NBHS Board of Directors & Staff Bios
Joe Hunt, President
Joe was raised in Greensboro, NC with short moves to Burlington, Durham, and Winston Salem before moving back to Greensboro for most of his adult life. Joe is a retired electrical engineer and has undergraduate and PhD degrees from Duke University and a masters degree from North Carolina State University, all in electrical engineering. He worked for AT&T for 25 years and then started a Computer Service company in Greensboro and worked there for 20 years. He and Annette, his wife of more than 60 years, moved here in 2003. They consider New Bern to be a hidden jewel of North Carolina. Since moving here Joe devotes his time to Centenary United Methodist Church, the New Bern Historical Society, and the New Bern Farmers Market. Joe leads all Historical Society campus maintenance and preservation efforts and helps with the Earth Angels in the garden.
Kathy Morrison, First Vice-President
Kathy Morrison is originally from California and moved to the East Coast with the Air Force after college. Following an Air Force stint, Kathy spent 15 years as a teacher and administrator in Virginia, Maryland, and New Bern, and another 15 years as a small business owner on the Outer Banks. She and her husband Jim moved to New Bern about 15 years ago. Kathy is the Historical Society's 100th Anniversary Committee Chair and the Marketing and Publicity Chair. She also gives her time volunteering for various other organizations including North Carolina History Theater.
Egon Lippert, Second Vice-President
After more than four years in the US Air Force, Egon was discharged as a highly trained electronic technician qualified for a job at IBM. That job progressed from entry level to various levels of management in multiple divisions that lasted for thirty years. Along the way, he received a BS in Business Administration. Looking for a place to retire, a friend suggested New Bern. After several visits he liked what he saw and settled in River Bend in 1998. A few years later another friend mentioned that there was an opening at the Historical Society to do outside maintenance. After a short interview with the current director he was "hired" and spent the next several years mowing, weeding and battling briars. Egon is a member of the Salvation Army Advisory Board and New Bern Noontime Rotary, and serves as chairman of the River Bend Planning Board. When the opportunity arose to become more actively involved with the New Bern Historical Society by joining the Board of Directors, Egon very gladly accepted the honor. He continues to be impressed by and proud of what the membership has done to maintain our precious heritage.
Chris Kelso, Secretary
Chris is the son of a USMC lieutenant colonel. His family arrived in New Bern two days after Hurricane Hazel and never left. Growing up on the south side of the Neuse River near the location of Fort Lane he has had a lifelong interest in the cultural and economic histories of New Bern and surrounding areas. He is married to the former Patricia Menius, a lifetime New Bernian, and they are the parents of three adult children. A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in Economics (BA with Honors) and a member of the Phi Beta Kappa fraternity, he started his insurance career in 1981 after serving as a commissioned officer in the US Navy as a carrier-based Naval Aviator. After joining the family-owned insurance business, he was designated a Certified Insurance Counselor in 1983. In 1998 he merged his agency with The Insurance Center where he served as the senior insurance advisor before retiring in 2018. Chris has participated in many Historical Society activities including two roles as a Ghostwalk spirit.
Jim Morrison, Treasurer
Born in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, Jim Morrison graduated from Lehigh University, BS and MBA. He was in the Air Force for 4 years prior to joining a predecessor of what is now Bank of America in Richmond, Virginia. After 20 years there and in the Washington, DC area as a Senior Vice President & Division Executive, Operations and Technology, he left the bank and moved to the Outer Banks in 1993. There he volunteered for a number of civic and charitable organizations until moving to New Bern in 2004. In New Bern he has been active in civic organizations and charities as well, volunteering with the Historical Society and acting as co-chair of our Investment in History Campaign. He serves on the board of the Farmers Market and is a commissioner on the New Bern Historic Preservation Commission.
James M. Hodges, Curator (email@example.com)
Reared in New Bern, Jim matriculated to University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill earning an undergraduate degree in chemistry and a post graduate dental degree. After satisfying a military commitment and enjoying several years of international travel, Jim returned to New Bern and practiced dentistry until his retirement in 2012. His current life chapter involves his passion for New Bern and its rich history as a member of the Historical Society and the Tryon Palace Foundation Board of Directors. He is thankful to be in a committed relationship with his significant other Cindy. He has a genuine love for dogs, and enjoys good food, especially oysters and chicken salad.
