Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise

UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

Staff Directory

Kenan Institute Staff

The programs and activities of the Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise are made possible through the support and leadership of its dedicated professionals.

Gregory W. Brown

Greg Brown is the director of the Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise. He also is the founder and research director of the Institute for Private Capital.

His research centers on financial risk and the use of financial derivative contracts as risk management tools. He also studies private investment strategies, such as hedge funds and private equity.

He research has been published in leading academic and practitioner finance journals, including The Journal of Finance, The Journal of Financial Economics, The Review of Financial Studies, The Journal of Derivatives, Financial Analyst Journal and RISK.


919.962.9250 •

LaChaun Banks

LaChaun Banks is Economic Development Manager for the Kenan Institute's NCGrowth initiative and has nine years of experience in human resources, customer relations and business operations. LaChaun earned a Bachelor of Arts in international studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with a concentration in global economics, trade, and development.

919.962.4696 •

Elizabeth Basnight

Elizabeth Basnight is the Entrepreneur Technical Assistance Program Manager for the Kenan Institute's NCGrowth initiative. Elizabeth received her bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolian at Chapel Hill. As a student, Elizabeth studied in Paris, navigated a solo Spanish-learning trip through Central America, and received a grant from the NC Fellows Program to run a surf camp for girls in Nicaragua.

919.962.8444 •

Ashley Brown

Ashley Brown is Lead Analyst for Grant/Funding Opportunities. Ashley has over 3 years of experience and has broad subject matter expertise in business, public administration, records management, and statistics. Ashley holds a Master of Science in Library Science and a Master of Public Administration, both from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and History from Indiana University.

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Noel Greis

Jason Doherty, PhD, Director of the Startup Consulting Program at the Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise provides program oversight and mentorship to university faculty, students, entrepreneurs, and startups. In this role, he manages teams of MBA students who serve as consultants to university researchers and provide assistance in evaluating the commercial potential of high-impact technologies and guidance on commercialization through licensing and new venture creation. Jason has over a decade of life sciences research experience in academic and federal labs and over five years of experience in technology commercialization and entrepreneurship. As a business incubation professional, Jason has provided technical assistance to over 100 researchers and entrepreneurs and a variety of support services for over 50 early-stage ventures. Jason received his Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Pathology from UNC-Chapel Hill and a B.Sc. in Biological Sciences from North Carolina State University.

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Noel Greis

Noel Greis, PhD, Director, Digital Enterprise and Innovation, is an expert in global logistics and supply chain management and has won numerous awards for her research on logistics, global operations strategy, technology management, and technology commercialization. Her recent work targets logistics and sourcing in emerging markets around the world, including offshoring and outsourcing issues. Greis currently is partnering with Tsinghua University in Beijing to address issues of U.S.-China trade and is co-director of the UNC-Tsinghua Center for Logistics and Economic Development.

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Lingmei Howell is the Director of Outreach at the Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise. Serving as the institute’s ambassador, marketer, and value-proposition translator, she has spearheaded numerous Kenan Institute engagement programs and marketing/outreach activities to reinforce the institute’s collaborative relationships with its various stakeholders. She articulates the Kenan Institute brand and helps position it among existing and potential partners. Lingmei also serves as the “all things student” person to whom Kenan Institute leadership go for student recruitment, mentoring, coaching, and other student related issues. In addition, she leads three student-oriented programs: (1) Student Onboarding Program, (2) Kenan Institute Leadership Fellows Program, and (3) Board Engagement Program. She continues to explore ways to invest in and provide students positive, hands-on, valuable experiences at the institute. Lingmei is skilled in program design and development, project management, and partnership cultivation. Her research interests are in community economic development and community development financing. Lingmei brings years of public relations and development experience to the Kenan Institute. She joined the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School in the early 1990s. Prior to that, she was at UNC’s School of Medicine. She holds a Master in Public Administration and a Master in Development Administration.

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Jim Johnson

Jim Johnson, PhD, Director of Education, Aging, and Economic Development Initiatives is a demographer known for linking population trends to the economy. He examines the growing inequality in American society, particularly as it affects disadvantaged youth; entrepreneurial approaches to poverty alleviation, job creation, and community development; interethnic minority conflict in advanced industrial societies; and business demography and workforce diversity issues. When Frank Kenan tasked him to find role models for kids in Durham "other than basketball players and drug dealers," he founded the Global Scholars Academy. His most recent efforts include launching SAFE, a program to prevent falls by the elderly in North Carolina, with the added benefit of job creation and economic return on investment. He's the William R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at Kenan-Flagler Business School.

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Brent Lane

Brent Lane, Economic Strategist, strives to make communities economically competitive and prosperous through strategic decisions and investments. He brings three decades of experience—in state and regional government and the nonprofit sector—to his work on the Eastern North Carolina Economic Development initiative. Lane has created innovative enterprises ranging from the first technology incubator in Research Triangle Park to the largest community development venture capital fund in the U.S. He currently serves on the N.C. Department of Revenue Oversight Committee.

