President of the Board of Liberty Arts, Past Vice-President 2012
Jackie MacLeod originally trained as a MD and worked for many years in the U.K. and Germany as both a surgeon and anesthesiologist. After moving to the United States in 1998 and concentrating on raising two boys, Jackie turned to nurture her artistic side. Drawn to the power and beauty of metal, she spent two years as an apprentice with Jimmy Alexander, a local blacksmith and President of the North Carolina Blacksmith Association and started her own metal design and fabrication business afterwards. In 2011 Jackie joined Liberty Arts as one of its resident artists.
She served as PTA president of Carolina Friends School in 2009 and 2010, and also co-founded Carolina Kinder, a Triangle based organization dedicated to supporting families that raise children bilingually and has served on the board of Liberty Arts for the past year.
Vice President of the Board of Liberty Arts
For Robert O’Reilly, the arts have always been a part of life. He graduated from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in Art History, while adding to his perspective with courses such as “The Philosophy of Art.” His own artistic interests include 20th century modernism, particularly within the post-WWI and post-WWII periods. Robert, or ‘Bo’ as he is fondly known, has had a diverse career spent working in the fields of advertising/marketing, the music business, operational office management, and accounting. For the last twenty years he has worked at Duke; the last eight of which have been in the business office at the Duke University School of Nursing. Prior to that, Mr. O’Reilly worked with Duke Management Company, which is the university’s investment wing. Bo has lived in Durham’s historic Trinity Park neighborhood for 30 years, and served on the Trinity Park Neighborhood Association Board of Directors for six years. He has a keen interest in Durham’s history and architecture; and regularly explores the city on bike searching for remnants that speak of our old tobacco town’s vibrant past.
Marina Leed, Ph.D
Secretary of the Board of Liberty Arts
Marina Leed works at BASF as a chemist to support metabolism studies. Previously, she worked as a postdoctoral researcher at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the School of Pharmacy. Her work focused on drug discovery and development, and she relished sharing scientific knowledge with the general population. Dr. Leed completed a B.S. in Chemistry at Centre College, in Danville, KY in 2005. She then moved to Durham to obtain her Ph.D. in Chemistry at Duke University. While working in the lab, she realized that her passions for life were not being met completely by her interests in science and she sought out the creative- minded. In 2010, Marina married Elijah Leed who drew her into the vibrant and growing arts community in Durham. Marina now fills her time with reading, gardening, knitting for a growing number of nieces and nephews, and organizing events for Liberty Arts.
Treasurer of the Board of Liberty Arts
I have mechanical skills. (I loved the muscle cars from High School.) That got me my first loved job as an Assistant Service Manager at the local Chevrolet dealer. I spent four years talking to the customers, looking and listening to the car to determine the problem and then explaining the problem to the mechanic. I have kept those skills throughout life. I always enjoy a good mechanical problem.
I have people skills. Those skills carried over from the Chevy dealer and into the truck transport jobs that I held for fifteen years. I dealt with product delivery to customers and later (with an Associate Degree in Vocational Education) I spent twelve of those years at my next most loved job – training adults to drive tractor-trailers through the North Carolina Truck Driver Training School at Johnston Community College. That was an exciting job that earned me a lot of contacts in the truck transport industry.
I have computer and automations skills. I earned two Associate Degrees from Wake Technical College, one in Computer Engineering and one in Automation Robotics. For a short moment I assembled logic based machines that put labels on containers. Then I sold parts, then parts and service and finally as the Parts and Service Manager I wrote manuals for the machines. I did some traveling (Canada, California, Argentina) to train the factory people to maintain their machines.
I combined all those skills when I went to work with the North Carolina Department of Transportation – my most loved career. For two years I helped a team set up a course to train, first employees then contractors, on how to install traffic signals properly (a logic based device with electrical and grounding issues). After those two years I worked for ten years as the “computer guy” for the state Traffic Engineering Branch. (I don’t like to say “IT” it doesn’t portray the personal customer service need that exists.) I then spent five years working with traffic signal systems on the highway. Logic control, electro mechanical connections, people that want to move along the highway, and a driving behavior that must come together to make traffic flow.
I have hobbies and interests. For ten years I was an advisor at Wake Technical College in the Automation curriculum. I also love to hike and camp. For the last seventeen years I have been a Scoutmaster for a Boy Scout Troop in Raleigh. Through the help of many parents and non-profit groups we have seen many Scouts come through the program. With all that help they were able to teach and learn skills in communication, finance, outdoor living, and yes trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind . . . . . . Our Troop has thirty Eagle Scouts to its credit.
Since 1996 I have worked with artists in the Liberty Arts community. Steel and blacksmithing is where I started with Jimmy Alexander. Jimmy passed away some time ago but I could not leave Liberty Arts. I hung around as an “art groupie” because I enjoy the mindset of the artists there. I am not an artist but I try to be useful so the artists will keep me around. In 2013 I was elected to the Board and I serve as Treasurer. I am proud to be associated with the storehouse of knowledge and artistic skill that is Liberty Arts Inc.
Carter B. Cue
Carter B. Cue is a native of Durham (NC) who has returned to the Bull City after a 25-year hiatus that included school, work, traveling the world, looking at art, meeting interesting people and learning new things. Prior to coming back to Durham his interest in history and personal narrative led to a decade of work at Winston-Salem State University as University Archivist and reference librarian. When he is not engaged in Durham’s new creative communities, various artistic incubators or just improving his own creative/curiosity quotient he plies his time as a professional librarian at Durham County Library’s historic Stanford L. Warren Branch in the former Hayti community. Away from the library he volunteers at his home church of First Calvary Baptist Church, studies printmaking and the evolution of printing, reads books-about-books, novels, design, architecture, art, invention, political science, music, history and anything that strikes his fancy at the moment.
