About Us

Our Mission & Vision

The CMS Foundation works to generate financial investment to support Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and develop a community-wide culture of schoolanthropyβ€”the support of public education. Our mission is to serve as the trusted bridge between CMS and the donor community. We are dedicated to:

  • People – Cultivating a spirit of generosity and professional support for CMS educators
  • Power – Being a catalyst for achieving system-wide dreams, goals and objectives
  • Purpose – Developing a countywide culture of support for the children of CMS

Our vision is that Charlotte-Mecklenburg is a national leader in public education where teaching is an iconic profession and opportunity abounds for every child.


The knowledge and skills required to succeed in our global society continue to evolve, and so do the needs of our education system. Public funding alone is not sufficient to provide our students and teachers the opportunities they need and deserve. It takes the support of our entire community. In our unique position as the bridge between Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and the philanthropic community, we leverage and steward private dollars to help the district achieve its strategic goals. We work to ensure that private investments have a meaningful, sustainable impact on public education in our community.

Board of Directors

Sandra W. Conway, Board Chair

Adam Bernstein
Senior Vice President, Chernoff Newman

Melissa Buchanan
Senior Vice President, Global Volunteerism Manager, Wells Fargo

Brett C. Carter
Senior Vice President, Deposit, Card, & Printing Shared Services Executive/Global Technology & Operations, Bank of America

Ann B. Clark

Scott Culpepper
Regional Vice President, Jackson National Life Insurance Company

Frank Emory
Partner, Hunton & Williams, LLP

James Frison
Merchandising Director, Rough Plumbing & Electric, Lowe’s Home Improvement

Courtney Ramey
Executive Director, Jabian Consulting

Holly Welch Stubbing
Executive Vice President & In-House Counsel, Foundation For The Carolinas

Bernie M. Washington
Director, Business Operations, Novant Health

Dr. Clayton Wilcox
Superintendent, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools


Sonja Gantt
Executive Director
(980) 343-0084

Ashelyn James
Foundation Manager
(980) 343-0955

Debbi Daniels
Senior Administrative Assistant
(980) 343-0399