Neal Bench: Neal has lived in Chapel Hill for 10 years and has a BS in Business Administration and a MBA in Finance along with a CPA and work experience in manufacturing finance and medical equipment leasing. Neal enjoys attending musical performances at UNC’s Memorial Hall, high-level athletic events, and the Playmaker’s Repertory Theatre with his wife Jeanette. He is also the chair of the Chapel Hill Planning Commission, Friends of Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation, and the Orange County Parks and Recreation Council. He has supported Hope Gardens since its second year with his son serving as a Co-chair in its third year.
Jim Ferguson: Jim has a BA and PhD in social psychology, a MA in sociology, and is trained in quantitative social science. He hopes that there will be a confluence between his presence on the board and his desire that students become involved in locally focused programs that address the urgency of the pressing issues of access and the production of food.
Samantha Buckner Terhune: Samantha fell in love with Chapel Hill in 2004, graduated from UNC in 2008 and has been living here ever since. She holds a BA in interpersonal communication studies and a MA in teaching from NC State. She worked alongside Jim Ferguson during her master's degree program, and is now the associate director of the Carolina Food Program. She enjoys cooking, practicing her calligraphy skills, photography, and spending time with her family.
Jason Dunn: Jason grew up in Atlanta before attending UNC Chapel Hill in 2009. He first joined Hope Gardens in 2009 and worked with the organization throughout his 4 years at UNC. After graduating in 2013, Jason worked as an analyst for Morgan Stanley in New York City in the Healthcare Investment Banking group. He then joined TPG Growth as an associate in August 2015.
Regina Blalock: Regina is a twenty year resident of Chapel Hill and an advocate of building environments that promote physical activity, a sense of community, and a love of nature. She has served on the Parks, Recreation, and Greenways Advisory Board for the past five years. As the past chair of the Chapel Hill Active Living by Design Advisory Committee, Regina was an advocate and facilitator in getting Hope Gardens started. On most days, you can find her digging in her garden, hiking local trails, sailing on Kerr Lake, or teaching her six beautiful grandchildren to love the great outdoors.
Michael Everhart: Michael grew up in Durham and then attended UNC, where he received a BS in Environmental Science. Currently he is pursuing master’s degrees in Landscape Architecture at NCSU and City and Regional Planning at UNC. Michael and his wife, Molly, have lived in Chapel Hill together for the past 10 years, and recently they welcomed their daughter, Maybellene, to the world. Michael is a devoted gardener and has transformed their property into a bountiful landscape of flowers and foods, with chickens, bees, and as many different plants as will fit. Michael is a member of the Chapel Hill Planning Commission and maintains a working wood shop.