The Board of Directors
The Board of Directors usually meets quarterly. There will be one Open Board meeting per year, inviting members and community comments.
Role of the Board of Directors
Develops and maintains annual BIANC short and long range goals and objectives.
Maintains authority and responsibility for policies, procedures and programs.
Ensures continued financial stability of the organization.
Encourages appropriate non-board individuals to serve on task/adhoc committees.
Promotes a positive and productive work environment for the staff.
Develops and oversees personnel policies.
Conducts annual evaluation of Executive Director.
Current Board of Directors
Laurie Leach, Ph.D., ABN, is currently the Director of Neuropsychology services at WakeMed Health & Hospitals in Raleigh, NC. At WakeMed, I work with a variety of patient populations including stroke, dementia, as well as brain injury. I also serve in the role of Program Director of our Brain Injury Rehabilitation System as well as the Program Director for our Neuro Care Unit and Program, which provides services to patients with severe or catastrophic brain injury. These roles allow me to continue to develop services and programs within the hospital continuum to improve the care we provide to persons with brain injury. I joined the BIANC board in 2017, which has allowed me to interact with a diverse group of professionals dedicated to brain injury and has helped me understand the broader impact of brain injury within North Carolina.
Wesley Cole (Wes)
Intrepid Spirit, Womack Army Medical Center
Dr. Cole is the Senior Clinical Research Director for the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center (DVBIC) at Fort Bragg and a neuropsychologist with the Fort Bragg Intrepid Spirit center. He received a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from James Madison University. He then received master’s and doctoral degrees in Clinical Psychology from the University of South Carolina. He completed predoctoral internships and postdoctoral fellowships in pediatric psychology and neuropsychology at the Kennedy Krieger Institute, an affiliate of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. In 2009, he joined the Womack Army Medical Center’s Concussion Care Clinic on Fort Bragg, which has recently moved into the Intrepid Spirit center, a state of the art facility providing comprehensive and holistic care of brain injury and related problems. Looking to expand his roles into research activities, he joined DVBIC at Fort Bragg in 2010. He became the Senior Clinical Research Director for DVBIC in 2013 and in this role he oversees a growing program of research that focuses on improving the way we understand, evaluate, and treat brain injury in service members.
Jacques Arrieux is the Senior Scientist at the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center in Fort Bragg, N.C., where he manages several clinical research projects involving the assessment and treatment of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury. Jacques earned his B.S in Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke and M.A. in Experimental Psychology from Fayetteville State University. He is also a certified Specialist in Psychometry, Brain Injury Specialist, and Clinical Research Professional. Jacques is the son of a Severe TBI survivor, which along with his educational and professional experience, lead him to join to Brain Injury Association of North Carolina in 2020.
Patricia Rogers Babin (Pat)
Dr. Babin received her BA from Wake Forest University, her PhD from UNC-Chapel Hill, and her PharmD from Virginia Commonwealth University. She completed a fellowship in Pain Management from the University Health Science Center in Houston, Texas. Her post-doctoral year was spent working in Traumatic Brain Injury Rehabilitation also in Houston. She is board certified in Rehabilitation Psychology and Neuropsychology. She has spent over 15 years in the field of rehabilitation working with survivors of Traumatic Brain Injury, patients with neurological disorders, and patients with chronic pain. Dr. Babin has worked in private practice as a consultant to group homes, as a consulting psychologist for DSS, and as a forensic psychologist. She has a fervent interest in ethics. She was a member of Carolinas Healthcare Institutional Ethics Committee, a committee member of APA’s Division 22 Ethics Committee, and has taught Ethics for Psychologists at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She has authored several articles in peer reviewed journals on TBI and chronic pain. Dr. Babin pursued her PharmD in 2005 and after receiving her pharmacy degree, she worked at Carolinas Medical Center-Northeast as a Clinical Staff Pharmacist. Dr. Babin is past Chair of the Board of Directors for the Brain Injury Association of North Carolina. She is currently employed as Clinical Director in the Medical Services Department at Cardinal Innovations Healthcare as both a psychologist and behavioral health pharmacist. In addition to her administration duties and supervision of psychologists at Cardinal, she works closely with Mental Health/Substance Use Disorder and Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities staff to ensure that people receive appropriate services.
