Hugh MacGregor, Board Chair,’15
Philanthropist, Retired CEO

Hugh MacGregor worked in both the pharmaceutical and dental services industries largely in sales, marketing and business development positions. Before retiring from business in 2011, Hugh was CEO of Affordable Care Inc, a Dental Services Organization based in the Triangle that provides business and financial services to over 200 dental practices throughout the U.S. He remains on their Board of Directors.

Hugh and his wife, Lianne, were first exposed to Kidznotes one Saturday morning at the Holton Career and Resource Center. Seeing these children, who at the time were four to seven years old, perform in the classroom brought tears to their eyes. They realized that without Kidznotes, these children might never have had the opportunity to learn to play a musical instrument or be exposed to the life skills that come from being part of an orchestra. With “some” musical ability (Hugh – trombone, Lianne –flute) they were both able to volunteer as assistant instructors, which began their journey with Kidznotes.


Noel James, Vice Chair ‘13
Noel James, LLC

Noel James is an experienced arts and cultural administration professional with more than 20 years of experience. James has created and managed programs and events at arts and cultural organizations, educational institutions and municipalities in Minnesota; Maine; Rhode Island and New York. Most recently, as the principal for Noel James, LLC, she is serving as the interim executive director for The ArtsCenter in Carrboro, North Carolina.

Previously she developed the partnership between the North Carolina Museum of History and the North Carolina Freedom Monument Park to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation by exhibiting the document from the National Archives at the museum with programming throughout the state at various cultural venues. Before moving to Durham, North Carolina, Noel served as the Associate Dean and Director of Multicultural Affairs at Colby College in Maine.

Prior to this, Noel was the first Director of the Minneapolis Office of Cultural Affairs. One of her major achievements was leading the effort to work alongside key stakeholders to craft the city’s arts policies, which continues to serve as a framework to city leaders today. Noel has a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota and Nonprofit Management Certificate from Duke University.


Nancy Worth Davis, JD, Treasurer, ‘13
VP and General Counsel, Rutland Products

As a child of the ‘60s, Nancy took to heart the anthems of Peter, Paul and Mary, Pete Seeger and John Lennon. She began to Imagine a world without poverty, without war and with dignity for all people. After graduating from Barry College with a Bachelor’s degree in education and English literature, she taught junior high English and film study. She earned a Master’s degree from The George Washington University in educational psychology. She then became an instructor at GWU and later an associate professor in the education faculty at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada.

She eventually returned to South Florida to begin an elementary special education program where the impact of music was seriously felt. She taught learning disabled, mentally retarded, and gifted, but emotionally disturbed, children in the same classroom. She found that music was the common denominator. Her classes danced and sang together, making tunes out of words they couldn’t express otherwise.

After teaching, Nancy went back to school to earn her JD from the University of Miami School of Law and worked in commercial law for 30 years. She then returned to GWU as a professor in the Law School and the executive director of the school’s Consumer Help Clinical program, which represented 120 indigent citizens of the District of Columbia per year. She now serves as the vice president and general counsel for Rutland Products.


Wendy Scott, CAE, Secretary, ‘15
President, Wendy Scott & Associates, Inc.

While carrying out award-winning careers in arts management and nonprofit management, Wendy has also performed with the Raleigh Symphony , Triangle Wind Ensemble and numerous community musical organizations. Wendy is a certified association executive (CAE) and has helped found an association management company as well as served as the executive director for five professional associations. Her experience eventually led her to consulting with professional and trade associations in the U.S. and internationally. Projects with USAID and the U.S. Department of Commerce led to working with NGOs based in countries all over the world.

Wendy was awarded the “Champion of the Family Award” from the NC Association for Marriage and Family Therapy for passing the state’s first credentialing of the profession. Former NC Governor Mike Easley appointed Wendy to serve as a public member of the NC Marriage and Family Therapy Licensure Board, and she led other advocacy campaigns for association issues as a Registered Lobbyist with the NC General Assembly. In 2011, the Association Executives of North Carolina awarded Wendy with the Jim Lowry Award for and the “Association CEO of the Year.”


Dr. Lenore Behar, ‘16
Child Psychologist and philanthropist

Lenore Behar is a trained child psychologist with a doctoral degree from Duke University who has spent her entire professional life working on behalf of children.

In 1973, she assumed the position of Chief of Child Mental Health Services in the state office of the North Carolina Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Substance Abuse Services, a position she held for 30 years. Based on her work in North Carolina, she’s provided leadership and technical assistance in the development of systems of care policies and practices across the country, having served as a consultant to 27 states and even Israel in planning and organizing child mental health services.

Lenore is currently the Director of Child and Family Program Strategies, a consulting organization dedicated to providing technical assistance and evaluation services to community systems that serve children and their families.


