Narendra P. Sharma. Ph.D. Founder & Chairman
Dr. Narendra Sharma worked for more than 32 years at the World Bank in Washington, DC, where he was involved in finance and economic development in more than 50 developing countries in Asia, South America and Central America, and Africa, plus more than 12 years in a leadership capacity in the non-profit sector. He has a broad international perspective and understanding of social, economic development, and environmental issues at the global, regional, national, and local level. He has over 40 years of experience in organization and management, and in dealing with high ranking government civil servants, international and regional policy forums, multi-and bilateral development agencies, non-governmental organizations, and businesses. He has a PhD in economic development from Virginia Tech University, as well as an MS from Rutgers, an MEM from Duke University, and a BS from the University of Hawaii. Dr. Sharma has also been involved in teaching and research. He was Adjunct Professor at Duke University, School of the Environment (1991-2005) and has more than 40 years of experience in training and mentoring of people. He is Founder and currently Chairman of the Board of Directors of NOC. Since 2008, he has volunteered in community services and has received numerous national and local awards and recognitions.
Patrice T. McCloskey. Treasurer
Patrice McCloskey is currently CIO of Communications Technology Services, LLC, Marlboro, MA. She is responsible for planning, developing, updating and tracking corporate wide technology strategy and budgets across all departments. From 2005 to 2008, she was Vice President, DSL Business Unit in the same company. Prior to this position, she served as Director in IT & Business Process reengineering from 1999 to 2005. Previously, she has worked as Director, Software development at Workgroup Technology, Lexington, MA. and as a Software Engineer at digital Equipment Corporation, Nashua, NH. Patrice McCloskey earned a BS in computer science and mathematics from Rensselaer, Troy, NY and a MS in computer science from Brown University, Providence, RI. She joined NOC‘s Board in 2019. In addition to her responsibilities as Treasurer, she provides substantive inputs in NOC’s strategic visioning and technology, as well as leadership in NOC’s marketing and special events.
Michele Oros Secretary
Michele Oros has been actively involved in education for more 30 years in North Carolina and South Carolina. Since 2017, Michele Oros has served as a Library Media Specialist, presently in the Jasper County, SC, public school system. From 2003 to 2017, she worked as the Director of Grants and Development in the Beaufort County Schools in North Carolina. She has accumulated enormous experience in grant writing with impressive results in obtaining significant funds from state and federal governments. Michele Oros has earned an Ed.S in Curriculum Instruction, a BA in Media Studies, and a MA in Library Media Studies. She joined the NOC Board in 2017 and serves as the Chair of NOC’s Grants Committee. She also continues to participate actively in community services locally.
Judy Blahut. Board Member
Judy Blahut has had many opportunities to share her creativity and love of children and education. After obtaining a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Syracuse University, Judy owned her own visual merchandising business in the greater Pittsburgh area. Later, she became a certified Montessori Educator and Montessori education became her passion. After teaching for nearly 6 years, she earned a Master’s degree in early child development from The University of Arkansas, and subsequently, became the principal leader of the largest Montessori school in Northwest Arkansas. She led the school to become the first accredited Montessori school in the state of Arkansas. Judy Blahut trained students to become Montessori teachers. She also trained her staff and other early childhood education providers in the Northwest Arkansas community. In South Carolina, she worked as an adjunct staff member at the University of South Carolina Beaufort, teaching education classes to undergraduates. Currently, she serves on the board of the Art League of Hilton Head and exhibits her artwork at the Art League of Hilton Head Gallery and Pluff Mudd Gallery in Bluffton, South Carolina. She joined NOC’s Board in 2019 and Chairs NOC’s Marketing Committee.
Daniel Byrne. Board Member
Daniel Byrne is a Community Support Officer for the Burton Fire District, Beaufort County, SC., and a retired Assistant Fire Chief of Training from the Georgia Air National Guard 165th Fire Department. A third-generation firefighter, Dan Byrne holds Associate and Bachelor degrees in fire science as well as a Master’s degree in public administration and disaster management. He is also an alumnus of the National Fire Academy. He has received state and local awards for public relations and educational programs as well as community partnerships and served as a conference presenter and keynote speaker. From 1988 to 2000 he served in the United States Marine Corps. He joined NOC’s Board of Directors in 2019 and coordinates NOC efforts in northern Beaufort County, SC.
Lee Edwards. Board Member
Lee Edwards grew up on Hilton Head Island, SC, working in the landscape industry at The Greenery. After college he lived in St. Thomas, USVI working on sailboats from 1990-91, and lived and traveled in Central America and the South Pacific teaching English and working on sailboats from 1991-1993. He returned to The Greenery in 1994 and ran the Construction Department. In 1999 Lee moved to Charleston and opened his own company, The Greenery of Charleston LLC. In 2007 Lee moved back to Hilton Head and became President of The Greenery Inc., which is currently ranked #24 on the list of largest landscape contractors in the United States. The Greenery Inc. is an ESOP and currently employs over 600 people in nine different branches. Lee Edwards was elected to serve on Hilton Head Town Council 2011-2016. He is the past VP of East Cooper Planning Commission, past board member of the Beaufort County Open Land Trust, past board member of Hilton Head Prep School, and executive board member of the SC Yacht Club. He is a current board member of South Carolina Coastal Conservation League. He joined NOC’s Board in 2019 and provides leadership in expanding NOC’s workforce development program.
