Hallema Sharif
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phone: 212.573.8494

Thurgood Marshall College Fund Recognizes Charlotte Leaders in Business,
Business, Health, Sports, and Arts & Culture


CHARLOTTE  (September 1, 2011) – Charlotte’s finest will fill the room on Thursday, October 6, 2011 at the Thurgood Marshall College Fund’s (TMCF’s) 8th Annual Awards of Excellence.

With Glenda G. Gabriel, senior vice president and neighborhood lending executive for Bank of America, serving as the Honorary Chair, the highly anticipated 8th Annual Awards of Excellence will be held at Founders Hall at the Bank of America Building, 100 North Tryon Street, Charlotte, North Carolina 28202. The event will feature a strolling supper and reception that will begin at 6:00 p.m., followed by an awards program at Booth Playhouse that will start at 7:15 p.m.

This event is part of TMCF’s regional Awards of Excellence program, which honors deserving individuals across the country. Honorees are chosen based on their proven leadership, community involvement, professional and civic excellence, as well as their contributions to education and diversity.

This year’s honorees include: Ophelia E. Garmon-Brown, M. D., vice president, Novant Health; Corie Pauling, Esq., associate general counsel, TIAA-CREF, Fred A. Whitfield, Esq., president & chief operating officer of Bobcats Sports & Entertainment, and Emily Zimmern, president & CEO, The Levin Museum of The New South.

“At the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, we accept the critical charge to lead the production of our nation’s next leaders. To date, we have invested more than $100 million in scholarships, programmatic and capacity support and leadership development to the public Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) we serve. The lion’s share of the student population that attends public HBCUs relies on financial support to pursue a degree, and we graciously salute our very deserving 2011 honorees, along with our partners, who continue to serve them,” says Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., TMCF President & CEO.

The 8th Annual Charlotte Awards of Excellence is the fourth of five regional events that will take place in 2011. The New Jersey “Awards of Excellence” event was held in the Greater Newark area in March; the First Annual Distinguished Young Leader Awards took place in Miami, in May;  the First Annual Awards of Excellence was held in Chicago in July and the final event of the year will be held in Los Angeles in November. For sponsorship opportunities and ticket information, please contact: Mary V. Jones: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call 201-227-8427.

2011 Honorees

Ophelia E. Garmon-Brown, M. D., Vice president, Novant Health
As a board-certified family practitioner and Vice President of Community Partnerships with Novant Health, Dr. Garmon-Brown has touched the lives of thousands of patients from Charlotte, her home for the past 28 years, to distant countries around the world in her work as a medical missionary. She is a graduate of TMCF member-school, North Carolina Central University, and UNC Chapel Hill School of Medicine. 

Corie Pauling, Esq., Associate General Counsel, TIAA-CREF
Corie Pauling is associate general counsel at Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association (“TIAA-CREF”) in the Advocacy and Oversight area. Ms Pauling provides counseling, training, risk assessment and other support to TIAA-CREF’s Human Resources leaders and business managers on a broad range of employment and labor law issues, and she manages employment litigation nationally for the organization. Ms. Pauling also serves as ethics and professionalism counsel for TIAA’s Law and Compliance area.

Fred A. Whitfield, Esq., President & Chief Operating Officer of Bobcats Sports & Entertainment
A talented sports executive with experience as a player, coach, agent, sports marketer and basketball operations administrator, Fred Whitfield was named president and chief operating officer of Bobcats Sports & Entertainment in July of 2006. In this role, Whitfield oversees all business operations for the Charlotte Bobcats and Time Warner Cable Arena. Whitfield earned a Juris Doctorate degree from    TMCF member-school, North Carolina Central University School of Law, where he served as Student Bar Association president.

Emily Zimmern, President & CEO, The Levin Museum of The New South.

Director of Levine Museum of the New South, Emily Zimmern has served to resounding accolades since 1995. Under her leadership, the museum has received numerous honors, including the National Award for Museum Service from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Excellence in Exhibition Award from the American Association of Museums and the Award of Merit from the American Association for State and Local History. The Museum’s COURAGE exhibit about the landmark Brown school desegregation case toured nationally and a smaller version traveled in South Africa.


The Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), named for the U.S. Supreme Court's first African-American Justice, was established in 1987. TMCF supports and represents nearly 300,000 students attending our 47 member-schools, which include public Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs). TMCF’s work is critical to guaranteeing our country a robust and diverse pipeline of talented workers and future leaders. TMCF achieves its vision of Changing the World . . . One Leader at a Time by focusing on three areas: Scholarships, Capacity Building and Programmatic Support, and Public Policy & Advocacy.