North Carolina Employee Ownership Center Hires First Executive Director

Guenevere Abernathy to Serve as First Executive Director of NCEOC

Durham, NC – December 14, 2020 – The North Carolina Employee Ownership Center is delighted to announce that we have hired our first executive director, NC native Guenevere Abernathy, who will lead NCEOC in achieving our mission of protecting jobs, bolstering communities, and strengthening businesses through employee ownership.

Abernathy has spent her career launching new initiatives, whether it is a new project office for The Nature Conservancy, raising millions of dollars for land conservation, starting real estate companies or founding LoMo Market, a mobile local food market. She is a values-driven business leader with expertise in social entrepreneurship, business development, strategic planning and raising capital. She was recognized by Walter Magazine’s Women Inspiring Innovation, a finalist for the BCBS Health Innovation Challenge, and her work has been covered by Durham Magazine, Triangle Business Journal, and Our State Magazine.

Abernathy’s leadership will dramatically expand NCEOC’s capacity, enabling us to do more outreach and education about employee ownership throughout the state and helping to achieve our mission of increasing the number of employee-owners in North Carolina. Abernathy has a deep interest in serving underrepresented communities, doing so through land conservation projects for non-profits, launching conservation and preservation based real estate companies, founding a local food based mobile market, angel investing, and most recently advising women-led startups. She has also helped the launch of several non-profit ventures and will bring that experience to enhance our organization.

Abernathy has deep North Carolina roots with family from Fayetteville, Salisbury, Kannapolis and Durham. She grew up in Rougemont, graduated from both UNC-Chapel Hill and NC State, and now lives in Durham with her husband and two kids. Her interests include yoga, gardening, saltwater fun, hiking, reading and exploring the world. Abernathy is a long-time Durham entrepreneur and has helped many well-known businesses; for example, assisting Seal the Seasons and Happy Dirt with capital raises. Her deep North Carolina connections will further bolster our work and help us continue expanding our reach to the entire state.

We also want to take a moment to thank NCEOC founder Anne-Claire Broughton and her associate Austin Amandolia, who started the NCEOC in 2019 and have managed the day-to-day operations of NCEOC for the past 18 months. They have helped develop a strong foundation that Abernathy can now build on. We also want to thank our fantastic and committed board members, whose active role in our growth has led us to this impactful moment, including Merald Holloway, Roodline Volcy, La-Tasha Best-Gaddy, Steve Storkan, Molly Hemstreet, Patrick McHugh, Christa Wagner-Vinson, Steve Virgil, and Lindsey Crisp.