The HPU visitor committee welcomes 10 new members
HIGH POINT, NC, 10/26/2021 – High Point University has appointed 10 new members to its Visitors Committee. The board consists of more than 100 corporate leaders, alumni, friends and community representatives of the HPU who are recognized for their character, success, philanthropy and leadership skills.
“The HPU is blessed by the support of all 10 new members of the visitor committee,” says HPU President Dr. Nido Qubein. “Our students will learn a lot from the leadership, advocacy, and experience that each member brings.”
Gary Biesecker grew up on a farm in Bertand, Nebraska. He attended a one-room schoolhouse for eight years. After graduating from high school, he enrolled at Dane College and then studied at the University of Nebraska Medical School. Biesecker spent five years as an intern and resident at a marine hospital in Virginia. After leaving Naval Hospital, he spent three years as Chief of Surgery at Submarine Base Hospital in Connecticut. In 1976 he moved to High Point, where he practiced general surgery until 2012.
âI fully agree with the values ââand principles of High Point University,â says Biesecker. âThe HPU is not only an excellent and extraordinary teaching institution, but is also heavily involved in the High Point Community. I look forward to continuing to support HPU through the Board of Visitors. “
Thomas Blount worked in the newspaper industry for more than 60 years, doing almost everything in the daily newspaper business except pushing the button that got the presses running. While working for nine newspapers in six states, Blount was the editor of four newspapers for over 42 years, including The High Point Enterprise, which he retired from in 2021.
Blount served on three dozen boards, committees, and task forces in the High Point area over the past 31 years. He is still an active member of the Forest Hills Presbyterian Church, the Rotary Club of High Point, the High Point Arts Council Board, the A. Pat & Kathryne Brown Foundation Board, the High Point Community Against Violence, the High Point Theater Advisory Commission, and Heart of High Point.
He is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.
“I think it is an honor and a privilege to be on the High Point University Visitors Committee again,” says Blount. âAs Ambassador and Member of the Nido R. Qubein School of Communication Advisory Board, I am proud to represent a university that emphasizes God, family and land and continues to meet high standards in all respects, and an institution in which my The Deceased Wife Betty Lou worked as communications director in the late 1990s. “
Harry D. “Butch” Johnson, Jr. worked in the IT industry for almost 20 years. Johnson eventually acquired Steel Performance, Inc. and completed steel assembly for more than 100 million square feet of buildings in 38 states over the next 30 years. He is a member of the Covenant Church United Methodist and was a member of the Heart of High Point Committee. Johnson also supports the High Point Community Against Violence, HPU’s Bonn Leader Program and United Way.
Johnson and his wife Susan lived in the High Point area for most of their lives. Her daughter Jennifer is a proud 2014 HPU graduate.
“I have the HPU and Dr. Admired Qubein’s mission when my daughter was a student at HPU, âsays Johnson. âI believe in helping with whatever we come across on our journey. I am honored to have this opportunity to be an advocate for HPU by serving on the Visitors Committee. “
Nasi Kajana is a 1997 HPU graduate originally from Tirana, Albania. He is a passionate and motivated entrepreneur with a desire to help others reach their potential. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. After completing his studies, he coordinated refugee resettlement and disaster relief for the first few years of his career in the triad.
He is co-founder and president of Fortuna Enterprises, a southeastern center for specialty coffee and commercial hospitality design, and co-founder of Etruscan Imports, a European “farm to table” wine importer. Fortuna Enterprises has employed HPU graduates and interns for 18 consecutive years.
âI am grateful to be on the Board of Visitors and to be able to contribute in every possible way,â says Kajana. “HPU not only provided me with a great education, but also an opportunity to be a productive member of American society, to enjoy life, freedom, and the pursuit of happiness.”
Wes Keever was born in High Point and has lived here for most of his life. He graduated from High Point Central High School, earned a degree in business administration from Wofford College and a master’s degree in business administration from High Point University.
Keever began his career at Thomas Built Buses selling school buses and airport shuttle buses. In November 2001, he began his career with the family business Colonial, LLC. Today he is President of Colonial, LLC and of K-5 Solutions, a subsidiary of Colonial, LLC.
