Mr. James (Jim) Secunda graduated from Farleigh Dickinson University in 1975 with a degree in business and marketing. He then received his Master’s degree in 1976 from the American Graduate School of International Management (Thunderbird) in 1976. He began working for the INA Corporation in Philadelphia in 1977. In 1979 he started his first company, American Rehabilitation Inc., which he later sold in 2008. Jim then co-founded two additional companies, CompSource Inc. in 1993 and Synergy Coverage Solutions Inc. in 2005. In addition to his extensive business experience, Jim also generously gives of his time serving as a board member for both schools and non-profit organizations. Jim has served on the boards of: Stony Brook Prep School, Charlotte Pregnancy Center, Community Health Services, Boy Scouts of America (Special Needs Board Member) and The Epiphany School of Charlotte. In addition, he currently serves on the board of Charlotte Christian School.
Ms. Dale Halton graduated from Myers Park High School and attended Agnes Scott College in Georgia. After two years she returned home to marry and start her family. In 1970 she began working for the family business, Pepsi-Cola Bottling Co. of Charlotte, managing the company’s advertising. Although many good people worked at the company the business was struggling, and in 1981 she was made President of the Pepsi-Cola Bottling Co. of Charlotte. She began successfully running the company and gradually turned it around to again become profitable. She created a charitable foundation that gave 10% of the company’s profits to charity each year. Notable recipients include UNCC Charlotte and the NC Dance Theatre. “The more you have, the more responsibility you have to give to others,” Halton says. “I think it’s important to help folks who don’t have what I have. I wish I could do more. It’s fun.” Because Dale successfully faced many obstacles working in business at a time when it was difficult for women to do so, she continues to always root for those that face challenges. She is a strong supporter of children with learning differences and Asperger’s/autism spectrum disorder, and is thrilled to be able to support schools that help the students reach their potential.
Ms. Sarah McAulay is a native of Huntersville, a graduate of North Mecklenburg High School and UNC at Greensboro with a degree in Economics. Professionally, her business career started at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond in Richmond, VA in the economic research area. She then returned to Huntersville to work 33 years in Charlotte with NationsBank/Bank of America retiring as a Vice President in the technology area. She is a member of the Huntersville Associated Reform Presbyterian Church. Sarah appreciates the privilege of serving the Town of Huntersville citizens for 5 terms as Mayor and later with 7 terms as Town Commissioner. She is active in civic organizations especially promoting historical preservation at Latta Plantation, Historic Rural Hill, and other sites and events in the region. Sarah served as chairperson of the non-profits Centralina Foundation and Voluntary Transportation Services both within the Centralina Council of Governments (CCOG). Her established political and personal goal of working to develop and promote the best livable community life for families, neighbors and businesses motivates her leadership actions in Huntersville and the region. In 2015 she was awarded the prestigious Long Leaf Pine Award, presented to her by the Governor of North Carolina. The Order of the Long Leaf Pine is awarded to individuals who have a proven record of extraordinary service to the State.
Mrs. Lauren Nicholson’s extensive financial work experience and her specialization in the areas of non-profits and education has made her a great fit to serve as Treasurer on the Board of Directors. Lauren has a strong connection to the Foundation’s mission to provide schools for children with autism or learning differences and she is a dedicated member of our Board. Lauren holds Bachelor of Science degree in Finance, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in French from West Virginia University. Beginning her career with Bank of America in California as a Credit Product Analyst and Credit Development Program Manager, she then served as a Portfolio Manager II (Healthcare and Non-Profit) in Atlanta and Charlotte, and Sr. Vice President (SVP) Senior Credits Product Officer. Since 2017 Lauren has served as SVP-Sr. Relationship Manager for Healthcare, Education, and Not-for-Profit for Bank of America in Charlotte.