IC Board Information

Hello Invest families, stakeholders and members of the community. The board is responsible for governing two public charter schools in North Carolina, Invest Collegiate Transform in Charlotte and Invest Collegiate Imagine in Asheville, to ensure they meet their missions and promises to the communities they aim to serve. The volunteer board meets monthly, rotating the location of the meeting between the two school locations.

ICC Board Key Roles and Responsibilities:

  • Establishing and monitoring the school’s academic outcomes
  • Establishing and monitoring management compliance with policies
  • Overseeing and approving the use of operational finances

To effectively meet these roles the board is seeking volunteers that have skill sets in the areas of:

  • Accounting and finances
  • Marketing and public relations
  • Real estate
  • Legal policies
  • Human resources


We thank you for Investing in us.


Board Members

Valerie Phillips (2017)
Valerie Phillips is originally from the Philadelphia area and graduated from Arcadia University in 2007 with a B.A. in Theater and English. While enrolled in college, she had the opportunity to teach English in China and study abroad in France. She continued to reside in Philadelphia for two more years after college, working and staying active in theater and fashion. After arriving in Asheville in 2009, Valerie quickly found a place in the arts scene by performing music, attending a school for Aerial Arts and creating clothing designs. In 2011, Valerie was featured in Verve magazine, on the cover and with an interview about her designs. Valerie enjoys being part of the Asheville community as an Aerial Arts Instructor, employee of Hometrust Bank and an Animal Haven of Asheville volunteer. As a former public school student, private school student, and homeschooler, Valerie appreciates the value of an innovative approach to education. She believes strongly in the value of the education Invest Collegiate schools provide for their communities and is honored to be a board member.
Mia Strauss (2017)

Mia Strauss is originally from Pennsylvania.  She graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park and following undergraduate school she attended the University of Alaska at Fairbanks and spent some summers living and conducting research in a remote field camp setting.  Also while in Alaska she and her husband lived and worked as teaching parents in a home with at-risk teens.  She and her husband relocated to Asheville in 2006 and couldn’t think of a better place to live.  Mia has been involved in various businesses in Asheville.  After moving here and trying to find a job to fit with her family she began bookkeeping, which led to general business management and marketing.  Currently, Mia is self employed as a contractor helping business owners with bookkeeping, finance and marketing needs.

Mia has 2 children and her son has been a student at IC Imagine since the doors were opened. She finds it really refreshing to have her children in an environment that is always striving to do what’s best for the students and willing to change and make adjustments as needed. In her free time Mia enjoys hiking, cooking and traveling. She is excited to be an IC board member to help build a solid foundation schools for years to come.
Megan Medley (2015) Board Secretary

Megan Medley moved to the Asheville area in 2011 from Florida. She received her undergraduate degree in Secondary Social Studies Education from the University of North Florida in 2007 and her J.D. from Florida Coastal School of Law in 2011. She is currently licensed to practice law in both Florida and North Carolina. In 2008, Megan was given the opportunity through the Golden Key International Honour Society to travel to China on an anthropological and archeological expedition. While there she had many opportunities to learn and explore China’s culture, among those were participating in an archaeological dig, walking part of the Great Wall, and strolling the lanes of the Forbidden City. Megan is active in the community, participating in the 28th Judicial District Bar’s Young Lawyers Division, North Carolina Association of Women Attorneys, and North Carolina Bar Association events. In addition to her volunteer activities with the local bar, Megan enjoys giving back to the youth in the area by giving private pitching lessons, clinics, and coaching girls fastpitch softball. In her spare time, Megan enjoys traveling, gardening, hiking with her dog Atticus, and reading.

Ms. Carolyn Smith (2015)

Carolyn Smith moved from NJ to the Asheville, NC area in 2004, having retired from a 30 year career as an educator and a 22 year journey as a community, county and state leader in school board service. She and her husband live on a mountain top in Fairview with their two rescue dogs and rescue cat.

