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

Bernie M. Washington, Board Chair
Deputy Chief of Staff, Novant Health

Adam Bernstein
Senior Vice President, Chernoff Newman

Melissa Buchanan
Senior Vice President, Community Relations, LPL Financial

Ann B. Clark
Executive Leadership Coach

Scott Culpepper
Regional Vice President, Jackson National Life Distributors

Frank Emory
Executive Vice President & Chief Legal Officer, Novant Health

James Frison
Community Advocate

Sandra Holub
Executive Director, Albemarle Foundation

Kathryn Kissam
Co-Founder, Carolina Youth Coalition

Brandon Neal
Senior Vice President & Deputy Chief Legal Officer, Novant Health

Courtney Ramey
Executive Director, Jabian Consulting

Thomas Scrivener
Consumer, Small Business & Wealth Management Operations Executive, Bank of America

John Shimp
Partner, Ridgemont Equity Partners

Greg Skidmore
Partner, Robinson Bradshaw

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

David Webb
Partner, Berkeley Capital Advisors

Earnest Winston
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