Director of Finance
James is the owner of Cox Accounting & Financial Services, Inc, a small accounting firm specializing in assisting individuals and small business owners with their income tax preparation needs and small business accounting. James has over 25 years of income tax preparation and has taken the rigorous IRS exam to become an Enrolled Agent. James has also earned the designation of Certified Tax Resolution Specialist which means he can help individuals and businesses that have fallen behind on the payment of their taxes to the IRS or state taxing agency. His office is located in North Raleigh off Millbrook Road.
Martin Foil (Marty)
Marty Foil attended Davidson College, graduated ’85 w/ degree in Economics and spent 16 years in the computer consulting & software industry. He has a brother (Phil) who sustained a horrible head injury in ’84 – was comatose for 4 months and spent years in rehab hospitals and long term care facilities around the southeast. Those experiences lead his family on a journey to create a model for care for brain injury survivors who need long term care. He is currently Executive Director of Hinds’ Feet Farm and has been for 18 years. In addition to being a Board member of the Brain Injury Association of North Carolina, he also sits as a member of the NC Governors Brain Injury Advisory Council, is a member of the North American Brain Injury Society, and is a Former board member and Chairman of the National Brain Injury Research, Treatment & Training Foundation. Marty has spent years raising money for programs, public policy and awareness through various fundraisers for brain injury related organizations such as: The Brain Injury Association of NC, The Brain Injury Association of America, The International Brain Injury Association, National Brain Injury Research Treatment and Training Foundation, and Hinds’ Feet Farm. Marty is Certified Brain Injury Specialist and an enthusiastic advocate for survivors of brain injury and has spoken at briefings in the U.S. Congress and Senate. Marty has also been involved in state and national lobbying efforts on behalf of survivors of brain injury. He is also very active in prevention & education and outreach. He speaks frequently to local area elementary school students on the importance of helmet safety and has organized events where hundreds of bike helmets were given to area youth. Marty served as Scoutmaster for Troop 38 in Concord for 4 years, has 2 grown children, Sydney (23) and Avery (19) and a loving wife Lisa of 26 years.
My journey into the TBI world began with a helmet-less motorcycle ride in the Spring of '80. After an eleven day stint in a coma I came back around and began my walk back to recovery. Good can come from a trauma. Following my release from the hospital my family borough me to a local chiropractor for care. I found a profession that gave me hope, so much hope that I enrolled in college the Fall of '81 with the intent of becoming a Doctor of Chiropractic. I have since become board certified in a technique called Atlas Orthogonal. A branch of chiropractic that focuses on correction of the atlas vertebrae, a bone located around the brain stem while supporting the skull. I have had such a degree of success with this procedure I have written a book titled Is Your Head on Straight? A New Approach for Healing Head Trauma.
Elizabeth Grimes (Libby)
Elizabeth “Libby” Grimes is a personal injury attorney who represents clients who have traumatic brain injuries and serious bodily injuries. Mrs. Grimes is a native of North Carolina and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with an undergraduate degree in Economics. With a serious passion for helping others she also obtained her law degree from Wake Forest University. Mrs. Grimes is a member of the North Carolina Advocates for Justice and American Association for Justice. In recognition of her successful results for her clients, Mrs. Grimes is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forums. Additionally, Mrs. Grimes is a selectee of The National Trial Lawyers: Top 25 Women Trial Lawyers, 100 Trial Lawyers, and is awarded a North Carolina Super Lawyer. She lives in Huntersville, NC and is married with two children.
Dr. April Groff is a licensed clinical psychologist with specialization in neuropsychology and rehabilitation psychology. She is the Regional Program Director of Learning Services Residential Neurorehabilitation, Supported Living and Day Treatment services in Raleigh, NC as well as Learning Services Neurobehavioral Institute and Pain Rehabilitation Programs located in Creedmoor, NC.
