Betsy Chew Bodien, Chair
Associate General Counsel, Bank of America
Betsy Bodien joined Bank of America in 2005. She provides enterprise-wide legal advice and subject matter expertise on U.S. bank regulatory matters. Betsy graduated from the University of Connecticut School of Law Betsy is actively involved with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and helps coordinate Bank of America’s participation with the Annual Light the Night Walk. She is a past Board Member of the Girl Scouts Hornets’ Nest Council and continues to volunteer with the Scholarship Committee. She is a graduate of Leadership Charlotte – Class XXIV. Betsy moved to Charlotte in 2000 and now enjoys cycling and running Charlotte’s greenways with her husband and son. She is committed to working towards a sustainable Charlotte for all of its residents.
James Cass, Vice-Chair
Corporate Lawyer, Robinson Bradshaw & Hinson
James Cass is a corporate lawyer at Robinson Bradshaw & Hinson, where he primarily represents financial institutions and companies in a wide variety of financing and capitalization transactions. He was born and raised in Connecticut, later graduating from the University of Connecticut in 2006 with degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mathematics and from the University of Virginia School of Law in 2009 with his J.D. James has been excited to witness the development and growth of Charlotte since moving here in 2009 and is dedicated to ensuring that it continues in a sustainable and people-focused way.
Keith Alyea, Vice-Chair
COO of Commodities, Sales, and Trading, Wells Fargo
Keith Alyea moved to Charlotte 14 years ago after spending childhood, college, and early professional years in the New York and Philadelphia areas. A graduate of Drexel University, Keith worked in electric power at Accenture before becoming a partner at Market Reform, a small consulting firm that provides services related to energy markets. Market Reform’s clients include companies located in Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, and Charlotte. More recently, Keith became COO of Commodities, Sales, and Trading at Wells Fargo. Keith is an active member of the Charlotte community, having been a sponsoring member of the Charlotte Farewell To Summer committee for six years, which hosts an annual event to raise funds for regional LGBT organizations. He also has served as co-chair for corporate sponsors for the Human Rights Campaign Charlotte Gala Dinner, a fundraiser for LGBT rights advocacy. Keith was also a participant in Charlotte’s Dancing with the Stars for the Charlotte Pink House in 2017, helping raise funds to provided services for women battling breast cancer.
Philip Otienoburu, Vice-Chair
Director of Food Systems Finance, Self-Help Credit Union & Ventures Fund
Philip Otienoburu is Director of Food Systems Finance at Self-Help Credit Union & Ventures Fund. Prior to joining the organization, he was tenured Associate Professor of Biology and Sustainability at Johnson C. Smith University and Director of the Center for Renewable Energy and Sustainability. His current work involves developing a strategy for financing sustainable and equitable food systems through investments in low-income communities. Philip enjoys traveling with his family, playing soccer, and cycling when he is not attending class at Kenan-Flagler business school.
Becca Smith, Secretary
Deputy General Counsel, Sunrun Inc.
Becca Smith is the Deputy General Counsel at Sunrun Inc., the nation's largest residential solar and storage company, where she focuses her legal work on renewable energy and disruptive products. She graduated from the University of Florida (B.S., M.A., and J.D.) and remains very active with her alumni association. She moved to South Charlotte nearly three years ago by way of Washington, D.C., and loves spending time on the tennis court, cheering for her two children on the soccer field, or enjoying the outdoors with her family at Anne Springs Close Greenway. Becca is excited to use her background to support Charlotte's sustainable and equitable growth.
Bill G. Staton, MBA, CFA®
Senior Director & Chief Optimist, Novare Capital Management
Bill graduated from UNC’s Kenan-Flagler School in 1969 with a BS in Business Administration. From there, he earned an MBA in Finance from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1971. After touring Europe by car for 12 weeks upon graduation, he joined Interstate Securities Corp. in Charlotte as a securities analyst. In his 14-years+ career he became Director of Research, Senior Vice-President, and a director of the firm.
