2021 Forum Speakers

2021 Shelton Leadership Forum Speakers & Panelists

About Our Speakers


Photograph of Arvind Krishna

Arvind Krishna is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of IBM. As a business leader and technologist, he has led the building and expansion of new markets for IBM in artificial intelligence, cloud, quantum computing, and blockchain. He has also played a significant role in the development of innovative IBM products and solutions based on these emerging technologies.

Over his 30-year career at IBM, Arvind led a series of bold transformations and delivered proven business results. He most recently drove the successful $34 billion acquisition of Red Hat – the largest software acquisition – that has defined the hybrid cloud market. Together, IBM and Red Hat give clients the unique ability to build mission-critical applications once and run them anywhere.

At IBM, Arvind has been an outspoken advocate for learning at every stage of one’s career. He has made scientific contributions in a number of technical fields, including wireless networking, security, systems, and databases. In addition, he founded IBM’s security software business and helped create the world’s first commercial wireless system.

Arvind has an undergraduate degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur (IITK) and a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is the recipient of distinguished alumni awards from both institutions.

Photo of Cynthia "Cynt" Marshall

Cynthia “Cynt” Marshall has been a dynamic force for inclusion and diversity within the Mavericks organization and over a 36-year career at AT&T.  When Cynt was hired as the CEO, her vision was for the Mavericks organization to become the NBA standard for inclusion and diversity. She brought a 100 day plan, transparency, trust and her values-based leadership style that evolved the company culture.

Prior to her joining the Mavs, Cynt founded Marshalling Resources, a consulting firm specializing in Leadership, Diversity & Inclusion, Culture Transformation and overall optimization of people resources. Upon the company naming its first Chief Inclusion Officer in June 2017, Cynt worked with The Dow Chemical Company to develop and implement a strategy for institutionalizing an inclusive culture.

Cynt’s notoriety began many years ago as a young Officer at AT&T and grew exponentially when she served as Senior Vice President – Human Resources & Chief Diversity Officer at AT&T.  Cynt led the team that created a world class Diversity and Inclusion culture, landing AT&T in the top 3 on Diversity Inc’s 2017 Top 50 list of companies.  She also spearheaded the work that for the first time placed AT&T on Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list in 2017, one of only two Fortune 50 companies. 

Widely recognized for her visionary leadership and ability to get things done Cynt is the recipient of several honors and awards. Most recently, Cynt received the 2020 Girl Scouts of America Lifetime Achievement award and was touted as one of Adweek’s 30 Most Powerful Women in Sports. In 2019, Cynt was honored with the Women of Power Legacy Award by Black Enterprise and was the recipient of the National ATHENA® Leadership Program Award

Cynt graduated from the University of California-Berkeley with degrees in Business Administration and Human Resources Management and holds four honorary Doctorate degrees. She has chaired a variety of non-profit boards and is currently on the board of Dallas CASA, Dallas Regional Chamber, Texas Women’s Foundation, Texas 2036, T.D. Jakes Foundation, and a member of the Executive Leadership Council (ELC). She is also on the Board of Directors of BGSF Staffing and Blinktbi, Inc.

Photograph of Eduardo Briceño

Eduardo Briceño is the Co-Founder & CEO of Mindset Works, which was the first company to provide growth mindset development services and programs.  Since he co-founded it in 2007 with Carol Dweck, Lisa Blackwell, and others, Mindset Works has served and influenced thousands of organizations in their advancement of learning-oriented cultures and systems.

Eduardo is a frequent keynote speaker and regularly facilitates workshops for professionals and executives.  His TED talks on growth mindset and improvement have been viewed by millions.  He is a Pahara-Aspen Fellow, a member of the Aspen Institute’s Global Leadership Network, and an inductee in the Happiness Hall of Fame.  He has been featured and quoted in prominent media and in the documentaries The Process and Rise: Voice of a New Generation.