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Matthew Lebold is Administrative Support Specialist for the Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise.

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Mark Little

Mark Little, PhD, is Interim Executive Director of the Kenan Institute. He is also the permanent Director of NCGrowth. In these roles, he manages institute operations, supports high-growth entrepreneurs, helps communities grow and retain business, facilitates strategic regional economic development, and researches solutions to pressing energy, environment, and climate related problems. Little brings to this position a broad, international background in environmental and earth science, policy analysis, and renewable energy development. Immediately prior to joining the institute, he served as a AAAS Congressional Science Fellow to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs.

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Mark McDaniel is Senior Research Associate with the UNC Center for Community Capital and the Urban Investment Strategies Center at the Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise. Mark consults with foundations, policymakers and others on strategies that help connect low-income populations to economic opportunities. These strategies include; developing K-16 strategies to improve educational outcomes for vulnerable populations, connecting the unbanked and underbanked to financial services and leveraging investment in low-income areas for housing, community facilities and other economic development opportunities. McDaniel leads the center’s collaboration with Bridges2Success, an early childhood-to-career research and education initiative focused on helping males of color achieve academic and life success.

Karen McFarland is Business Officer for the Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise.

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Monica Nogueira

Monica Nogueira, PhD, is Director of the Digital Enterprise & Innovation Laboratory at the Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise. Monica leads the team’s efforts to develop novel intelligent processes and enterprise practices, data analytic tools, and mobile applications, and to transfer these technologies to institutional and corporate customers. Dr. Nogueira holds a PhD in computer engineering from The University of Texas at El Paso, a Masters of Science degree in computer science from the Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Brazil, and Bachelor of Science degrees in electrical engineering and electronics engineering from the Fundação Universidade do Amazonas and the Instituto de Technologia da Amazonia, respectively. She has published a number of papers in the areas of food safety and public health which report and promote the use of answer set planning and programming technology to solve search and scheduling problems, as well as papers in the use of RFID technology for cargo security and security of personal identification documents.

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Linda Parson is Grants Manager for the Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise.

919.843.5657 •

Ronda Ragan

Ronda Ragan is Area Assistant for the Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise.

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Cynthia (Cindy) Reifsnider is Director of Research Services and Knowledge Management at the Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise and leads the Patent Landscaping and Market Evaluation program. She has more than 15 years' experience working with entrepreneurs, including 7 years at the Kenan Institute, 5 years at Hewlett-Packard, and 2 years at Virginia Tech (working with Virginia's Center for Innovative Technology). She has broad subject matter expertise across business and sciences. She is knowledgeable in multiple types of information research and analysis, including patents, scientific/technical literature, business and markets. She holds a Master of Science in Information Science and a BS in Meteorology.

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Pamela Santos is Managing Director of Consulting Services with the Urban Investment Strategies Center in the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Pamela works with non-profit, public sector, and socially minded organizations and communities to develop strategies to become more sustainable and competitive in today's knowledge-based economy. She helps organizations think more strategically about their business model, shifting from relying on public funds and grants to earned income and revenue generation. She works with organizations to develop business plans to implement their strategies. Pamela has an MBA from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. She earned a bachelor's degree in Management and Marketing from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She completed a one-year exchange program studying export marketing and international economics at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland. She has traveled extensively in Europe and Latin America and is fluent in Spanish.

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Pamela (Pam) Snedden, Knowledge Management Librarian and Lead Analyst for Market Research, has 5+ years of experience and broad subject matter expertise in business research, regulatory environments, and knowledge management. Pam holds a MS in Library Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a BA in Political Science from North Carolina State University.

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Deborah Stroman

Deborah Stroman, PhD, is Director of Sport Entrepreneurship and Community Engagement. In this role, she "creates and connects sport business people and ventures." Working closely with UNC Kenan-Flagler MBA students and high-performing undergraduate students, she directs a Basketball Analytics Summit, researches the social and economic impact of sport in the state of North Carolina, teaches sport business curriculum, and promotes numerous on campus and Research Triangle Park collaborative opportunities for students, faculty, staff, and professionals working in the sport industry. With over three decades of business, entrepreneurship, and athletic industry experience, she provides a unique perspective and innovative strategies. Stroman is the 2013 UNC General Alumni McClinton Faculty/Staff Award winner. Visit us on the web at

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Jack Walker

Jack Walker is Director of Information Technology at the Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise. Jack earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from North Carolina State University and has seventeen years of experience in application development and web design.

919.962.2681 •

Betty Wilson is Administrative Assistant with the Urban Investment Strategies Center in the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

919.962.8841 •