However, his current interest focuses on taking an ideal or artistic concept that some might deem highly improbable and connect people, communities and resources for win-win situations and absolutely fun, engaging and intellectually stimulating community events.
Past Treasurer 2009-2012
Carolyn E. Davidson grew up in Durham before embarking on a career in business development and advisory experience with large, middle market, and emerging corporations in the U.S. In conjunction with a move to Chicago, she opened and managed a Wachovia Bank representative office, before transitioning to a Corporate Finance Specialist with Wachovia Securities. From 2004-2006, Carolyn helped reorganize KeySource Bank as SunTrust Bank in Durham. She now works as President of Self Storage Investment Group, Inc. Having come full circle back to Durham, Mrs. Davidson is pleased to be a part of the exciting developments in the arts and community. She lends her extensive financial knowledge to Liberty Arts by helping with budgeting, grants and corporate support.
Past President, 2010-2012
Since moving to Durham in 1997, Cassandra Gooding has lived in many up-and-coming artistic neighborhoods, including Durham Central Park and Duke Park. With over 25 years experience in industrial and architectural design and construction, Cassandra has worked for internationally recognized, award winning architecture and manufacturing firms as a designer, team leader, project manager and construction administrator. She is now self-employed as a designer and builder of residential projects. In addition to her dedication to Liberty Arts, Cassandra was a volunteer site captain for the public art project, Bending Spaces: Georges Rousse & the Durham Project.
Craig Johnson grew up in Culpeper VA, a small, mostly agrarian community. He graduated from Roanoke College with a BA in English and a minor in Business Administration. After a stint building and then selling swimming pools, Mr. Johnson began his educational publishing career with Allyn and Bacon, at that time a Gulf and Western company. As a sales representative, he traveled across North Carolina, South Carolina, and eastern Tennessee.
In 1990, he was hired away by publishing giant, Harcourt Brace and soon moved to the Fort Worth TX office as a marketing manager covering various disciplines including foreign languages, psychology, education, philosophy, finance, accounting, and economics. By 1995, Craig’s interest in new technologies and new business models led to the creation of a new business group within Harcourt focusing on non-traditional markets, corporate training, government, and the for profit education market.
By 1999, Johnson left the traditional publishing world for the dot com explosion and its early forays into the educational technology space. Working with startups such as College Club, Open Mind Publishing Group, and Lulu, his focus was primarily in the business development and strategic partnership arena. In 2005 Mr. Johnson had opened up his own consultancy with an emphasis on digital content delivery, intellectual property monetization, and developing new business models for the education space.
Currently Craig holds the position of General Manager and Director of Business Development for Learning Objects in Washington DC. He lives with his wife Holly and five children in Chapel Hill. He enjoys watching his children play sports, occasionally running, avidly reading (especially trashy fiction), and playing golf quite badly. Mr. Johnson is finishing up his first year with Liberty Arts and serves on the Marketing committee as its ad hoc chair.
Murat Kaptanoglu, CFP, CRPC
Murat Kaptanoglu grew up in Germany, spent his high school and college years in Istanbul, Turkey, and then moved to North Carolina in 1995. Initially embarked on a path to become a diplomat, Murat ended up as a Certified Financial Planner with his own practice. With over 17 years of experience and numerous national recognitions in the industry, including qualifying for, the President’s Recognition Award, America’s Top Financial Planners, Circle of Success, the Million Dollar Round Table, he is extremely passionate about both his work and life. Murat’s family means everything to him and is at the center of his life. He and his wife, Leslie, have been together for over 21 years. They love spending time together, traveling to new places, going to movies and live performances, and supporting the arts. His wonderful son, Kenan, is 16 and wears his heart on his sleeve. His multi-talented daughter, Talia, is 14 going on 30. Murat is currently coaching his daughter’s co-ed soccer team, and is extremely interested in this sport. Murat loves spending time with his kids and creating memories together that will last a lifetime.
Murat has traveled to many far-flung locations in the world and loves to learn about different countries and cultures. Thus far, he has been to 58 countries, and hopes to visit 100 countries in his lifetime.
Murat believes in giving back to society and being an active and involved member of his local community. He is thrilled to be in Durham and to be part of the arts community that is transforming Durham into one of the most desirable places to live in the US. He offers Liberty Arts a unique perspective and a business view on financial matters.
After decades as an award-winning network television news producer in New York, Denise moved to Durham, NC in 2003 looking for a rewarding but less stressful life. She found that and more working at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival and later becoming one of the founding producers for the public radio program The Story with Dick Gordon, broadcast nationally from WUNC.
Retirement meant time to focus on her historic home and garden in Old North Durham, and the chance to adopt a dog (a Plotthound named Abby). Happily it has also presented a fantastic volunteer opportunity at Liberty Arts Sculpture Studio and Foundry. She admires the organizations’ sense of community and is proud to be part of it.
Paul Vernon is a materials engineer by training who has always had an interested in applying that knowledge to art and sculpture. Paul has a BA in chemistry from UNC and a MS in materials engineering from Clemson and has worked professionally in manufacturing medical devices and research in biomaterials. Paul is an entrepreneur who has funded two medical device start-ups with research grants from the National Institutes of Health. Paul first became involved in Liberty Arts in 2005 by casting bronze in the foundry and has served on the board for six years.