Prior to Mindset Works, Eduardo was a Principal at the Sprout Group, a venture capital firm in Silicon Valley, where he was part of the technology investment team and served on several for-profit and non-profit boards.  Before that he was an investment banking analyst with Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette.

Eduardo grew up in Caracas, Venezuela.  He holds bachelor’s degrees in economics and engineering from the University of Pennsylvania, as well as an MBA and M.A. in education from Stanford University.  Most importantly, he continues to enjoy lifelong learning every day.

About our Panelists


Thomas Stith III became president of the North Carolina Community College System on Jan. 11, 2021. Stith, an accomplished leader with experience in public service and business in North Carolina, was previously district director of the U.S. Small Business Administration, where he led the federal agency’s response to COVID-19 in North Carolina.

He served as chief of staff to former Gov. Pat McCrory from 2013 to 2017 and was a three-term city council member in Durham from 1999 to 2007. During his time in the Governor’s Office, he led special initiatives including the establishment of the Venture Capital Multiplier Fund (a $60 million venture fund), the Governor’s initiative on historically black colleges and universities and Hurricane Matthew recovery.
Stith has extensive experience in both public and private sector executive roles. His higher education experience includes five years as economic development program director at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise at the Kenan-Flagler Business School, from 2008 to 2013. There he focused on improving Eastern North Carolina economies, securing grant funds and managing renewable energy projects.

Stith holds a bachelor’s degree in management and a Master of Business Administration in marketing from North Carolina Central University, as well as a certificate in nonprofit management from Duke University.


He has served on the boards of the Golden LEAF Foundation, the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise, the North Carolina Institute of Political Leadership and the United Way of the Greater Triangle. He is a member of the North Carolina Leadership Forum and a deacon at Union Baptist Church.
He and his wife Yolanda have three daughters – Kara, Kiah, and Kira.

Since her first days as a classroom teacher, Catherine Truitt’s priority has been students. Ensuring that students have an opportunity to receive the best education possible is the driving force in her day-to-day work. She recognizes that today’s students are tomorrow’s workforce and remains committed to readying graduates for college or career. As North Carolina state superintendent, Truitt’s work is focused on improving the state’s public schools, expanding innovation, and creating new opportunities for students to learn, grow, and successfully transition into the post-secondary plans of their choice.

In 2012, Truitt joined the International Center for Leadership in Education, where she worked as a school turnaround coach with underperforming school districts. She collaborated with principals and superintendents to craft plans to close achievement gaps while developing whole-district transformation initiatives. Truitt also served as a coach for teachers in kindergarten through 12th grade, helping them develop strategies to foster student engagement and cultivate learning.


In 2015, Truitt was given the opportunity to apply her experience as a teacher and coach to help shape education policy in North Carolina when Gov. Pat McCrory appointed her as his senior education advisor. In the Governor’s Office, she coordinated policy for all dimensions of public education and helped lead the development of strategic state education policy goals for ages 0-20.

Most recently, Truitt served as chancellor of non-profit Western Governors University North Carolina (WGU NC). As chancellor, she focused on increasing access to higher education for the 1.5 million North Carolinians with some college but no degree. Truitt collaborated with community colleges, hospitals, school districts and economic development groups to ensure that state workforce demands were being met. Prior to joining WGU NC, Truitt served as Associate Vice President of University and P-12 Partnerships at UNC General Administration, helping strengthen the educator pipeline and supporting public colleges of education.

Truitt is a 1994 graduate of the University of Maryland with a Bachelor of Arts in English. She received her master’s in education from the University of Washington in 1997. She and her husband, Jeff, an attorney and captain in the U.S. Navy Reserves, live in Cary. They have one daughter in college and a son and daughter enrolled in Wake County public schools.

Dr. A. Hope Williams is in her 29th year as president of North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (NCICU), the state office of the 36 private, nonprofit colleges and universities in North Carolina. She works closely with the State of North Carolina and the federal government, and with the North Carolina public K-12 and higher education sectors to address education and related public policy and funding issues. In addition, she oversees fundraising for scholarships and grants and the development of collaborative programs for the benefit of NCICU campuses. She joined NCICU in 1986 and has served as president since 1992.

