New Board Members 2017-2018

Beth BaldwinBeth Baldwin is active as Philanthropy Committee Chair of the Women’s Council of Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center Foundation, a member of the Emma Bahnson Service League, the Women’s Fund of Winston-Salem, and as a Community Representative on the Forsyth Tech Nursing Advisory Committee.


Scott CarpenterScott Carpenter is co-founder of Capture Public Relations & Marketing, based in Winston-Salem. A native of Shelby, N.C. and a graduate of Wake Forest University, Carpenter has served on the boards of several nonprofit organizations, including Crosby Scholars, the Children’s Museum of Winston-Salem, and the YMCA of Northwest North Carolina.


John CocklereeceJohn Cocklereece has been practicing law in Winston-Salem since 1979, and is currently a director of Bell Davis & Pitt, PA, where his practice is concentrated in business, tax, and estate planning/administration matters. Cocklereece is also a current member of the Forsyth Tech Community College Board of Trustees.


Charles CorpeningCharles Corpening is a Director for Alex Brown and previously was a trust officer with First Union and Planters National Bank. Corpening’s involvements include St Paul’s Episcopal Church, prior Assistant Scoutmaster for Boy Scout Troop 920, Ravenscroft School, Summit School, Wofford College, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Parents Council.


Edward GriggsEdward Griggs is a Partner on the Private Wealth Team at Womble Bond Dickinson. He is an Elder at First Presbyterian Church, Past President of the Winston-Salem Estate Planning Council, Past Chair of the Estate Planning & Fiduciary Law Section of the North Carolina Bar, Past Chair and Board Member of The Ronald McDonald House of Winston-Salem, Inc., and Member of the Major Gifts Committee of Samaritan Ministries.


Ginger SaltGinger Salt serves as Senior Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer at Piedmont Federal Savings Bank. Prior to joining Piedmont Federal, Salt served in senior marketing roles with First Community Bank, Truliant Federal Credit Union and BB&T. She is active in Crosby Scholars, Winston-Salem Street School, and Stratford Rotary.


Ken WalkerKen Walker is the Winston-Salem facility manager for Progress Rail, a subsidiary of Caterpillar. He is currently a board member of the Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce, Winston-Salem Business, Inc., and an active member of the Kernersville Chamber of Commerce.


Ann WattsAnn Watts is a long-term Forsyth Tech employee, who started as a teacher in the Early Childhood program in 1998 and served as the Director of Stokes County operations for Forsyth Tech from 2006 until her retirement in 2017. She currently serves as Board Chair for New Life Center Child Care of First Baptist Church-Walnut Cove and is a Board Member of the Stokes Partnership for Children.

Gisele Taylor Wells: Improving Design Education

Gisele Taylor Wells

Gisele Taylor Wells, program coordinator for Interior Design, received her National Council for Interior Design Qualification Certification (NCIDQ) in December 2017. The certification is the industry’s standard measure of proficiency in interior design principles and establishes a designer’s commitment to the profession.

Since 2008, Wells has been an instructor at Forsyth Tech, beginning as part time, then moving into the program coordinator and full-time instructor role. She holds her Bachelor of Science Degree in interior Architecture and her Master of Science Degree in Interior Architecture with a concentration in Historic Preservation, both from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

“Earning my certification will help me better prepare students on what design principles and knowledge are expected of excellent interior designers in today’s professional environments,” said Wells. “What is most fulfilling in my role is to find ways to improve design education for today’s students and help them understand they must be above average to succeed in this profession.”

Brent Martin: Stay Focused and Don’t Play Around

Brent Martin

Joining the Air Force had always been his dream. Yet, when he found out in 11th grade that he had diabetes, Brent Martin could not join the military. According to the American Diabetes Association, the military still severely restricts enlistment for people with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. But if you are already serving, you can seek to stay in.

“However, I’ve always liked electronics and machines, and was good at repairing things. So I decided to get my Associate in Electronics Engineering degree,” said Martin.

