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Swiss Bear BoD


The Board of Directors of Swiss Bear Downtown Development Corporation shall consist of no less than twenty-two (22) and no more than thirty-four (34) directors, excluding emeritus directors. Sixteen (16) members of the board shall be members of the following organizations, and may serve for only so long as they continue to be a member of said organizations:

  • CarolinaEast Health System
  • Craven Arts Council & Gallery
  • Craven Community College
  • Craven County Administration
  • Craven County Economic Development Commission
  • Craven County Commissioner
  • New Bern Development Services Department
  • New Bern Municipal Service District Advisory Board
  • New Bern Alderman
  • New Bern Area Chamber of Commerce
  • New Bern Administration
  • New Bern Department of Public Works
  • New Bern Historical Society
  • New Bern Preservation Foundation
  • Tourism Development Authority
  • Tryon Palace

Up to eighteen (18) additional members shall be elected from the community who either demonstrate interest in the objectives and work of Swiss Bear or who represent identifiable segments of the community.

An unlimited number of directors designated as “emeritus” may be elected. Emeritus directors shall have all the rights and obligations of other directors, including the right to vote. Qualifications and other requirements to be elected as an emeritus director may be established by the board.

All directors shall be elected by the vote of the majority of directors in office at the annual board meeting and shall serve three-year terms. Terms of office shall begin on January 1. To the extent practical, the terms of the directors shall be staggered into classes so that the terms of approximately one-third (1/3) of the directors shall expire each year. A Director may be removed for cause by a two-thirds vote of the remaining directors present, and any such director shall be given five days advance written notice of the meeting at which such removal shall be voted upon. In the event of the removal of a director, a new director may be elected at that time or at any subsequent meeting. A vacancy in the board shall be filled for the remainder of the unexpired term by a majority vote of the remaining directors.

The purpose of Swiss Bear is to promote and sponsor employment and commercial revitalization within the City, particularly its downtown residential and commercial areas.

The board of directors shall be responsible for: (1) keeping a record of all of the board’s acts and affairs; (2) keep a record of all receipts and disbursements; (3) have periodic reviews of the corporate books; (4) present an annual report of all receipts and disbursements to each director no less than thirty (30) days prior to the date of the annual meeting; (4) oversee and set the compensation for all managers, officers, agents, employees or other persons employed by Swiss Bear; and (5) ensure that all offices, employees or managers having fiscal responsibility are bonded as the board deems appropriate.

Board meetings are held on the third Thursday of each month at 7:30 a.m. in the Chamber of Commerce meeting room located at 316 South Front Street. The annual board meeting is held in December.

Current Roster

Name Term Expires Appointing Authority
Judy Avery 12/2014 Craven County Arts Council & Gallery
Alex Badger N/A Emeritus
Sabrina Bengel 12/2016 At Large
John Bircher 12/2014 At Large
Jim Bisbee (Vice Chair) 12/2015 At Large
Dallas Blackiston 12/2016 City of New Bern Board of Aldermen
Charles Blythe N/A Emeritus
David Blythe 12/2014 At Large
Tom Braaten 12/2016 At Large
Catherine Chew 12/2014 Craven Community College
Gary Curry 12/2016 At Large
Timothy Downs 12/2014 Craven County Economic Development
William Faulkenberry N/A Emeritus
Bill Fentress N/A Emeritus
Janet Francoeur 12/2016 At Large
John Haroldson 12/2014 At Large
Mary Harris 12/2016 Craven County Tourism Development Authority
Jimmie Hicks 12/2014 At Large
Robert (Dell) Ipock N/A Emeritus
Paul Johnson N/A Emeritus
Philippe Lafargue 12/2015 Tryon Palace
Joe Mansfield 12/2016 New Bern Preservation Foundation
Julian Marsh 12/2016 At Large
Bob Mattocks 12/2014 At Large
Charles McCotter N/A Emeritus
Nelson McDaniel 12/2015 New Bern Historical Society
Tom McGraw (Chair) 12/2016 At Large
Buzz Mead N/A Emeritus
Susan Moffat-Thomas Serves for her duration as Executive Director Swiss Bear Downtown Development Corporation
Tom Payne 12/2015 At Large
Mary Peterkin 12/2015 At Large
Lonnie Pridgen, Jr. N/A Emeritus
Ernest Richardson, III 12/2016 New Bern Municipal Service District Advisory Board
Daniel (Sonny) Roberts N/A Emeritus
Kevin Roberts 12/2016 New Bern Area Chamber of Commerce
Jeff Ruggieri 12/2015 Director, City of New Bern Development Services
Bill Rust N/A Emeritus
Stewart Smith N/A Emeritus
Mark Stephens 12/2014 City of New Bern Administration
David Stroud 12/2015 At Large
Cythia Turco 12/2014 CarolinaEAST Health System
Steve Tyson 12/2016 Craven County Commissioner
Jack Veit 12/2016 Craven County Administration
Jamara Wallace 12/2016 At Large
John Ward N/A Emeritus
Curt Williford 12/2016 At Large
TBD 12/2014 Director, City of New Bern Public Works Department