Dr. Williams received her undergraduate degree from Duke University, an MPA from North Carolina State University and a Ph.D. in Education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is a member of the Governor’s Cabinet and was named a 2017 CEO of the Year by the Triangle Business Journal. She chairs the boards of MCNC and the North Carolina Aquarium Society and serves on the boards of the National Student Clearinghouse Research Board and the National Student Clearinghouse Board, College Foundation, Inc., the National Advisory Board of the Institute for Emerging Issues, the NCWorks Commission, the myFutureNC Commission and Communities in Schools of North Carolina.

Session Moderators


Dr. Randy Woodson became North Carolina State University’s 14th chancellor in April 2010. Woodson leads the largest university in North Carolina, with more than 34,000 students and a $1.5 billion budget. Under his leadership, the university created and implemented The Pathway to the Future strategic plan that has elevated NC State’s recognition among the nation’s top public research universities.

NC State has become a lead university for two NSF Engineering Research Centers, one Manufacturing USA institute and partner on six others, and expanded to more than 75 industry and government partnerships on its nationally recognized Centennial Campus. NC State has also garnered national and international recognition for its faculty and student scholarship.

NC State launched the Think and Do the Extraordinary Campaign to raise $1.6 billion for scholarships, research, programs and facilities, propelling the university to even greater heights. Leading by example to tackle the world’s grand challenges, Woodson also chairs the APLU Commission of Global Food Security and serves on the US Council of Competitiveness Executive Committee.

A nationally recognized scholar and academic leader, Chancellor Woodson came to NC State having most recently served as provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs at Purdue University. An internationally-renowned plant molecular biologist specializing in reproductive processes in agricultural crops, he earned his undergraduate degree in horticulture from the University of Arkansas and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in plant physiology from Cornell University.

Under his leadership, NC State has become a pre-eminent research enterprise known for solving real-world challenges – a true Think and Do university. Woodson’s strategic vision has enabled the university to advance in areas of student success, innovative research, and collaborative partnerships. This has resulted in students ready to solve real-world challenges, public-private partnerships that transform ideas into solutions, and a creative, engaging center of learning and exploration for all.

True to its land-grant heritage, NC State creates economic, societal and intellectual prosperity for the people of North Carolina and the country — with increasing momentum under Woodson’s direction.

Leslie Boney is the Vice Provost for Outreach and Engagement and the Director of the Institute for Emerging Issues at NC State. In his capacity as Vice Provost, he looks for ways to connect the resources of NC State – its faculty, staff and students – with the community, the state and the world to solve real challenges. At the Institute for Emerging Issues, he leads a team focused on identifying public policy issues facing the state and convening coalitions across the state to address them, with a goal of helping the state achieve a “vibrant and economically competitive tomorrow.”


Prior to joining NC State, he served at UNC General Administration under three presidents over 10 years as Vice President for International, Community and Economic Engagement, working with the 17 UNC campuses to expand their capacity to connect to respond to the needs of their communities.


In a career that includes time in the public, private and nonprofit sectors, he has worked closely with K-12, community college and university systems. While serving in the NC Department of Commerce and Governor’s Office, Leslie led statewide efforts to redesign rural development policy, increase volunteerism and reform welfare. At the nonprofit MDC, he managed a two-state effort to help rural communities recover from manufacturing job loss. He has written extensively about rural economic development, workforce development and innovation policy.

Leslie is a North Carolina native. After graduating from Amherst College, he worked as a high school teacher and reporter. He currently serves on the boards of the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina and the North Carolina Rural Economic Development Center. He lives in Raleigh with his wife, Ret, and their twins.

Laura Bingham is an inveterate builder of people and organizations, and a well-versed advocate for investors and board governance best practices. She champions multi-generational, inclusive perspectives and high-EQ leadership. Her passion for leadership development and for fiduciary stewardship resonate throughout her career.