“In looking at schools, I didn’t want to go to a four year school and take on a lot of debt. So I chose to come to Forsyth Tech.”

His favorite instructor and advisor was Mr. David Rehder. “Mr. Rehder made sure we were registered for the right classes and we knew as much as we needed to know about what the environment will be like on the job.”

Brent has taken six classes every semester except this semester, when he only had three classes to complete. This schedule enabled him to complete his degree in two years while working part time on the weekends.

Through the 15 to Finish program, Forsyth Tech encourages those students who can to take 15 credit hours per semester to graduate on time.

When asked how he manages his schedule, Martin said, “I go to class every day and on time. I’m simply focused on school and don’t fool around.“

Martin didn’t need to join the military to learn discipline and determination.

John Moore: Finding His Purpose

John Moore

John Moore’s route to his current career wasn’t the straightest or most direct, but he feels it was the right one even when life threw him a major curve.

“I moved to Florida in 2009 to attend a motorcycle mechanics institute,” said John. “Two weeks before I was scheduled to start, I was hit head on by a John Moore: drunk driver while riding my motorcycle.” During his hospital stay, he decided Finding His Purpose nursing might be a good career choice. Once he returned to North Carolina, he attended the nursing program at Surry Community College. As a student nurse, he completed a rotation in the oncology unit at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

Thats when I realized, I am very tenderhearted and knew I couldn’t handle being in a hospital every day,” said Moore. “Seeing cancer patients really got to me.”

John reflected on his passion and discovered what he may have known all his life: he enjoyed working on cars.

“I was building hot rods as a kid, so I wish I had decided this earlier,” said Moore. “Once I made this decision, I knew I wanted to open my own shop.”

John completed his Associate in Applied Science in Automotive Systems Technology degree at Forsyth Tech and graduated with honors in May 2016.

In May 2017, John opened Nester’s Automotive in Yadkinvillle.

Together with his father helping out, John offers numerous auto services including mechanics, repairs, and detailing. They also sell used cars when they have the inventory.

“I enjoy giving people straightforward advice when their cars cannot be repaired or if it would be cheaper to buy another car,” said Moore.

He finds it amusing when people call and want him to diagnose problems with their car over the phone. Moore laughs and says, “without seeing the car, thats like telling them the weather outside in a room without windows.”

John’s belief is that honesty is the key to a lasting business, especially in mechanics and auto sales. “People won’t come back if they know you are not being truthful with them,“ said Moore. “I’m counting on repeat customers.”

Maria Colamrino: Creating Her Life’s Canvas

Maria Colamrino

Maria Colamarino is working on another chapter in her life and is illustrating it beautifully.

Having attended college, worked, married, and raised four children, she decided to finish her education at Forsyth Technical Community College and started in the fall of 2016.

“I wanted to set an example for my children by going back to school to get my general education classes and seek my career path,” said Colamarino. “It was challenging to learn with students in my classes who were my sons age.”

She was impressed how the Forsyth Tech instructors made the classes interesting and motivational. Colamarino has encouraged her daughter to attend Forsyth Tech, and her husband and brother-in-law are already enrolled here.

Early at Forsyth Tech, she expressed her interest in becoming an art teacher. Two of her instructors, Cecilia Wright and Jason Lancaster encouraged her to pursue her goals. Lancaster recommended that she join Arts for Art Sake, the community of artists in Winston-Salem, and start
showing her artwork. He also advised her to enter the student exhibit in the Robert L. Strickland Center. As it worked out, she was the only student who submitted work, so she had a solo show. When she saw her work exhibited, she cried.

“I was moved that people thought my work was good, and they had it displayed just like I would have done,” said Colamarino.

Upon graduating from Forsyth Tech in 2017, she now attends the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, focusing on art education. She also plans to take a monthlong art study abroad in Italy this summer.

Art lets you live in the present moment and helped me discover who I am,” said Colamarino. “I want to use my education and talent to share with children. Art can be a positive influence on everyone to share their talents.”