Four new members of board of trustees
District Court Judge Danny Davis swears in four new members of Western Carolina University’s board of trustees. From left to right are Robert Burgin, Charles Worley, Steve Warren, and Rosemary Foley Wyche.

CULLOWHEE – The president of Western North Carolina’s largest health care system, the head of one of the world’s leading furniture manufacturing companies, an Asheville attorney, the mayor of Asheville, and an economic development executive are the five newest members of the Western Carolina University board of trustees.

They are Robert Burgin, president and chief executive officer of Mission-St. Joseph’s Health Systems in Asheville; Gerald L. Kiser, president, chief executive officer and director of La-Z-Boy Inc. in Monroe, Mich.; Steve Warren, a partner in the Asheville law firm of Long, Parker, Warren & Jones; Charles Worley, Asheville mayor, attorney and part owner of Highland Farms Retirement Community in Black Mountain; and Rosemary Foley Wyche, a vice president with N.C. Citizens for Business and Industry in Raleigh.

Burgin, Kiser, Warren and Worley were appointed to Western’s board by The University of North Carolina Board of Governors. Wyche was appointed by Gov. Mike Easley. All will serve four-year terms scheduled to expire June 30, 2007.

Raleigh entrepreneur and former U.S. Ambassador Jeanette Hyde was re-appointed by Easley to a second four-year term. The UNC Board of Governors elects four trustees for each of the 16 UNC institutions, and the governor appoints two, every four years. No trustee may serve more than two full four-year terms consecutively.

Newly-elected officers to the board of trustees
Hickory banking executive Phillip D. Walker is the new chairman of the board of trustees at Western Carolina University. Raleigh entrepreneur and former U.S. Ambassador Jeanette Hyde (left) is the board’s new vice chairman. Retired Mars Hill entrepreneur Genevieve Whitmire Burda (right) is secretary of the board. Election of officers came during the regular quarterly meeting of the board Friday, Sept. 5.

After the administration of the oath of office by District Court Judge Danny Davis during the board’s quarterly meeting Friday, Sept. 5, the trustees elected a slate of officers for the year. Phillip D. Walker, senior vice president for BB&T’s western region, was elected board chairman. Hyde was elected vice chairman, and retired Mars Hill entrepreneur Genevieve Whitmire Burda was elected secretary of the board.

Burgin served as chief operating officer for hospitals in North Carolina and Georgia before joining the administration of Mission-St. Joseph Health Systems. A former captain in the U.S. Army Medical Service Corps, he has served on numerous community organization boards and was appointed by Gov. Jim Hunt to serve on the N.C. Medical Care Commission and N.C. Institute of Medicine.

Kiser, a Forest City native, is a 1969 graduate of Western with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. After a 22-year stint holding several management positions at Broyhill Furniture in Lenoir, he took a senior position at a subsidiary of La-Z-Boy before moving to corporate headquarters in Monroe, Mich. He now leads a company that employs more than 17,000 people at 39 facilities in 10 states and four foreign countries.

Warren also is a Western Carolina graduate, earning his bachelor’s degree in economics in 1980 before attending law school at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, graduating in 1983. He is a member of the N.C. Academy of Trial Lawyers, American Bar Association, N.C. Bar Association and the Association of Trial Lawyers of America. He is president of the board of directors of the Governor’s Western Residence.

A lifelong resident of Asheville, Worley has served as mayor of the city since 2001. He previously was a member of Asheville City Council from 1991 to 1993, 1995 to 1997, and 1999 to 2001. Worley graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1967 with a bachelor’s degree and earned his law degree there in 1970. He has been a practicing attorney in Asheville since 1971, and he serves on numerous community boards.

In her role as vice president of development for N.C. Citizens for Business and Industry, Wyche is in charge of fund-raising efforts, and membership recruitment and retention for the state’s chamber of commerce and manufacturers’ association. She also serves as staff person for NCCBI’s Small Business Advisory Board. She worked previously as marketing specialist and special projects coordinator in the N.C. Department of Commerce.

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Last modified: Friday, September 5, 2003
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