Claudia Houston, Historian (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Claudia Houston was born and raised in New York. She met her husband of 45 years, Bill Houston, at the State University of New Paltz where she received a degree in history and elementary education. Claudia worked in child welfare for over 33 years while employed by her local County Department of Social Services. She also received a Masters Degree in Public Administration from Pace University. Claudia loves history, genealogy, traveling and scrapbooking. She was fascinated with the New Bern Battlefield (and admits she never heard of it until she moved here) and found out through her genealogical searches, that six relatives fought at the Battle of New Bern. She has been on the Publicity committee for many years, does research, writes articles and manages the NBHS Facebook page. She has been the President of Coastal Women’s Forum, President of New Bern Business Referral Network, and is a member of the Craven County Genealogical Society, among other organizations. She is the mother of three who are geographically located across the country, and has three grandsons.
Gene Lock, Battlefield Adjutant
Gene holds a BA in history and an MBA in Insurance Operations. He has spent his working career in the insurance and reinsurance business. Gene retired as a Senior Vice President and Director of North American Claim Operations from OdysseyRe, a global insurance and reinsurance underwriting company. Gene and his wife Heide have lived in New Bern since 2018; he has been a volunteer at the battlefield since moving here and Heide has been an actor in numerous NBHS storytelling events. A battlefield was a requirement for Gene to consider a place to retire to. He is honored to take part in helping to preserve New Bern’s extensive history.
Joseph Anderson retired from Verizon Communications after holding management positions in information technology, human resources and external affairs. He served as the corporation’s spokesperson on diversity issues and was responsible for oversight of equal employment opportunities across all business units. Mr. Anderson served as VP of Quality and Supplier Diversity for the procurement department and served on a number of boards of directors including the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). Since relocating to New Bern with his wife Rachel, he has been involved with the community by serving as a commissioner on the New Bern Housing Authority and the Historic Preservation Commission. Joe studied communications at Emerson College and holds a certificate in management from Columbia University and a certificate in EEO studies from Cornell University.
Carol Vivian Bonner Becton is a native New Bernian, widow of the late Captain James E. Becton of the New Bern Police Department and mother of three. Carol Attends Clinton Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church where she serves in the teaching and preaching ministry. She is a member and Vice President of the Martin Luther King Jr. Outreach Ministry, and the Climbers Club of New Bern. She serves as a Commissioner for the New Bern Housing Authority and on the Board of Directors of the New Bern-Craven County Public Library Regional Board. She also joined the first African American Greek Sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha in 1979.
Carol received a BA degree in English Education from North Carolina Central University in Durham and her Masters Degree in Educational Administration from East Carolina University. Carol was an educator for Craven County Schools for over 34 years retiring as a Principal. She enjoys being an active participant in preserving New Bern's rich history and sharing the story of our state’s “Colonial Capital”.
Clayton received his JD from the Wake Forest University School of Law and an MBA from the Wake Forest University School of Business. After practicing in Elizabeth City for seven years, he relocated to New Bern with his family in 2010 to become a partner at The Law Offices of Oliver & Cheek. A member of the NC Bar Association and American Bar Association, Clayton has been recognized by Super Lawyers. His focuses are bankruptcy, business law, contracts, and estate planning. In addition to serving on the Historical Society board, Clayton is the New Bern Rotary Club President-Elect and chairs the First Presbyterian Church Foundation. He and his wife Jody have three daughters.
George grew up in Nashville, TN, Raleigh, and Charlotte. He is a graduate of the University of the South (Sewanee) and the University of Virginia School of Law. From 1971 to 1975, he served in the Navy JAG Corps at NAS Memphis, when he met his wife Christian. He then began his law practice with a small firm in Charlotte, and in 2000 joined the Womble Carlyle firm in Winston-Salem. The Evans moved to New Bern in 2017, where George has been active in the Historic Downtown Residents Association, previously serving as a board member and president, and as a regular member of Joe Hunt's "ground crew" at the Historical Society. George and Christian have two children, Catherine and David.