Don Draughon, ‘16
Bank of North Carolina

Donald R. Draughon, Jr. is an executive vice president and director of corporate finance for Bank of North Carolina. Prior to Bank of North Carolina, Don was the president and CEO of KeySource Commercial Bank, a business bank headquartered in Durham, NC, which he founded in March 2007. Before his time at KeySource, Don was a managing director for Anderson & Strudwick, a full service brokerage firm headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, in the investment banking division.

His experience also includes serving as the chairman and CEO of Convenience USA, Inc; an operator of more than 250 convenience stores from 1998 to 2002; a managing director with the investment-banking firm Baxter Fentriss; a senior financial analyst for Montrose Capital, a merchant banking group; and an assistant vice president of Wachovia Bank.

Don received an MBA from Wake Forest University’s Babcock School of Management in 1984 and a BA from Brigham Young University in 1982. Additionally, he founded Voyager Academy Charter School and served as its chairman from February 2006 to June 2011.


Pierce Freelon, ‘14
Jazz musician, Professor of Ethnomusicology, Creator of The Beast

Pierce Freelon is a musician, professor, and “artivist” with a passion for creativity and community. He has taught music, African studies and political science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina Central University. Front man of the genre-bending The Beast, Jazz Times Magazine has hailed him as a “natural, engaging blend of jazz and hip hop.”

An international ambassador of music-based community projects, Pierce worked with the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz to bring Bebop to Hip Hop to youth, from Los Angeles to New Delhi. He is also the co-founder of Beat Making Lab, a program that has partnered with PBS to build music studios in international community centers.


Scott Laird, ‘13
Fine Arts Coordinator, NC School of Science and Math

Scott Laird is on the faculty of The North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics where he is fine arts coordinator and instructor of music. He earned his B.S. in Music Education and his M.A. in Violin Performance from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He has been an active string educator, clinician, and conductor for more than 25 years, and his orchestras have been recognized for their superior and musically mature performances.

In recent years, he has conducted the Vermont, Georgia, Florida, Maryland, South Carolina, Colorado, Florida, and Indiana All-State Orchestras. He earned his National Board Certification in 2004 and recertified in 2013. He has served as president of the NC Chapter of the American String Teachers Association (ASTA) and chair of the NCMEA Orchestra Section as well as chaired ASTA’s National Committee on School Orchestras and Strings and was co-chair of ASTA’s 2013 National Solo Competition.


Lucia Peel Powe, Founder, ‘13
Teacher, writer, community activist

Bio coming soon!


Mary Quezada, ‘16
Health Education Director, UNC Women’s Health Information Center

Mary currently works at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill as the health education director of NC Women’s Hospital Resource Center. Originally from Caracas, Venezuela, she witnessed first-hand the positive impact that ‘El Sistema’ had in the poorest sectors of the country.

After earning her degree in social work from the School of Economics of the Venezuelan Central University in Caracas, and working several years in the mental health sector, Mary and her husband, Miguel, moved to Raleigh in 1991 and have been here ever since.

Mary worked for more than 11 years in the field of HIV/AIDS education, managing a national educational hotline for the American Social Health Association, a nonprofit organization funded by US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, afterwards she worked for a National Breast Cancer Research Study run by Social & Scientific Systems, Inc. under the supervision of the National Institutes of Health. She also holds a master’s degree in International Management


David Reese, ‘14
Executive Director of the East Durham Children’s Initiative

David Reese is president and CEO of the East Durham Children’s Initiative. Throughout his career, David’s work has focused on creating opportunity for low wealth families and developing opportunities for children to succeed. David previously served as chief operating officer (COO) for Food Recovery and Distribution at Inter-Faith Food Shuttle. He’s co-chair of Partnership for a Healthy Durham and vice chair of Northeast Central Durham Leadership Council.

David also serves on the boards of directors of Downtown Durham Rotary Club, Downtown Durham YMCA, Durham’s Partnership for Children, East Durham Children’s Initiative, Kidznotes and Leadership Triangle. He also serves on the Mayor of Durham’s Crime and Poverty Reduction Task Forces and United Way of the Greater Triangle’s Education Council.  In 2006, he was recognized as one of Triangle Business Journal’s top 40 Under 40 business leaders.


Elias J. “Ellie” Torre, ‘13
Architect, philanthropist

Ellie Torre, one of Kidznotes’ founding board members, is a registered architect and an estate administration paralegal in Durham. Starting with piano lessons in early elementary school, and transitioning to playing clarinet in the school band, Ellie eventually landed in the world of vocal music and musical theatre. More recently, he has been a member of the VocalMotion Show Choir in Cary for the past seven years. He also served as a board member for the Durham Arts Council for seven years.

Ultimately, a well-rounded education is what Ellie wants for each child. In addition to his community volunteering, Ellie has been teaching group fitness classes at the YMCA for the past 24 years and tutors students in mathematics throughout the Triangle area.


Kathryn Wyatt, ex officio
Executive Director, KidZNotes

See Katie’s bio on our staff page.


Continue exploring Kidznotes!