Young Professionals Board

Curtis Watkins, Chair works for Duke Energy in Global Technology Development, exploring emerging technology in the utility sector ranging from electric vehicles to energy storage to clean combustion, as well as managing international partnerships with companies in areas such as Japan and China. In addition to his involvement on the board for Engage Charlotte, Curtis also serves as a commissioner on the Mecklenburg County Air Quality Commission and the Historic District Commission, is Vice President of the Wilmore Neighborhood Association Board, and volunteers his energy experience for other local economic development efforts such as with the Energy Capital Committee.

In his spare time Curtis enjoys working on classic cars, learning to play musical instruments, reading, writing, cheering on his favorite sports teams, and spending time with his family. Curtis holds a B.S. in Business Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University and various project management certifications.

Ollie Chandhok, Past Chair, has been with the Charlotte Business Journal for four years. He is an integral part of the advertising department at the Charlotte Business Journal, and is helping his clients build their brands and grow their business. Ollie has earned the companies top award; The Eagle, in 2009 for his performance. He conducts seminars across the Charlotte region to share his expertise in sales and to help business leaders further their careers and grow their business. A native of Toronto, Canada, Ollie was awarded the Queens Academic Scholarship, and a Golf Scholarship to attend Queens University of Charlotte, where he earned a Bachelor’s in Business Administration. He is still a supporter of Queens University and currently serves on their Board of Visitors. He currently lives in Matthews with his wife; Kenna and children; Olivia and Ace.

Crystal Thomann, Vice Chair relocated to the Queen City from Roanoke, Va., in 2005 after graduating from Roanoke College with dual degrees in English and marketing. The past three years she have been the account executive at the Central Piedmont Community College Harris Conference Center (HCC), a 10,000-square-foot executive conference center in a serene setting with exceptional customer service and state-of-the-art technology. HCC’s affiliation with CPCC allows her to foster her enthusiasm for education while actively engaging in the corporate world. Outside of work, she is passionate about the community, giving back, and engaging others. She enjoys donating her time and energy to numerous volunteer activities through Hands on Charlotte as well as serving on the Steering Committee of the Young Executives for Success (YES!) division of Dress for Success. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, traveling to new places, running, and being a self-proclaimed DIY decorator.

Whitney Bauman, moved to Charlotte in 2008 after graduating from Virginia Tech with her Bachelors of Science in Marketing Management and her Master’s in Business Administration with a concentration in Organizational Leadership. Her current role is Director of Marketing & Business Development at MSS Solutions, LLC, the single source solutions provider for HVAC services, building automation systems, fire and security systems, capital projects and project management. The company is headquartered here in Charlotte, NC. Whitney diligently works to represent MSS at a variety of industry events, build relationships and develop new leads, and increase their exposure in the surrounding area.

Whitney is currently on the leadership team for CREW (Commercial Real Estate Women) and is serving as the Co-chair of their Queen City in Pink event this year. In 2012, she was presented with their New Member of the Year award. She also sits on the IFMA board as the co-chair of the Programs committee. Whitney is an active member of BOMA, IREM, HTA, USGBC, ULI and CoreNet as well where spends her time helping to plan their golf tournaments, social programs, Green Gala Silent Auction, and their Young Leaders events. Outside of work, Whitney is passionate about supporting local charities and volunteers her time with Ronald McDonald House and Classroom Central. In her spare time, she enjoys playing volleyball, going to the gym, cooking, and hiking with her husband Andy and their lab puppy.

Chavon Carroll is the Donor Marketing Officer for the Arts & Science Council, a local non-profit with a mission to build appreciation, participation and support for the arts, science, history and heritage in Charlotte-Mecklenburg. In addition to her role on the Board of Engage Charlotte, Chavon is also actively involved in the YWCA’s 1902 Society and ASC’s Young Donor Society. Chavon holds a B.A. from Xavier University (Cincinnati) with a degree in Public Relations and a minor in Spanish, Chavon came to Charlotte by way of Cincinnati, Ohio in the summer of 2010. Outside of her work and volunteer activities, she enjoys spending time in her South Charlotte community with her 5-year-old daughter, Jordan, and her husband, Charles. An avid sports fan, you also might see her out at several Bobcats and Panthers games throughout the year.

