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National Kidney Foundation of N.C. to Honor Phil Kirk at Fundraising Event

July 18, 2007

Category: Staff

by Cindy Stranad,

Leanne Skipper, CEO of the National Kidney Foundation of North Carolina (NKF), announced today the organization will be hosting a testimonial dinner honoring Phil Kirk on October 18 at the Prestonwood Country Club in Cary. 

We're excited to hold the first event in Raleigh and are confident that the event will be a very successful fundraiser," said Skipper. "NKF is proud to honor Phil Kirk for his continued service to North Carolina." 

Four former governors and a U.S. senator including Sen. James T. Broyhill, Gov. James E. Holshouser, Jr., Gov. James B. Hunt, Jr., Gov. James G. Martin and Gov. Robert W. Scott have been invited to serve as honorary chairs.

By honoring Kirk for his contributions to education and business in North Carolina, the National Kidney Foundation will raise awareness about chronic kidney disease (CKD) and its two primary causes- hypertension and diabetes. As public education is a critical tool for prevention and early detection, the NKF is partnering with business leaders to draw attention to the ever-increasing problem.

Skipper also announced the steering committee members chosen to assist in organizing and hosting the event. The committee includes:

Steering Committee Chair: 

  • Ann Goodnight, director of community relations, SAS

Steering Committee: 

  • Barbara Allen, former chair, N.C. Democratic Party ;
  • Slee Arnold, president and CEO, Women’s Edge Magazine ;
  • Cherie Berry, commissioner, N.C. Department of Labor ;
  • Laura Bingham, president, Peace College ;
  • Rolf Blizzard, CEO, Turnpike Properties ;
  • Erskine Bowles, president, University of North Carolina ;
  • Kevin Cain, president and CEO, John Rex Foundation ;
  • Leah Devlin, state health director, Division of Public Health ;
  • Judy Hunt, principal, Kohler Real Estate ;
  • Robert Ingram, vice chairman of pharmaceuticals, GlaxoSmithKline ;
  • Darleen Johns, president and CEO, Alphanumeric Systems ;
  • Charles Neely, Jr., attorney at law, Williams, Mullin, Maupin and Taylor ;
  • Carmen Hooker Odom, former secretary, N.C. Department of Health and Human Services ;
  • Sheila Ogle, CEO, MRPP ;
  • Bill Shore, U.S. director of community partnerships, GlaxoSmithKline ;
  • Craig Souza, president and CEO, N.C. Healthcare Facilities ;
  • Cindy Stranad, principal, Articulon ;
  • Nancy Temple, vice president of corporate communications, Progress Energy ;
  • Chris Viehbacher, president, US Pharmaceuticals, GlaxoSmithKline ;
  • Larry Wheeler, director, N.C. Museum of Art ;
  • Thad Woodard, president, N.C. Bankers Association ;
  • Jane Worsham, former executive director, State Board of Education ;
  • Smedes York, CEO, The York Companies 

"I feel so honored that these wonderful people are coming together to support the National Kidney Foundation,” said Kirk.

For more information on The National Kidney Foundation and how to make a donation, please visit


;About Phil Kirk
Phil Kirk is the Vice President for External Relations at Catawba College in Salisbury and owner of a speaking and consulting firm. In 1970, Phil was elected as the youngest state senator in North Carolina. In 1989, Phil became president of North Carolina Citizens for Business and Industry and was consistently ranked among the top 25 most effective N.C. lobbyists. As politician, government official, president of the state chamber, NCCBI, and chairman of the State Board of Education, Phil has delivered more than 6,000 talks. For more information or to book a speaking engagement, visit or e-mail

About the National Kidney Foundation of North Carolina
Founded in 1950, The NKF of North Carolina (NKFNC) is the state's leading voluntary health agency dedicated to the detection, prevention and treatment of diseases of the kidney and urinary tract. The NKFNC develops and delivers programs to communities, patients, individuals and families. Leading these efforts in North Carolina, the National Kidney Foundation of NC has more than 3500 volunteers and supporters who bring help and hope to over 11,000 North Carolinians who are on dialysis and the many thousands who are at risk for kidney or urologic disease. For more information visit

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