WakeUP Wake County Staff



Karen Rindge, Executive Director          

Email: karen@wakeupwakecounty.orgTel: 919.828.3833

Karen has worked with WakeUP since its inception in 2006.  She spent 10 years in Washington DC working in non-profit advocacy and grassroots organizing and as a legislative aide to NC Congressman James McClure Clarke. She is a graduate of UNC-CH and the University of Zimbabwe. Mother of two, she volunteers in their Wake County schools.




Jennifer Dean, Grassroots and Membership Coordinator

Email:, Tel: 812.584.8151


Jennifer Dean started working for WakeUP in February of 2014.  She graduated from UNC Wilmington, where she studied Marine Biology, and she recently got her Master’s degree in Marine Affairs and Policy from the University of Miami in Florida.  Passionate about sustainability, Jennifer finds connecting with community members to be one of the most rewarding parts of working in Wake County.



Patty Williams, Program Coordinator, Great Schools in Wake          


Patty has lived in Wake County for almost 20 years and has long been an education activist.  She’s been with Great Schools in Wake since the beginning (November 2009).  Prior to joining GSIW, Patty spent 20+ years in marketing communications.  She is a graduate of Amherst College and holds a Masters degree in Public and Private Management from Yale University.


Board of Directors


Executive Committee:


Daniel Kadis Chair


President, Centrex Properties, Inc.; Partner, CommunitySmith, LLC; Board of Directors, Triangle Land Conservancy

Margaret Newbold, Vice-Chair

Associate Director, Conservation Trust for North Carolina

Karen Kemerait, Secretary 

Attorney, Styers, Kemerait & Mitchell; zoning, utility and land use law

Anne-Lise Knox Velez, C0-Treasurer 


NCSU Graduate Student, Public Administration

Tom Rhodes, Co-Treasurer


Chaplin Rex Hospital; former Minister, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Raleigh

Corey Branch

Manager for a network engineering team, AT&T; Member, Raleigh Transit Authority board

Beverley Clark

Mediator in Wake County; former SE Regional Attorney for The Nature Conservancy; former member Wake County Board of Education

Tayon Dancy

Product Development Team Lead, IBM; Owner, Give Life Family Care

Karen Kemerait

Attorney, Styers, Kemerait & Mitchell; zoning, utility and land use law

Frank Harmon

Principle, Frank Harmon Architect PA; LEED AP green architecture firm

Julia Lee

Public affairs and marketing consultant; former Director in the Office of the Governor; Wake County Guardian ad Litem

Ashton Mae Smith

Associate Project Manager  - SaaS Division, Citrix; Member, Raleigh City Museum board

Nilesh Surti

Civil Engineer, NCDOT; Chair, SEANC Council; Garner Concerned Citizens

Al Swanstrom

Retired IBM business executive; former member Wake County Planning Commission




Board of Advisors


Cynthia Ball

Tom Bradshaw

Norm Camp

Larry Dickens

Abeni El-Amin

Greg Flynn

Anne S. Franklin

Greg Hatem

Bill Holman

Robin Hammond

Matty Lazo-Chadderton

Brent Laurenz

Don Mial

Paul Morris

Susan Parry

Phil Poe

John Shaw

Anna Stein

Nina Szlosberg

Susann Wigger