Amy Chiou, a native Texan, moved to Charlotte after graduating from the George Washington University Law School. She works for Lincoln Harris as an analyst supporting the leased building property management team. In addition to her involvement with the Chamber Young Professionals, she serves as a board member of the Charlotte Community Health Clinic, a member of the UNCC Women’s Summit Advisory Council, and as a member of the Charlotte Hub of the World Economic Forum Global Shaper Community. She is also active in politics and has worked on many political campaigns including those of President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Mayor Anthony Foxx.

Corey Goolsby is a native of North Carolina and received his electrical engineering degree from NC State and MBA from Stanford. After attaining his MBA in 2006, Corey left California to return to North Carolina for a sales position with IBM. At IBM he worked with Fortune 500 retailers in the Carolinas and was awarded 100% Club honors for his success as an account executive. In 2010 Corey joined HP where he currently works today. There he supports public sector customers across three states. He values the opportunity to serve local governments, schools and colleges by providing relevant technology solutions.

Outside of work Corey has had involvement with several organizations including the National Sales Network, North Carolina Technology Association, City Dive and his alumni networks. He also leads the HP Charlotte Community Engagement Group in partnerships with local charities. With this same passion for servant leadership, he looks forward to further serving Charlotte Chamber Young Professionals.

Patrick Horne, is an attorney at Moore & Van Allen PLLC (MVA), where he focuses on intellectual property protection and counseling for clients ranging from startups to large institutions. Patrick has experience procuring and managing domestic and international patent and trademark portfolios, and he strives to communicate potential risks and opportunities clearly by providing business-oriented advice. Patrick and his wife Karen moved to Charlotte because of the area’s vibrant growth and entrepreneurship. Patrick believes Charlotte can attract and retain young professionals by creating exciting new YP opportunities.

Patrick is a member of the Bar Leadership Institute Class of 2013, sits on the Charlotte Clemson Club Board, and is active in his church – serving on its Finance Council and the Knights of Columbus. Patrick volunteers through the United Way Young Leaders, A Child’s Place, the MVA Devonshire Reading Program and the MVA/Safe Alliance Domestic Violence Pro Bono Program. At home, Patrick enjoys spending time outdoors with Karen and their kids – Anne Marie (2) and Joseph (3).

Jessica Hreha, is yet another Ohioan to make the transition from the Great Lakes winters to Charlotte’s much more temperate climate. A graduate of University of Dayton with a double major in Public Relations and Political Science, Jessica started her career at Time Warner Cable in Cincinnati, OH as a Government Relations intern. She has climbed the ranks to become the Field Marketing Manager for Time Warner Cable Business Class, the commercial services arm of the company. Jessica manages sponsorship and event strategy as well as other lead generation and revenue growth initiatives for the sales teams in the Carolinas and across the East Region. She enjoys networking and is active in many other business organizations including Charlotte Hospitality and Tourism Alliance (HTA), Hood Hargett Breakfast Club and CREW. Outside of work, Jessica is active in her church choir and enthusiastically supports Charlotte’s local foodie scene with her husband, Jon.

Cristin Lee is the Business Development Liaison for Party Reflections, the special event rental company in Charlotte. She is an event planner by trade recently re-locating to Charlotte from Asheville, NC and uses this background in her new role representing Party Reflections at industry events. She works diligently to build business relationships, generate new sale leads as well as manage Party Reflections’ online presence.

Currently she represents Party Reflections in multiple professional organizations including, NACE (National Association for Catering & Events), NAWP (National Association of Wedding Professionals), HTA (Hospitality & Tourism Alliance), Visit Charlotte Partner, BLOC (Business Leaders of Charlotte) in addition to the Chamber’s Young Professional Board. Cristin is a graduate of the University of Kentucky, has completed two years of AmeriCorps service, and volunteers her time with Girls on the Run. She enjoys running, cooking and watching her son grow up with her husband Brian.

Russell Norris, is a Tax Manager with Grant Thornton LLP. As a CPA with more than seven years of public accounting experience, he focuses on identifying and addressing federal tax issues for businesses in the transportation, distribution, and manufacturing industries. Russell is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the North Carolina Association of Certified Public Accountants, and is a licensed CPA in North Carolina. Russell is actively involved in several volunteer opportunities with several organizations in the Charlotte community, including youth activities with St. John’s Baptist Church, Junior Achievement and working with Bruns Avenue Elementary through the Playground Build and Communities in Schools programs.