“My life has been dedicated to public education and better serving the needs of children. As a teacher and administrator, I focussed on developing innovative ways to hook the learner, creating an environment where each learner could achieve at their highest potential. As a school board member I advocated for administrative effectiveness and efficiency to maximize investment in actual instruction. Having the opportunity to serve on the Invest Collegiate Board of Directors gives me a chance to continue following my passion for innovative, child-centered public education.

Dr. Eddie Hoover (2015) Board President

Dr. Hoover, a native of Charlotte, North Carolina, received his B.A. degree in chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1965 and his M.D. degree from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina in 1969. Following two years of residency in general surgery at Duke, he was assigned to active duty in the United States Navy at the Naval Hospital on Guam in the Mariana Islands from 1971-73. He completed his general surgery at the New York Hospital-Cornell University Medical Center in 1975 and his Cardiothoracic Fellowship at the same institution in 1978. He spent two years as an assistant professor of surgery at Cornell before moving to Brooklyn, New York, as an associate professor of surgery at the State University of New York – Downstate and chief of surgical services at the Brooklyn Veteran’s Administration Medical Center from July 1980 – August 1987. In 1987 he was named the fourth Professor and chairman of the department of surgery at Meharry College in Nashville, Tennessee. He served as professor and chairman of the department of surgery and Executive Director of the General Surgery Residency Program at the State University of New York at Buffalo from 1990-2001. He also served as chief of the division of cardiothoracic surgery at SUNY/Buffalo from 1991 to 1994 and 2000-2002. Dr. Hoover has trained over 100 general surgeons and half dozen cardiothoracic surgeons who are currently practicing throughout the world.

Dr. Hoover was a member of 40 professional associations including Alpha Omega Alpha, the Society of University Surgeons, the American Association for Thoracic Surgery and the American Surgical Association. He was on the editorial boards of three journals and has published over 180 manuscripts, including co-authoring the landmark AMA apology to the NMA in the July 16, 2008 issue of JAMA. He has served as a visiting professor throughout the world and has been an associate examiner for the American Board of Surgery and the American Board of Thoracic Surgery. He has served on several National Institutes of Health study sections and is past president of the Surgical Section of the National Medical Association and the Society of Black Academic Surgeons. From July of 2004 until July of 2013 he was named the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of the National Medical Association, the nation’s leading medical journal on minority health. Dr. Hoover retired in 2013 but continues to mentor students from high school and college students, residents in training and junior faculty. He also works very closely with the department of surgery at the four campuses of the University of the West Indies strengthening their training programs and improving surgical care across the Caribbean. Dr. Hoover received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Duke University School of Medicine in 2013 and currently serves on the Medical Alumni Council.


Ms. Linda Willis Comer (2013) 

Ms. Comer has over thirty-five years experience in traditional education as a teacher, consultant, principal and assistant superintendent in Michigan. She also served as a Regional Vice President for six years with The Leona Group working with Charter schools. Currently Ms. Comer is the board chair for the American Charter Schools Foundation in Phoenix, Arizona. Serving weekly at a transitional home for women is just one of her many volunteer activities. Ms. Comer is an active member of the Charlotte Chapter of The Links, Incorporated; Friendship Missionary Baptist Church and is a member of the Charlotte Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta. In addition to being with her four grandchildren, Ms. Comer says her passion is working on behalf of children and their families, especially those who are most vulnerable.

Board Documents


Open Meeting Minutes









IC 3.10.16 Open Meeting Minutes

3.11.16 ICI Board Meeting Presentation

IC 3.16.16 open meeting minutes

4.21.16 OPEN meeting minutes

5.12.16 Open Meeting Minutes

6.2.16 Open Meeting Minutes imagine


July 21 Meeting Minutes

Board Calendar

January 12, 2017 Charlotte 6:00
February 9, 2017 Asheville 6:00
March 9, 2017 Charlotte 6:00
April 13, 2017 Asheville 6:00
May 11, 2017 Charlotte 6:00
June 8, 2017 Asheville or schedule the annual meeting (TBD)