Dr. Groff received her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and her PhD in Clinical Psychology from Boston University. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Neuropsychology & Rehabilitation Psychology at the Stanford-affiliated VA Palo Alto Health Care System, Polytrauma Rehabilitation Center, where she went on to work as a Staff Neuropsychologist and Program Director within the Polytrauma Rehabilitation Center for several years prior to her return to North Carolina.
Dr. Groff is an active member of the American College of Rehabilitation Medicine (ACRM), and participates in Cognitive Rehabilitation national task force focusing on implementation of evidence-based practices. She is a contributing author to the upcoming second edition of the ACRM Cognitive Rehabilitation Manual. She publishes and speaks nationally on issues related to the rehabilitation of catastrophically injured individuals and implementation of evidence-based practices in the field. She also has a strong interest in the assessment of clinical outcomes and the effectiveness of treatment interventions following traumatic brain injury.
Thomas Henson Jr. joined Henson Fuerst in 1989. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration in 1986 and his Juris Doctorate in 1989—both from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Thomas is the Past Chair of the board of directors of the Brain Injury Association of North Carolina (BIANC), advocating for brain injury victims and their families across North Carolina, and currently serves on its board. He has been a presenter at multiple conferences for victims of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), their caregivers, and brain injury professionals.
In 2012, Governor Bev Perdue appointed Thomas to the first of two four-year terms on the North Carolina Traumatic Brain Injury Advisory Council. Part of the Department of Health and Human Services, the advisory council is responsible for studying the needs of people with brain injury; coordinating preventive efforts; promoting inter-agency coordination of efforts; and making recommendations to the Governor, the General Assembly, and state organizations about planning, development, and funding.
Thomas remains an active member of the Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group of the American Association for Justice. He recognizes that brain injuries can happen to anyone, anytime, and he is passionate about helping victims and families reassemble their lives under the best possible circumstances. Additionally, he contributed a chapter for the book The Miracle Mind: Sonya’s Story, a guidebook designed to help stroke and traumatic brain injury patients, their families, and their caregivers.
In 2002, Thomas formed the Henson Fuerst Cycling Team, which has grown from only a few members into a team of more than 50 people, including top-level triathletes, recreational riders, and brand-new riders. The Cycling Team’s primary event has been the North Carolina Tour de Cure, which benefits the American Diabetes Association (ADA).
Attorney Thomas Henson Jr. loves to spend time with his wife and son who are the “center and the joys of his life.”
Assistant Director of Development, UNC Global
Martha Hoelzer earned her degree in American Studies and German from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She’s worked as a photographer nationally and internationally since 1998 and has won accolades for her work as part of the 61st, 62nd and 63rd Annual Juried Exhibition Durham Arts Guild show, the Telluride Art + Architecture Tour, and the Carolina Global Photography Contest.
Professionally, Hoelzer has worked in a variety of roles spanning across information technology, event planning, communications, alumni relations, and development. She worked at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for over ten years and established and managed an IT helpdesk for Merck Pharmaceuticals in Raleigh, North Carolina, and Montreal, Canada, for three years.
In her personal life, Hoelzer is a passionate trail runner and enjoys cycling and yoga. She competed as a collegiate Division I cross country and track and field athlete for the University of Alabama and, after transferring, for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She took her first photography class in high school and loved to play with her father’s Leica. She worked as a photographer for The Daily Tar Heel newspaper as a senior in college. Hoelzer is rarely far from a trail or without a camera in her hand.
Her business name, A Breath of Fresh Air Photography, refers both to the salutary effects of a good trail run and to the gratitude she feels at being able to breathe deeply after her left lung was punctured during a head-on collision.
Dr. Johnson is a native of North Carolina and enjoys giving back to the state she loves by serving at a state-supported institution. She is dedicated to her family, students, and SOE faculty team. Her teaching and research is driven by her clinical experiences as a Speech Language Pathologist and she hopes that her students and research will drive future clinical practice.
Betty Ritzman Lilyquist, former Vice President of International Marketing & Director of Environmental and Regulatory Affairs for a German – based agricultural chemical company is now a retired grandmother of six.
