Meet the experts
Bill Atkinson, WakeMed Health & Hospitals CEO
Dr. Bill Atkinson has more than 25 years experience as a hospital president and CEO in rural and urban settings in several states. He is only the third CEO in the 50-year history of WakeMed Health & Hospitals. With more than 8,000 employees, WakeMed is one of Wake County’s largest private employers. Atkinson is recognized nationally for his leadership in disaster preparedness and response, emergency medical services, workforce development and for his work in reducing gang activity. He lectures frequently on innovation diffusion in healthcare, science, education and public policy.
Jane Brown, UNC-Chapel Hill professor emeritus
Jane Brown was a professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of North Carolina for 35 years. She has co-authored many articles and books focused on how the media affect adolescents’ risky behaviors, such as violence, alcohol use and early, unprotected sex. Brown was a lead investigator on the National Television Violence Project that monitored the violent content of cable television in the late 1990s. She has served on local, state and national boards focused on youths’ health, including the research advisory committee of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, the board on Children, Youth and Families in the National Academy of Science, the board for Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina and the Chapel Hill Women’s Center.
Devlin Bullock, Crabtree Valley police chief
Chief Devlin Bullock has been employed at Crabtree Valley Mall for 10 years. He worked his way up through the ranks and has been the chief of police at Crabtree Valley Mall for one year.
Deby Dihoff, executive director of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill of NC
Deby Dihoff has more than 35 years of experience in the mental health field. She received her bachelor's degree from Hanover College and her master's from Vanderbilt University. In 1977, she began working with the local public mental health system in Chapel Hill and continued for 23 years. In 2000, she became the director of the Pitt Mental Health Program. In 2006, she assumed the position of executive director of NAMI North Carolina, representing people with mental illness and their families. She has worked on a variety of decriminalization initiatives, including reforming the state’s prison rules for those with mental illnesses and organizing system-transformation trainings.
Amy Fairchild, psychiatrist
Amy Fairchild is a board certified adult psychiatrist who sub-specializes in the treatment of child and adolescent challenges. Her areas of expertise are in treating anxiety, depression, attention deficit hyperactivity and oppositional/conduct disturbances. Fairchild is passionate about the "whole" child, taking a comprehensive, collaborative approach when treating today's pediatric challenges. A native of North Carolina, she earned her medical degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine in 1988. She then completed her residency and fellowship training in 2003 at UNC in adult, child and adolescent psychiatry.
Donnie Harrison, Wake County sheriff
Donnie Harrison was sworn in as Wake County sheriff in 2002 and has served 45 years in law enforcement. He served on the North Carolina Highway Patrol for 26 years and worked as chief of security for the lieutenant governor from 1988-92 and taught courses at the Highway Patrol Academy. In 1992, Gov. James Martin honored him with The Order of the Long Leaf Pine, one of the most prestigious awards presented by the governor. The award recognizes individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to their communities, exhibited extra effort in their careers and served their organizations for many years. Harrison has also been recognized as one of Wake County’s top canine search and rescue handlers. He has trained his own dogs and has volunteered to find lost Alzheimer’s patients, lost children and to track down criminals.
April Harris-Britt, psychologist
April Harris-Britt is a licensed psychologist specializing in child, adolescent and family issues. She received her doctorate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and has trained in a variety of clinical settings, including UNC Hospitals, the Orange-Person-Chatham Mental Health Center, the Center for Development and Learning at UNC and several area school systems. Harris-Britt also conducts psychological evaluations, developmental assessments and consultations with schools, courts and medical practices. She is an active member of the American Psychological Association, the North Carolina Psychological Association, the Society for Research in Child Development and the Association for Play Therapy. She is actively engaged in teaching and research, some of which has been featured on CNN, in Newsweek, on local TV and radio, and in the NY Times Bestseller, NurtureShock.
Jeff Moss, superintendent of Lee County Schools
Jeff Moss was name superintendent of Lee County Schools in January 2009. He has served on the state superintendent’s Career-Ready Commission, the Gates Foundation Pre-K-14 project planning board and was instrumental in the development of the Head of Class Project, an incentive pay plan for teachers and staff. Prior to coming to Lee County, he was superintendent of Beaufort and Stanly county schools. He was a two-time nominee for the North Carolina Superintendent of the Year award. Moss holds a bachelor's degree in business administration from Pembroke State University, a master's from North Carolina A&T University and a doctoral degree in education administration from South Carolina State University.
Gail Neely, executive director of North Carolinians Against Gun Violence
Gail Neely was the assistant director at NCGV for six years. In April of 2012 she became the Executive Director. She is married with two adult daughters. Although she co-owned a small business while raising her children, most of that time was spent in various volunteer positions, first with the Wake County schools and then in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro schools and Girl Scouts. She has been volunteering with the Guardian ad Litem program in Orange and Chatham counties since 2004. Working with families who struggle with such issues as drug and alcohol addiction, domestic violence, mental illness and poverty give good insight into the problems and despair that lead to gun violence.
David Ng, WakeMed chief of police and department safety
David Ng was named chief of campus police and department safety at WakeMed in 2010, leading the department’s daily operations as well as emergency response plans. He maintains and evaluates department programs and security procedures to minimize risks and promote safety and security on WakeMed facilities. Ng joined WakeMed in January 2008 as the administrative captain. He began his law enforcement career with the Raleigh Police Department in 1995.
Mike Tilley, president of Personal Defense & Handgun Safety Center Inc.
Mike Tilley founded Personal Defense & Handgun Safety Center Inc. in Raleigh in 1996 and serves as the owner and operator. As a lifelong firearms enthusiast, he grew up hunting and target shooting on his family farm in Winston-Salem. Tilley has been an NRA firearms instructor for 18 years and is a North Carolina Justice Academy certified concealed carry instructor. He is an accomplished competitive shooter using pistols, rifles and shotguns and is a certified armorer and gunsmith. He has his USPSA master class pistol certification.
Earl Woodham, ATF supervisory special agent
Earl Woodham has been employed with the federal government for 34 years, 26 of those with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. He isa supervisory special agent public information officer team leader for the Charlotte Division that consists of North and South Carolina. He has been in media and public relations for ATF for 19 years.
Click below each question to see how responses vary by group.
Gail Neely served as the assistant director of North Carolinians Against Gun Violence for six years and became the executive director in April 2012.>
Donnie Harrison was sworn in as Wake County sheriff in 2002 and has served 45 years in law enforcement.>
Mike Tilley founded Personal Defense & Handgun Safety Center Inc. in Raleigh in 1996 and serves as the owner and operator.>