Lynne Harakal, originally from Bethlehem, PA, is a graduate of Syracuse University, Newhouse School of Public Communications. Lynne moved to New Bern in 2004 and in 2008 joined the New Bern Historical Society as its Executive Director and continued to serve in that role until 2016 when she became the Executive Director of Swiss Bear, Inc. In 2017 she joined the Board of the Historical Society. She also serves on the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, the downtown New Bern Municipal Services District (MSD) board, and is a trustee for Centenary United Methodist Church. She is also past president of Community Christian Fellowship (CCF). Lynne is married to Mark Harakal and has two grown daughters, Nika and Kyra.
Terri was born in Washington, DC and grew up in Maryland. Always interested in the law, she secured her first legal secretary position at a law firm in Washington, DC. She relocated to Los Angeles as a legal secretary until being promoted to Legal Recruiting Manager, working with law schools and legal employment agencies to hire law students and attorneys. She held this position for the next 36 years at various law firms in California. Upon retiring in 2019, Terri and her husband Lance moved back east to New Bern. Having visited the area many times over the years to see her parents, they fell in love with New Bern. Terri has always been interested in history, and found volunteering at the New Bern Historical Society an interesting and exciting experience. She is honored to be on the Board of Directors.
Charles K. (Ken) McCotter, Jr.
Ken is a native New Bernian. He graduated from New Bern High School in 1964 and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1968 with a BS in Business and the UNC School of Law in 1971. Ken is a retired US Magistrate Judge, United States Courts, EDNC (1979-1995) and is currently in private practice in New Bern, NC, with an emphasis on civil litigation, mediation and arbitration. He has expertise in admiralty and maritime law. Ken and his wife, Pat, have two daughters and four grandchildren. They love spending time with their family. Ken enjoys history and is past president of the Historical Society. He was a member of New Bern’s 300th Committee, is serving on the 300th Committee of Christ Episcopal Church, and is a member of the Tryon Palace Foundation, New Bern Preservation Foundation, New Bern Noon Rotary Club, Craven Community Foundation, and Swiss Bear Downtown Development Corporation. Ken enjoys hunting, fishing, and hiking.
Nelson was born in New Bern and schooled at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, George Washington and Georgetown Universities, New York University and the University of Lyon. For thirty years he was a teacher at the Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Virginia. He has served in various volunteer capacities with the New Bern 300th, Camps Sea Gull and Seafarer, Christ Church, the Tryon Palace Foundation, the Carolina East Foundation, the Kellenberger Foundation, the Craven Arts Council, the Coastal Carolina Chamber Music Festival, and Swiss Bear.
Cathy and her husband Steve fell in love with New Bern, buying a house here long even they could move in 2007 so they wouldn’t miss the chance to live in this lovely area. Although native Midwesterners, they spent the previous seventeen years in a historic town in New Jersey, where Cathy served on the church vestry and was active in professional organizations. Her professional career was in insurance and reinsurance claims, culminating in the position of VP Claims for White Mountains Reinsurance. Cathy is an active volunteer at CarolinaEast hospital and at many community events, including the Historical Society’s homes tours and Ghostwalk. She joined the Historical Society board in 2019. Cathy notes that her most important role is that of proud mother and grandmother to her wonderful sons and their families.
Mary Stallings Parrish
Mary is a native of New Bern. Her interest in history was inherited from her parents who were very active in historic preservation in New Bern. She is a lifelong active member of Christ Episcopal Church. She is a member of the Preservation Foundation, the Tryon Palace Foundation Board, and Delta Kappa Gamma (an international educational society of women educators). She serves on the New Bern Historical Society Marks Scholarship Committee and the Ghostwalk Steering Committee, and has served on the Heritage Homes Tour Steering Committee. Mary has a B.S and Master’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Master’s degree in Guidance and Counseling from North Carolina State University. She was an educator in Charlotte, Raleigh, Nashville, and New Bern for 34 years before retiring as Director of Guidance at New Bern High School. Many of her students would tell you that she said “Do what you love. I have never come to work. I have always come to school”.
Chris began his financial career as a financial analyst with International Business Machines in Raleigh, North Carolina, and Somers, New York. He was a financial advisor with Raymond James before founding Nautilus Wealth Management, LLC, in New Bern in 2008. Chris earned a BS in business administration from East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina. He and his wife Suzanne and two children Camden and Samantha enjoy an active lifestyle of boating, surfing, and riding horses. Chris faithfully serves First Presbyterian Church as a past Session Elder, committee member, and on the Foundation Board. He has also held leadership positions with Neuse River Chapter of the Coastal Conservation Association, New Bern Rotary Club, and Coastal Carolina Classrooms. Currently, Chris is serving on the Board of Trustees at Epiphany School of Global Studies in New Bern. Suzanne is the new owner of downtown New Bern's Carolina Creations.
