Triangle Leaders Join WakeEd Partnership Board of Directors; Emma Browning of Paradox Consulting Partners Elected Board Chair

RALEIGH, N.C. — WakeEd Partnership (WakeEd), a business-backed nonprofit organization that supports public schools in Wake County, announced today that Emma Browning, Managing Director of Paradox Consulting Partners, has been elected Chair of its Board of Directors. Seven other business and community leaders will join WakeEd’s Board of Directors effective July 1, 2023, for three-year terms.

New Board members joining WakeEd Partnership include:

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version=\”4.14.8\” _module_preset=\”default\” global_colors_info=\”{}\”][et_pb_column type=\”4_4\” _builder_version=\”4.14.8\” _module_preset=\”default\” global_colors_info=\”{}\”][et_pb_image src=\”\” title_text=\”BoardNew23\” _builder_version=\”4.14.8\” _module_preset=\”default\” global_colors_info=\”{}\”][/et_pb_image][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row _builder_version=\”4.14.8\” _module_preset=\”default\” global_colors_info=\”{}\”][et_pb_column type=\”4_4\” _builder_version=\”4.14.8\” _module_preset=\”default\” global_colors_info=\”{}\”][et_pb_text _builder_version=\”4.14.8\” _module_preset=\”default\” global_colors_info=\”{}\”]


“40 years ago a group of visionary leaders came together to form Wake Education Partnership because they believed in public education and thought an organization like ours was needed to support Wake County Public Schools and ensure all our students had the opportunity for a world-class education”, said Keith Poston, President, WakeEd Partnership. “We are so fortunate to add this new crop of leaders to our Board to guide us forward in our continued work to support our teachers, schools, school leaders and students.”


Emma Browning is the Founder and Managing Director of Paradox Consulting Partners, a management consulting company based in the Triangle that aligns talent strategy with business strategy. She founded Paradox after almost a decade with a national consulting firm to create impact in the community where she lives. Prior to business school, she worked as Director of Communications and Director of Social Enterprises at an arts education nonprofit in Washington, D.C. She is passionate about innovation and creating equitable opportunity. She has a BA from Wake Forest University and MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. She enjoys spending time with her kids and family and exploring the dynamic business and arts scene in the Triangle.

David Gillham is a Senior Engineering Manager for Analytics at Raleigh-based software company Pendo. Prior to his time at Pendo, David graduated from North Carolina State University in Computer Engineering and worked as an engineering leader at SAS Institute for over 20 years. In addition to his work in engineering, he regularly contributed to local nonprofits such as Habitat for Humanity, Kramden Institute, and the National Inclusion Project. A native of Wilmington, North Carolina, David has lived in the Triangle area for over 25 years.

Tafa Magaya is SVP (Senior Vice President) for Strategy, Marketing, and Innovation at Loparex. He has over 22 years of experience, which includes application engineering, innovation, product management, strategy, sustainability, and leadership roles ranging from startups to multi-billion dollar companies. A true global citizen, Tafa is fluent in 3 languages – Shona, German and English. He was born and raised in Zimbabwe and moved to Germany after high school, where he obtained a Bachelor’s in Chemical Engineering at Berlin University of Applied Sciences, on a full academic scholarship from the Carl Duisburg Society. He also has an MBA from the Sloan School of Management at MIT. Tafa is married with an older daughter in middle school and a younger son in 1st grade. As the son of two educators, he is passionate about education, and the opportunities that it can open up in life.

Kamar Perkins enlisted in the United States Army right after high school and would go on to become a paratrooper within the United States Army’s 3rd Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, North Carolina. While in the 3rd Special Forces Group, Kamar distinguished himself by being elected the company, the battalion, the group, and the United States Army’s Best Warrior in 2018. Perkins went on to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice with a minor in History from Campbell University. After earning the Green to Gold Scholarship, Perkins would earn his commission into the United States Army North Carolina National Guard. He would then go on to graduate from the United States Army’s Logistical College in Fort Lee, Virginia, where he earned his mark as a Logistics Officer in the United States Army, North Carolina National Guard. He continues to serve in a part-time capacity with the North Carolina National Guard’s military funeral honors. As a full-time job, Perkins is the managing partner of the organization When People Work and the Director of Veterans Services and Affairs. This organization helps individuals who are returning from prison or leaving military service to re-enter society and become contributing members of the community.

