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Poole College Welcomes 6 New Advisory Board Members

The NC State Poole College of Management announces six new members to the college’s advisory board for the 2022-23 term effective April 1.

The advisory board works directly with the dean’s office and the college’s executive team to maintain a vital connection with real-world issues and industry trends. Its members are key business and public-sector leaders that help Poole College fulfill its mission and vision.

Meet the New Members

Andrew Baird ‘07, Critical Care Program Director, Vector Aeromedical Services

For one of the newest members of the Poole College of Management advisory board, NC State is not just an alma mater – it’s more of a second home. Andrew Baird was raised a Wolfpack fan in Raleigh, N.C., just a few short miles from Carter-Finley Stadium. As a kid, he attended football games on the “hill” with his father, a university alum. And in his teenage years, a new passion began to spark – one that would eventually lead him to the university he loved.

While attending a magnet high school with a medical-focused program, Baird took an early interest in finding innovative solutions for bringing centralized health care to rural areas across the state. In conjunction with his capstone project – which developed a business plan for a rural flying cardiology program – he worked to obtain his pilot’s license and Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) license.

Brian Bark, Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Sinclair Broadcast Group

As Poole College continues to lean into its analytics offerings, the insight and expertise of technology executives will be critical for understanding what potential employers look for in future employees. Which is why having Sinclair Broadcast Group’s executive vice president and chief information officer Brian Bark as a member of the advisory board is a huge win for NC State.

And it isn’t the only win Bark has given the university. In the late 1980s, Bark was a Hall of Fame outfielder and pitcher for the university’s baseball team. Originally drafted by the Atlanta Braves in ‘1990, he went on to have a stint in the MLB, playing with the Boston Red Sox in 1995, before a career-ending arm injury led him to pivot to his next chapter – a career in business and technology.

Francesca Cain-Watson, Global Business Development Manager, Merlyn Mind Inc.

When Poole College advisory board member Francesa Cain-Watson thinks about the future of the college, she can’t help but get excited. As an NC State alumnae (bachelor’s degree in psychology) and technology professional, she knows the market is ripe for the talent the college is producing.

After graduating from the university in 2008, Cain-Watson took an inside sales position at Lenovo. She spent the next decade at the tech giant in different roles before taking a position as an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) data center account executive. However in mid-2020, in the midst of a global pandemic, she found herself presented with an opportunity she couldn’t pass up.

Diane Chen ‘95, Founder, Executive Director and Board Member Employer, Institute of Consumer Money Management

One of Poole College’s newest board members might not be a college alumnae, but she has seen first-hand the impact of the college through her professional journey. Diane Chen, Ph.D., moved to the U.S. from China in the early 90s for graduate school and found her way to Raleigh, N.C.

“I received my master’s degree in adult education and doctor of education degree from NC State’s College of Education,” Chen says. “But even with my education background, I’ve always been a serial entrepreneur.”

Doug Doggett, CEO, Doggett Concrete Construction

Through its innovative curricula and collaborative learning environments, Poole College of Management actively seeks to foster innovation and create opportunities for new ideas to thrive. It’s what allowed the college to earn national recognition for its undergraduate and graduate entrepreneurship programs. And it’s what attracts business leaders with an entrepreneurial mindset, like Doug Doggett, to the Poole College Advisory Board.

A native of Charlotte, N.C., Doggett first came to NC State in 1981 to develop a blend of skills in order to carry his family business forward. Started in 1964 by his father Bill Doggett, Doggett Concrete specializes in residential and commercial concrete construction and services the Southeast.

Ashutosh Vats, Senior Vice President, ICR Capital

Between its location, facilities, administration, faculty and innovative curriculum, Poole College of Management might be one of the best kept secrets in the world of business schools. At least that’s what Ashu Vats, one of the youngest advisory board members in the history of Poole College, thinks. But the secret won’t stay under wraps for long – not if Vats has anything to say about it.

As one of the newest members of the board, Vats brings a wealth of enthusiasm – and an impressive career path – that he hopes will serve future generations of Poole students.