Doug Fletcher. Ph.D. Board Member
Born and reared in Iowa, Dr. Douglas Fletcher received a B.A. from Drake University and Master of Divinity and PhD degrees from Princeton Theological Seminary. He has served Presbyterian (USA) congregations in Tulsa, OK, Austin, TX, and Hilton Head Island, SC. Dr. Fletcher also has taught Biblical studies at universities in Oklahoma, Texas, and Zambia. He was part of a Lilly Endowment Pastor-Theologian program with the Center of Theological Inquiry in Princeton, N.J. A trained life coach, Dr. Fletcher is committed to working to deepen conversations and understanding in neighborhoods, communities and businesses. He is on the board of Directors of the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry and is actively involved in his local community. He joined the Board of the NOC in 2020. He is also actively involved in community efforts to help those who are in need in Jasper County, SC. In NOC, Dr. Fletcher is actively involved in NOC’s program to replicate its model outside Beaufort County in South Carolina and nationally.
Don Hendrickson. Board Member
Don Hendrickson earned a BA in history from Georgetown University (DC), and a Masters in Health Services Administration from the University of Michigan. He has worked more than thirty years in various capacities in the health care sector, accumulating a wealth of knowledge in health management and information systems, planning and development, marketing services, and human resources. Among other things, Don Hendrickson served as the Chief Executive Officer from 2000 to 2007 at Mid- Carolina Physician Organization, Pinehurst, NC, which included 300 physicians covering seven counties. Subsequently, he was employed as the Executive Director at Sandhills Community Care Network in North Carolina. He moved to Hilton Head Island and set up Hendrickson and Associates to recruit suitable physicians for hospitals and medical services. He is active in community services and currently volunteers at The Literacy Center and SCORE in Hilton Head Island. Don Hendrickson also serves on the Board of the Hendrickson Family Foundation, which provides funding to organizations that help disadvantaged people obtain the education they need to become self-sufficient. He joined NOC’s Board in 2019 and is the Chair of NOC Health Care Program.
George Paletta. Board Member
George Paletta has been a full time resident in HHI since 2009. George Paletta earned an undergraduate degree in economics from Fairfield University in Connecticut and has spent most of his professional life in the private sector, holding senior positions in the machinery, utilities, and construction industries. He was founder and President of several companies, mainly in New York. His most significant accomplishment was as the founder and president of the first concrete recycling company in New York City. He is presently a managing member of Con Agg Recycling Real Estate, LLC. On a parallel track, George has been active in community services through his church and various civic and community organizations. He is committed to building strong communities, assisting low income neighborhoods, and helping children through educational programs and youth activities. He joined the NOC’s Board in 2014. He provided leadership in establishing NOC’s Learning Center in the south end of Hilton Head Island, serving three neighborhoods consisting more than 300 apartment units. More recently, he has played a major role in establishing NOC’s new Learning Center in the mid-section of Hilton Head Island serving four low-income neighborhoods comprising more than 500 apartment units.
John Weymouth. Board Member
John Weymouth was born and raised in Adelaide, Australia and attended the University of Adelaide, earning a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering. His 35 year career involved operations and engineering leadership positions in the refining and chemical industries, with assignments throughout Australia, several Asian countries and the US. Since retiring to Hilton Head Island in 2001, he has volunteered in community services and held board positions in community and nonprofit organizations including Memory Matters, the Sea Pines Country Club, and Community Foundation of the Lowcountry. He served has the Chairman of the Board of Directors of both Memory Matters and the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry. He joined NOC in 2017 and has been actively promoting NOC locally and helping to expand NOC’s programs in Beaufort County. John Weymouth.is now actively involved in replicating the NOC business model beyond Beaufort County, SC.
Madeline Helser-Howard. Executive Director
Madeline Helser-Howard received a BA in Music from Earlham College and a MS in Library and Information Science from University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign. In Indiana she worked in the public library and spearheaded initiatives that focused on partnering with multiple agencies to achieve a common goal through a collaborative summer program with the parks department, the local museums, and the local environmental center. She also served on the board of Lemonade Day, a national initiative focused on bringing entrepreneurship and financial literacy to children. She was a founding member of the Richmond (IN) Community Orchestra and active in the local theater. Madeline comes to NOC from the Beaufort County Library System where she spent the last five years serving the community as a Senior Librarian and Youth Services Coordinator. During her tenure with the Library she created the collaborative “Summer @ Your Library,” a joint program between the Beaufort County School District and Beaufort County Library System. She also re-imagined and expanded library services to the YMCA Migrant Education Program and taught many free parent reading workshops through Born to Read, Inc. She has over fifteen years’ experience serving youth and their families in programs that promote self-empowerment through education. She joined NOC in September 2020.