Born in Wildwood, N.J. as the son of a commercial fisherman, Walt grew up in Fort Pierce, Florida. Having gone to work for a major SE grocery chain at 15, his succession of promotions created 13 moves in 25 years. Falling in love with Jacksonville, FL along the way, he and his wife Cindy moved there from the Tampa area and joined a food broker company with two other partners, where he remained until he retired in 2013. Along the way, he committed to his wife they would move to the ENC area to support her aging parents. After at least 15 or more trips visiting from Swansboro to Elizabeth City, they constantly ended up looking in the New Bern area and are very happy they did. It is now their favorite place; they enjoy having friends and family visit to show them our great town. Walt and Cindy are both active in the New Bern Historical Society and enjoy golf, fishing and just “helping neighbors”.
Karen was delighted to join the board of directors in July 2018. Karen and her husband Bob were scheduled to move to New Bern in 1988 but life took a U-turn and they showed up 20 years later. They have two daughters, a son-in-law and two grandsons. Karen first started volunteering in the front office five years ago, won the New Volunteer Award in 2016 — and the rest is History!
Mike & his wife Liz relocated to New Bern in 2017 to be closer to family in North & South Carolina. Mike & Liz are members of the St. Paul Catholic Church parish in New Bern. Mike was the Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity of Craven County from 2017-2022. Having spent 12 years working for Habitat for Humanity, Mike is an experienced and passionate affordable housing advocate focused on helping those in need of decent housing achieve their dream. Prior to Habitat for Humanity, Mike spent 20 years working in retail banking administration in South Florida and another 10 years as a product manager for the National Council on Compensation Insurance. Born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida, Mike attended Florida State University and the University of Miami and holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. Mike is a member of the New Bern Breakfast Rotary and serves on the board of directors of Habitat for Humanity of North Carolina, the African American Heritage and Culture Center, and Faith Connection.
Mickey Miller, Executive Director (email@example.com; phone 252.638.8558)
After 18 moves in 30 years with the military, Mickey and Jon Miller were thrilled to call New Bern “home at last” in 2011. Mickey is a retired attorney and Army colonel who spent most of her service in the Army JAG Corps. Prior to this position, she was the program manager for the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative revitalization program for New Bern’s greater Five Points community. Mickey has been active with the Breakfast Rotary Club and Master Gardener Volunteer Association, has volunteered with the New Bern Historical Society, Historic Downtown Residents’ Association, and Chamber of Commerce, and has served as a commissioner on New Bern’s Historic Preservation Commission. She is passionate about New Bern and community service and thrilled to combine the two in her position as Executive Director.
Marissa Moore, Programs Director (firstname.lastname@example.org; phone 252.638.8558)
Marissa was raised in Charlotte, NC with a pair of history loving parents who instilled in her a respect and passion for history at a young age. She attended the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD and graduated with a degree in history. Most recently, she was the Marine Corps Base Hawaii Branch Director for the Armed Services YMCA, where she developed and led programming tailored to support military families. In 2021, she married her best friend, Zach. After a year in Mississippi, they received orders to Cherry Point and moved to New Bern in March 2022. Marissa is thrilled to return to North Carolina and both her and her husband have quickly fallen in love with New Bern. With a passion for history and a heart for nonprofit work, she has found her home with the Historical Society and is looking forward to leading the wonderful programs they offer.
Anthony Giardino, Operations Manager (email@example.com; phone 252.638.8558)
Anthony arrived in New Bern in 2016 while on active duty stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point. After a rewarding career as a Mustang Marine serving in various global operations and logistics roles, he retired from the Corps in 2020. He and his wife, Jackie, proudly chose New Bern as the perfect place to raise their three children. With a passion for community involvement and local history, Anthony was instantly attracted to the operations position in the Historical Society. You’ll often find him with his family biking through town, assisting at school and YMCA functions, or along the river at sunrise (most likely with a camera in hand).