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She spent 10 years outside of Charlotte moving around Texas and Europe for graduate school and work, and in 2002 she and her husband, Felix, decided to make Charlotte their forever home. Most of her professional life has been spent in communications, development and strategy roles with non-profits, the arts and multinational corporations.
While Candice has been involved in a variety of fundraising and community programs, one of her most notable achievements was starting TEDxCharlotte back in 2009 to bring communities of creative and innovative thinkers and doers together. And, recognizing the lack of access to programs for gifted students in low-income schools, she took the initiative to start an in-school coding program for fifth graders at Thomasboro Academy with the support of One Laptop Per Child and the Knight Foundation.
She also was instrumental in the creation, development and funding of MAX, the Mobile Arts + Community Experience in partnership with the College of Arts + Architecture at UNC Charlotte. MAX is a custom-converted shipping container that doubles as a classroom and performance space, and is deployed in areas around Charlotte where access to the arts, culture and community engagement is lacking.
From 2015-2017, Candice served as a communications and civic engagement consultant to the Charlotte Mecklenburg Opportunity Taskforce — connecting the community to the work of the Taskforce, creating tools to help the public understand its purpose, and designing experiences to get the public engaged with the Taskforce’s work.
As a consultant, she has worked on projects for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, Foundation for the Carolinas, Centralina Council of Governments, World Wildlife Fund, the Humane Society of Charlotte, the Knight Foundation and Duke Energy.
Candice has been involved with The Duke Mansion and The Lee Institute for over a decade, and has served on the board since 2011. Her role as Managing Director of The Lee Institute allows her to bring her experience and connections in the community to The Lee Institute and its clients.
“I believe Charlotte is at an inflection point,” says Candice, “We have experienced and learned a lot in the past few years — about who we are, where we have been and where we want to go. It’s up to us to deliver on the promises we’ve made to ourselves and our children, and put in the work to make Charlotte an empathetic community where everyone has equitable access, where no child or family goes without food or a home, and where we hold ourselves accountable to be part of the solution.”
“The Lee Institute has served nonprofits in our region for over two decades, providing leadership, strategy, and civic engagement expertise,” she continues, “We have brilliant nonprofit leaders in our community who need us now — at this inflection point — more than ever. You can be the best executive director or the most dedicated board member, but at critical points you still need an experienced, trusted advisor to guide you through important changes or help lead you to critical decisions. That’s who we are. Our clients know that we hold a wealth of knowledge and we bring that to each and every client and project. That’s what makes us unique.”
And Candice’s commitment to leadership doesn’t end there, it’s also how she lives her life. “If I can help someone, whether it’s providing a meal for a homebound neighbor, connecting someone to employment, or aiding an organization in finding resources to run a vital program, I will. It’s a responsibility and a privilege to bring your power and position to catalyze change wherever and to whomever you can.”
Candice and Felix have two hilarious kids and one awesome dog and live in Plaza Midwood, the neighborhood where Candice grew up.