As the parent of two adult sons living with brain injuries (one resulting from a motorcycle accident and one from a stroke), Betty spends many hours volunteering for the Brain Injury Association of North Carolina. She continues to offer her time in order to make a difference in the lives of individuals living with brain injuries and their resulting challenges.
Betty also enjoys bragging about her grandchildren’s accomplishments, the leisure life of retirement and Playing golf.
Carol’s involvement with brain injury began during childhood growing up with a brother who had cerebral palsy at a time when resources and guidance were limited to non-existent.
In July of 2005, her son sustained a severe head injury during a bicycle race and on December 22, 2008, her husband was also injured when a bus hit his car. These experiences and challenges led Carol to advocate for further resources and support for survivors and their families.
With a B.S. in Education from New York University, Carol spent her career as an Occupational Therapist until her retirement. Her work has continued as an advocate for exceptional children and, after her son's accident, an advocate for Brain Injury Survivors and Caregivers. She has been Instrumental in obtaining legislative support for the development and application for TBI Waiver.
In the memory of my son, Logan Stroud, who passed from a traumatic brain injury, the Logan Stroud Foundation was established. The money raised has been used to provide a yearly scholarship to a graduating senior at Jay M Robinson High School in Concord where Logan was a 2009 graduate and on his way to a bright future. We have also donated thousands of dollars to BIANC, Carolinas Rehab, and Hinds Feet Farm. My background has been in construction for the past 23 years, I’m faced with workers every day who do not understand the effects of a simple fall that could affect the rest of their lives. It is important to me that every worker on my job site follows proper safety procedures and go home at the end of the day to their family.
Karee Van Wert White served three tours of duty in Europe and the US, the first female to graduate from French Commando School, (the French version of the US Army Ranger School), in 1986, leaving the service as an Army Major, a paratrooper in Special Operations Command, serving at Fort Bragg. She continued to embrace the fitness standards she loved in the military, training nationally as a Fitness Instructor to train others in her local community, while she and her husband of 33 years, raised their nine children. She wrote for several local newspapers, advocating for the many achievements of community members.
Five and a half years ago, her oldest daughter suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury in an auto accident following combat deployment to Afghanistan. White spent the next year by her daughter’s side, advocating and supporting her as she remained in a coma. Four years ago, the Whites brought their daughter home to live with the family. Six of her nine children have served in the military, as well as her husband, and some are currently serving. White continues to pursue Veteran support initiatives. Selected as a 2018 Elizabeth Dole Foundation Fellow representing the state of North Carolina, White seeks to bring greater awareness and support to our nation’s nearly six million military caregivers. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Brain Injury Association of North Carolina, as well as the Veterans Research Engagement Panel for the Durham VA Medical Center.
Jeremy Wilson is a native of Wilmington, North Carolina and currently lives there with his wife (Sarah) and two children (Addie (5) and Calvin (1)). Jeremy attended UNC-Chapel Hill for undergrad, where he majored in political science and economics. He then taught high school math through the Teach For America program in Henderson, North Carolina. Jeremy earned a Master of Public Policy degree from Duke University, and a law degree from UNC-Chapel Hill. He is a lawyer at Ward and Smith, P.A. where he leads the firm's Personal Injury and Wrongful Death practice group. Jeremy has a close family member who is a TBI survivor, and is passionate about providing a voice for other survivors and their families.
Become a BIANC Board Member
What do Board Members do?
Board members are responsible for creating and reviewing the mission and purpose for BIANC. They also ensure legal and ethical integrity, effective organizational planning and adequate resources for the organization. Another role is recruiting and orienting new board members and evaluating Board and staff effectiveness.
How much time does it take to be a Board member?
Board members are expected to attend quarterly Board meetings and Committee meetings. Board meetings are held quarterly, and Committee meetings are scheduled between Board meetings at the discretion of the Committee chair. Committee meetings are generally held by telephone conference calling. Board members are asked to participate in several state-wide fundraising and/or public awareness events each year.
Board Members Dashboard
Upcoming Meeting Dates:
- February 1, 2020
- April 18, 2020
- August 22, 2020
- December 5, 2020