Russell served on the Generation Y Council with several other young professionals and community leaders in developing the Center City 2020 Vision Plan. In addition, he currently serves on the advisory board for Bright Blessings USA, headquartered in Matthews, NC. Russell is originally from Charlotte and grew up in Franklin, NC. He graduated from Wake Forest University with a Bachelor of Arts and from the Cameron School of Business at UNC-Wilmington with a Master of Science in Accountancy. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, and playing golf.

Kate Payerle is an attorney at Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson, where she focuses on litigation practice on behalf of individual and corporate clients who require representation in court, in arbitration, or on appeal. She has aggressively litigated financial services industry disputes, personal injury lawsuits, employment cases, agency proceedings and trade secret claims in all stages of the litigation or arbitration process. Immediately before joining Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson, Kate served as a law clerk for a federal trial court judge, where she gained insight into to trial and pre-trial strategies from the court’s perspective.

Kate currently serves on the North Carolina Bar Association's Citizen-Lawyer Committee, the City of Charlotte's Privatization and Competition Advisory Committee, and is Charlotte City Council's appointee to the Citizen Transit Advisory Group. She grew up in Charlotte, went to college in Chapel Hill, and then spent nearly seven years in San Diego, CA earning a Master's degree in Pacific International Affairs and a law degree before returning to Charlotte. She is thrilled to see how Charlotte has grown and changed in that time, and has especially enjoyed discovering the growing greenway system on early morning runs and bike rides.

Adrienne Schermer, graduated from Penn State University’s Behrend campus in Erie, Pennsylvania. She received her BA in Communications & Media Studies, she was heavily involved in student life including the Lady Lions Dance Team, Alpha Sigma Alpha sorority, Order of Omega Honor Society, and spoke at her graduation ceremonies. After graduation Adrienne relocated to Charlotte, sight unseen, for the city’s reputation of warm weather, friendly people, and rapid growth.

Adrienne has a passion for the hospitality industry holding sales positions at Visit Charlotte, selling the Queen City as a destination to meeting and event planners, Marriott International, and currently the Westin Charlotte. As Account Director of Business Strategy at the Westin, she is responsible for market development, account strategy and holds the position for community service chair for the sales & marketing department. In addition to her involvement with Charlotte Chamber Young Professionals, Adrienne has been involved with several nonprofit organizations including Children’s Miracle Network, Dress for Success, Freedom School, Second Harvest Food Bank, and Goodwill Industries. In her free time she enjoys yoga, Pilates, attending food, wine, and Craft beer tastings with her boyfriend. They both enjoy walking their dog, Miss Chloe Rae of Sunshine, through their neighborhood.

David Truesdale graduated from the University of Virginia with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering and minor in Engineering Business. He has worked for over three years in the general contracting industry at Rodgers Builders, Inc. as a Project Engineer where he has had the unique opportunity to work on a wide variety of projects for clients such as Wells Fargo, UNC Charlotte, Johnson & Wales and Time Warner Cable, to name a few. David is certified as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional (LEED AP), which has allowed him to work on innovative projects that incorporate Green Building design and sustainability. Originally from Columbia, South Carolina, he moved to Charlotte in 2008 upon graduation from college. In addition to his involvement with Engage Charlotte, David has also volunteered on several Habitat for Humanity building projects throughout the community. He enjoys networking in social and professional circles, spending time with family, traveling, and staying active through recreational softball, soccer, and the occasional round of golf.

Dan Woodley, moved to Charlotte with his wife two years ago from Washington, D.C., and they have developed personal and professional relationships that have surpassed their expectations. After spending 2.5 years working on Capitol Hill for Senator Richard Burr (NC) and subsequently assisting financial services companies with enhancing their government relations efforts, Dan made a career change to commercial real estate. After a 20 month stint as CBRE’s market research director in Charlotte, he moved on to office tenant representation at Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer.

The firm was directly involved with the corporate headquarter relocations of Chiquita and United Technologies. Dan has worked closely with the economic development team at the Chamber as Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer is often at the forefront of corporate real estate companies who assist with large relocations to the Charlotte area. Dan’s experience in public service working with the constituents of North Carolina combined with his professional business background allows him to add value to his professional and volunteer leadership roles.