On leaving in 1985, he launched Staton’s Stock Market Advisory and in 2001 began managing money through Staton Investment Management. The firm continued to grow as they merged into Novare Capital Management in 2017 and he became a partner.
Since moving to Charlotte, he has been or is now involved in various organizations as a volunteer, fundraiser, or board member. These include Opera Carolina, Boy Scouts, Catawba Lands Conservancy, United Way, Arts & Science Council, and Myers Park Methodist Church. He has taught investing at Charlotte Country Day School since 1986 and at Mecklenburg County Jail for six years, plus numerous schools across the county. He especially enjoys interacting with young people and helping them become proficient with their money.
CEO, O2 Group Ventures
Olee Joel Olsen is the CEO of O2 Group Ventures as well as the founder of O2 emc and O2 energies, which are headquartered in Cornelius, North Carolina. O2 Group Ventures is the holding company for subsidiaries that design, develop, procure, and operate clean energy installations across the Southeast. Its subsidiaries have raised more than $400 million in project financing since 2009. As a native Charlottean that is fluent in Norwegian and Japanese, Joel brings both a local and international perspective to the organizations he serves. In addition to his service on the Sustain Charlotte Board, Joel has served on the executive committee of the North Carolina Clean Energy Business Alliance, the Z. Smith Reynolds Community Leadership Council, the US Norway Fulbright Foundation, and as a board member of the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association. Joel is a recipient of the Charlotte Business Journal Energy Leadership Award, and the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association Business Innovation Award.
Director of Finance and Administration at Loaves & Fishes/Friendship Trays, Inc.
Director of Finance and Administration at Loaves & Fishes/Friendship Trays, Inc., where she leads people across accounting, human resources, administration, and IT functions. Prior to joining the organization, she was the Accounting Manager at Habitat for Humanity of the Charlotte Region and spent several years in public accounting. Jolaine attended Queens University for her undergraduate studies and recently earned her Master of Business Administration from The Fuqua School of Business at Duke University. She is also a member of the Queen City Rotary Club.
Vice President Program Manager, Bank of America
Joni joined Bank of America in 2009. Currently, she is a Program Manager in Global Risk where she supports program strategy and implementation in risk management. In addition to her role, she’s a career development mentor and serves on the Global Risk Management Employee Engagement, Development and Inclusion Council. Joni was raised in Augusta Georgia and earned a BA in Political Science from Hampton University 2003. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, running and kickboxing.
Vice President and Commercial Market Manager, Carter Bank & Trust
Michael Gander is a Vice President and Commercial Market Manager with Carter Bank & Trust, a regional community bank with local operations on Morehead Street, where he specializes in commercial real estate lending. Michael is passionate about facilitating smart growth for the greater Charlotte region. He is a proud graduate of Appalachian State University with a degree in finance and banking. Michael enjoys spending his free time with his twin boys, Landon and Jackson, and his wife Tara. Michael’s motto is "Try to be a positive influence every day in what you do."
Project Management Consultant, Wells Fargo
Niketa works in the area of Business Process management and holds a masters degree in international business. She has been a resident of Charlotte for the past 20 years. She is a very well-connected social activist and is deeply involved with various non-profit organizations. She is a driven leader with a passion for community engagement. Niketa currently serves on several boards: Young professionals at the International House; Charlotte International Cabinet; Framework for Future; International Women's Day Committee; and Festival of India. Niketa is married to a wonderful husband, Manish, and blessed with two beautiful daughters, Nandini and Megha, ages 16 and 13.
VP and CMO, Go-Station
Portfolio Strategy Manager, Agoro Carbon Alliance
Brett is an Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UNC Charlotte and Assistant Dean of Inclusive Excellence for the College of Engineering. His research is related to the development and performance evaluation of concrete and masonry construction materials, particularly from the standpoint of sustainability. This includes incorporating natural and recycled materials, improving durability, safety, and understanding the lifecycle of products from cradle to cradle. He teaches courses in concrete materials, reinforced concrete design, sustainable design and green building. Brett and his wife, Tina, enjoy urban homesteading in beautiful West Charlotte.