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Students and Alumni

Poole College Welcomes 3 New Advisory Board Members

Nelson Hall

The NC State Poole College of Management announces three new members to the college’s advisory board for the 2023-24 term: Lynette Barksdale, Emily Cates and William Kimbrell.

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

Poole College Advisory Board member Lynette Barksdale

Lynette Barksdale ‘06, Head of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Epic Games

As a student earning her Bachelor of Science degree in business administration at NC State Poole, Lynette Barksdale also operated a nonprofit organization focused on closing the achievement gap for elementary-school students in Raleigh, North Carolina. This passion for service has driven much of her career.

Prior to joining Epic Games as head of diversity, equity and inclusion, Barksdale led diversity and inclusion at Goldman Sachs and at Google Cloud. During nearly six years at Google, she held a number of positions in people operations, including leading talent acquisition teams.

Barksdale’s work experience also spans the nonprofit sector. She held regional and national
roles at Teach For America, which, she says, was “aligned to my greatest passion — ensuring access and opportunity for children who come from underserved communities.” Barksdale continues her work in education by serving on the Advisory Board for Mainspring Schools, and now, on the Poole College Advisory Board.

“As an NC State alumna, it is extremely important to me to be connected to the university in ways that support the student body and NC State as an institution,” she says.

Poole College Advisory Board member Emily Cates

Emily Cates ‘00, Vice President of Sales Transformation and Operations, Zebra Technologies

With over 20 years of experience in the technology industry — spanning across Fortune 500 and several early-stage technology companies — Emily Cates has tailored her career
toward services excellence, global enterprise workforce development and sales enablement to
accelerate business growth and transformation. In her current role, she is responsible for
Zebra’s sales and service go-to-market vision, transformation and operational execution in addition to co-leading Zebra’s Women’s Inclusion Network.

The Poole College alumna credits her experience here with a desire to share her knowledge and expertise with future business leaders.

“As a second generation NC State alumna and graduate of Poole College, I’d like to help prepare our future workforce,” Cates says. “The co-op program was instrumental to my early successes, and now with my breadth of functional executive leadership and DEI experience, I’d like to give back.”

Cates earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration at NC State Poole and further executive education at Harvard Business School. She is a certified executive coach, an advisory board member for the Technology and Services Industry Association, and has achieved numerous industry awards including a Stevie Award in the category of Female Executive of the Year 2020.

William Kimbrell, MBA‘09, Vice President, Supply Chain Marketing Asia, Cotton Incorporated

In his current position with Cotton Incorporated, William Kimbrell oversees the company’s Hong Kong, Osaka and Shanghai offices and is responsible for marketing initiatives throughout Asia. He began his career at Cotton Incorporated in 2003, holding positions in several areas including fiber processing research, technology implementation and technology marketing.

A Jenkins MBA alumnus, Kimbrell brings a wealth of experience to the Poole College Board of Advisors.

“The Poole College of Management’s Jenkins MBA has done an excellent job differentiating itself from other programs — specifically through innovation, entrepreneurship and supply chain,” Kimbrell says. “I want to help strengthen the college, faculty and students for continued success.”

Kimbrell earned a Bachelor of Science in textiles and a Jenkins MBA from NC State Poole. He has served on the North Carolina State Young Alumni Council, the North Carolina State Textile Foundation Board of Directors, and was a mentor in the Goodnight Fellows Program.