While a partner with Newport LLC, she recently guided the Shelton Leadership Center and Board of Advisors through a stakeholder-centric review of SLC programs, framing strategic priorities for deepening SLC ties at NC State and enhancing and endowing programs for the students and youth at the core of our mission.

Currently, Laura serves as an independent director of Sterling Capital Funds, a SEC-registered mutual fund trust of twenty funds advised by a subsidiary of Truist Financial (NYSE:TFC). She also represents investors on advisory boards for Glen Lennox LLC real estate development and uMETHOD Health, an AI precision medicine CDSS platform.

Laura served as President of Peace College for twelve years, Vice-President of Hollins University, and president of a legacy health care foundation. She held visible roles as a strategist and negotiator of major policy initiatives early in her career, and contributed to the work of dozens of complex nonprofit organizations, including as chair of Leadership North Carolina, and for PBS North Carolina, Duke Raleigh Health, Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust and the NC JOBS Commission.

Laura holds degrees from Peace College (AA), UNC-Chapel Hill (AB), and Indiana University (MA). She is published in Philanthropy in America: A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia and was awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine and the Triangle Business Journal’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Dr. Warwick Arden is North Carolina State University’s executive vice chancellor
and provost and has been in the position since December 2010. From July 2014 to February 2015, Arden concurrently served as interim senior vice president for the University of North Carolina system, comprised of 17 campuses serving more than 220,000 students. Previously, Arden served as interim provost since 2009, and as dean of NC State’s College of Veterinary Medicine from 2004 to 2009.

As provost, he is NC State’s chief academic officer, reports to the chancellor, and collaborates with vice provosts, executive officers, college deans and others in the administration of all academic and student affairs. He has led numerous key campus initiatives, including the development and implementation of “The Pathway to the Future: NC State’s 2011-2020 Strategic Plan,” along with the university’s recent reaffirmation of accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Arden received a Bachelor of Science in veterinary sciences (DVM equivalent) and a diploma of veterinary clinical studies from the University of Sydney, Australia; a Master of Science in physiology from Michigan State University; and a Ph.D. in physiology and biophysics from the University of Kentucky.

He has extensive experience in veterinary surgery, having served as department head and professor for the Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; associate professor of surgery and physiology and director of the Surgical Research Program at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine; and as assistant professor of surgery at both the University of Kentucky College of Medicine and Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Arden has led a National Institutes of Health-funded vascular biology research program and has published more than 100 scientific articles, abstracts and book chapters. He has given approximately 60 scientific and invited presentations and has been a visiting professor at nine institutes. Arden has also maintained an active interest in educational research. He is a member of several professional veterinary organizations and served as president of the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges

Master of Ceremonies


Allin Foulkrod developed his love of event management at an early age. By the time he was a teen, he had already presented at hundreds of live and televised events as the President of DECA, a national student marketing and entrepreneurship group with 180,000 members. Allin learned what worked in events–and, more importantly, what didn’t. In the process, he developed a keen desire to make a difference whenever and wherever audiences gather. In 1989, Allin launched Creative Visions from his NC State dorm room, and under his direction, it has grown into an award-winning strategic event solution provider. He continues in his role as President and visionary leader of the company, and provides the fuel for innovation, growth, extraordinary client satisfaction and retention. Business success for Allin relies on a commitment to learning quickly and helping others succeed. These tenets have provided him with the knowledge and experience to invest successfully in the growth of his team members and the industry in general. Allin is a sought-after industry expert, having served as instructor at Duke University and presented at numerous industry events.  He has also operated programs in more than 15 countries, earned the professional designation of CSEP (Certified Special Event Producer), and received multiple International Live Event Association (formerly ISES) Esprit and regional awards. A dedicated husband and father of three, Allin currently serves on several non-profit boards, including a college with 70,000 students and an equine ranch that provides healing for hurting children and their families. He has a BA in Communications from North Carolina State University and a self-designated Doctorate of Hard Knocks.