADA MAE.
Ken Crocker is a retired airline pilot and former naval officer. He is an exceptional woodworker and avid boating enthusiast.
John Dunn served as the Treasurer of the Board for Carolina Coastal Classrooms for a number of years. He is an experienced bank manager with First Flight Credit Union of North Carolina.
Dr. Lionel Kato is an assistant school superintendent and former high school and middle school math and social studies teacher. He is also one of the original founding board members of Carolina Coastal Classrooms.
Ken McCotter is a maritime attorney and former North Carolina Federal Court Justice. He is an avid sportsman, fisherman and boater and former board member with Carolina Coastal Classrooms.
Lee Miller is a former Carolina Coastal Classrooms Board Member, Chairman of the Board, Crew Member on the skipjack ADA MAE and Program Director for Carolina Coastal Classrooms, Middle School and High School Educator, High School Assistant Principal. Retired USMC officer. Volunteer in local community.
Dr. Rob Patterson is former Vice Chairman of the Board for Carolina Coastal Classrooms. He is a sailor and boating enthusiast, an environmentalist and board member with Camp Don Lee, a youth camp in Arapahoe, NC. He is also a highly respected physician in New Bern, NC.
Tony Salem is a Certified Public Accountant with the firm of A.G. Salem & Associates PLLC. He is also one of the original founding board members of Carolina Coastal Classrooms and was twice Chairman of the CCC Board of Directors.
Linda Thomas is a member of the Craven County Board of Education. She is an advocate for quality education in our public schools and a former board member with Carolina Coastal Classrooms.