“I am honored to join the HPU Board of Visitors,” says Keever. âWhen choosing a graduate school, the HPU was very clear about its vision, which was one of the reasons why I chose the HPU. As a PhD student, I have seen tremendous growth and positive changes first hand while the university has implemented its vision. I am grateful for the impact the university has had on my life and also on our city, and I look forward to being an official attorney on your behalf. “
Lynn Lomax has been with the YMCA for 38 years. He began his career at Rowan County YMCA in Salisbury after receiving his Bachelor of Science degree and a minor in Business Administration from Appalachian State University. He spent 10 years as CEO of the Greater Charlotte YMCA where he led and oversaw the Operation Vice Presidents and Vice Presidents of Capital Projects and Facilities for 19 facilities and two resident camps in five counties. In April 2017, he joined High Point’s YMCA as CEO.
Lomax is married to Mrs. Daphne and has three children and four grandchildren.
Brian Mabe is a native high point and a graduate of T. Wingate Andrews High School. He graduated from Appalachian State University, where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration in Real Estate and Urban Analysis. He completed his real estate education at the NC Realtors Institute at UNC Chapel Hill.
Mabe joined the family’s real estate business immediately after college and is now the President / Owner of Mabe & Company, REALTORS. He has served the ward in a variety of roles including serving on the board of the High Point Regional Association of Realtors, the High Point Human Relations Commission, the advisory board of the Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club, and as a deacon and elder for the Community Bible Church.
Mabe and his wife Angela live in High Point. They have a daughter, Pearce, a Kappa Delta who will graduate from HPU in 2022.
âI saw my daughter thrive both academically and socially during her time at HPU,â says Mabe. âOur family loved seeing the joy they experienced being part of the HPU community. We believe in the importance the university places on experiential learning and life skills, and we pride ourselves on the university’s stance of being a god, family and country school. I am grateful for how HPU helped my daughter’s education and what it achieved in our high point community. I’m really excited and honored to have the opportunity to serve and promote HPU as a member of the Visitors Committee. “
Levan Seperteladze, 1995 HPU graduate, grew up in Tbilisi, Georgia, in the former Soviet Union. He came to the United States in 1993 and received a presidential scholarship from High Point University, where he received a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a degree in international management. Seperteladze is General Manager at Vann York Toyota and Vann York Honda. He also acts as his own business in stocks, futures and options.
Seperteladze is married to Anne, who is also an HPU graduate with a degree in French and Education. They married in 2000 and have three daughters: Natalie, Catherine and Anna.
âI accepted the nomination because HPU is my favorite place in the world,â says Seperteladze. âIt’s a pleasure to see that it looks so good and goes so well! It is an honor for me to continue my advocacy for the God-Family-Land-School. “
Melanie Shaffer was born and raised in High Point, North Carolina. She studied animal science and agricultural economics at NC State University. After a successful career in the insurance industry, Shaffer retired in 2020. Today she volunteers and works with various charities.
Shaffer’s family is deeply rooted in High Point University. Her parents met in 1953 when it was High Point College. Shaffer also has two aunts, two uncles, and a cousin who attended High Point University.
Her father was active at HPC / HPU and is the former president of the Panther Club. Her mother is one of the founders of the women’s alumni group Steel Magnolias. There is also a scholarship at HPU on behalf of her maternal grandparents.
She is excited to play an active role in the university that meant so much to her family.
Joseph Yacyshyn is a 1973 HPU graduate. He retired after a 45 year career with the Wilmington Trust Company. Although Yacyshyn spent most of his career as a commercial lender, he spent the last decade of his career managing the company’s charitable giving program, providing financial support to hundreds of nonprofits across the region.
Yacyshyn and his wife, Deb, a 1974 graduate native of Thomasville, North Carolina, are retired and live in Delaware.
âI was the first member of my family to go to college,â says Yacyshyn. âI was fortunate that High Point provided an environment in which I could learn and grow. I am grateful for all of your efforts, both in and out of the classroom. High Point provided an environment for me to be better prepared for life after graduation. I now believe that it is time for me to try and repay the debt. Advocacy and engagement on behalf of the university is one area in which all alumni can help. I believe the Board of Visitors is giving me a unique opportunity. “