Iman-N-Lah S. Rasheed is the Workforce Development Program Manager and a CPC-DevelopMe Leadership Coach for UNC Health. She has been with the organization since 2020 and has over 10 years directly working as a Workforce Development professional. Iman-N-Lah has a passion and love for working with individuals to assist them with reaching their goals surrounding employment training, placement and career coaching. Prior to joining UNC Health, Iman-N-Lah held the position as the Assistant Career Center Manager with the NC Department of Commerce Division of Workforce Solutions-NC Works Career Center of Durham. Some of her other workforce development roles include Employment & Education Services Manager with Passage Home, Inc., Workforce Development Coordinator with Passage Home, Inc., Director of Workforce Innovations with the North Carolina Institute of Minority Economic Development and a Credit Analyst/College Coordinator with the North Carolina Institute of Minority Economic Development.

Gil Shoaf grew up in a small town outside of Lexington, North Carolina. In 2016, he graduated from North Carolina State University with a Bachelor\’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. Following graduation, Shoaf completed the Engineering Development Program at John Deere where he worked in the research and development department as well as the test lab. Following that, he worked for 4 years as a Design Engineer for John Deere’s golf mower product line. Currently, Shoaf works as a Verification and Validation Engineer for connectivity product solutions for John Deere’s Turf and Compact Utility business unit. Since 2021, he has served as the JD Inspire Site Coordinator for the factory in Fuquay Varina. In this role, he works to engage with the local community to promote STEM education and has worked with WakeEd on our SummerSTEM program and is now supporting WakeEd’s new Career Exploration middle school initiatives.

Jack Turnwald (They/Them) is an award-winning, trans non-binary, former educator of 19 years. Having earned a Bachelor’s in English and Psychology from Miami University in Ohio and a M.A.T. from Duke University, they entered the classroom with a lens that prioritized inclusiveness, safety, and challenging academics. They brought with them a global lens after working in South Korea as a Fulbright scholar and educator for six years. Throughout their years in North Carolina’s Public Schools, they became a vocal advocate and builder of culturally responsive curriculum taught from a foundation of trust. That curriculum was exceptionally effective in positively impacting literacy and student engagement. They hold central the belief that we must prioritize historical truth-telling, experience educational humility, and center lived experiences in order to build schools, workplaces, and communities that are productive and psychologically safe for all. They are currently a DEI consultant for Humancentric LLC with certification from Cornell University and a certificate from the Diversity Movement’s Leaders Intensive. They are also writing about the ways trauma shows up for both students and teachers in our education system.

Cyndy Yu-Robinson is the Executive Director of Kramden Institute, a non-profit organization in Durham, NC founded in 2003. Kramden’s purpose is to connect Carolinians to technology and education to foster digital equity. Kramden helps businesses sanitize data, repurpose and responsibly recycle their surplus IT devices. They also offers zero or low-cost computers and digital literacy education to low incomes adults in the Triangle and across North Carolina.  Cyndy leads Kramden talent and focuses on sustainable practices, financial resources and mission achievement. Her passions include environmental protection, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility (DEIA), and community service. Cyndy worked in public affairs roles at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Lenovo, and AECOM. Prior to Kramden, she was the Executive Director of National Association of Asian American Professionals, a national leadership development organization. Cyndy has a Human Biology degree from Stanford University and a Master’s in International Relations from UC San Diego.

About WakeEd Partnership 
Celebrating its 40th Anniversary in 2023, WakeEd Partnership (WakeEd) is a leading independent nonprofit backed by business and community leaders to support the teachers, students, and families of Wake County Public Schools. Since 1983, WakeEd has been committed to improving public education and advocating for excellent educational opportunities for all students. For more information, please visit

Scroll to Top