Navigation List

Executive Committee

Melissa Roupe, Member at Large

Melissa Roupe, Chair

Melissa Young Roupe, MSN, RN is the Senior Administrator for Community Health Improvement at Vidant Health, located in Greenville, North Carolina. In her role, Melissa works with multiple communities within Vidant Health's 29-county eastern NC service area to promote healthy lifestyles, as well as create environments which support and promote health. Melissa is also an active member of the NC Community Health Improvement Collaborative, which is focused on expanding partnerships between public health departments and hospitals/healthcare systems to promote health. Prior to her current role, Melissa served as the Administrator for Vidant Health's Childhood Obesity Prevention Program. In this role, she served on the North Carolina IOM Early Childhood Obesity Prevention Task Force. Melissa has been employed with Vidant Health for 25 years and held a variety of roles focused on patient care, quality, disease management and health promotion. Melissa received her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing and her Master of Science Degree in Nursing from East Carolina University in Greenville, NC. Melissa resides in Greenville with her husband, Tom and their two children, Zach and Lauren.


Joanne Lee

Joanne Lee, Vice Chair

Joanne Lee is the Collaborative Learning Director of Active Living By Design (ALBD), and part of the organization’s leadership team. As the Collaborative Learning Director, Joanne oversees a culture of collaborative networking and learning that enables the organization to build internal and external capacity, and incorporate new knowledge and approaches into products, services and strategic direction. Joanne also provides strategic coaching and technical assistance to community-based partnerships and engages with funders and leaders in the field to build capacity and develop healthy community strategies that have impact and are sustainable. Joanne frequently participates in program development and field building processes, and serves in various advisory roles. She represents ALBD on issues related to nutrition, public health, community-based policy and environmental strategies, children’s and women’s health, and diverse populations. She has a special interest in community engagement, equity, collaborative learning and networking, capacity building, and sustainability. Joanne joined the ALBD team in 2005, and has been involved several of ALBD’s major portfolios including Roadmaps to Health Action Awards; Healthy Neighborhoods Fund; Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities; Fit Community and Fit Together. Joanne has lived in North Carolina, Hawai’i and Arizona, and worked in other diverse settings across the country. Prior to joining ALBD, Joanne served as Program Director for the Nutrition Division of the Pitt County Health Department in eastern North Carolina. She has also served in lead roles on national and international research studies, including NIH-funded investigations. A Registered Dietitian and Licensed Dietitian/Nutritionist, Joanne completed her M.P.H. and B.S. degrees at the University of Hawai’i, and holds a Certificate of Advanced Clinical Education in Child and Adolescent Obesity from the University of California, San Francisco. Joanne grew up in Hawai’i and currently resides in rural eastern North Carolina. She supports local parks and walkability initiatives, and is a regular patron of her local farmers’ market and community garden.


David Gardner

David Gardner, Member at Large

Dave Gardner serves as the Worksite Wellness and School Coordinator for the Community and Clinical Connections for Prevention and Health (CCCPH) Branch. Dave's professional career spans more than forty years and includes experience in K-12 and university teaching, development and direction of workplace wellness programs, management in a healthcare system, administration in the NC Department of Public Instruction and executive director for a statewide, university-based health and wellness center. Dave's work has taken place across public and private entities in North Carolina and includes Raleigh City Schools, Halifax Community College, Gardner-Webb University, the Charlotte Fire Department, WakeMed Health and Hospitals, the NC Department of Public Instruction and the NC Center for Health and Wellness at UNC Asheville. Throughout his career, Dave has sought and accepted opportunities to provide leadership and service to expand and enhance the role health and prevention can and should play in schools, worksites, hospitals, higher education and communities. Gardner has served and currently serves on numerous councils, boards, and task forces including the Eat Smart, Move More NC Executive Committee, North Carolina Institute of Medicine Early Childhood Obesity Prevention Task Force, Statewide Pioneering Healthier Communities Steering Committee, Preventing Obesity by Design3 Advisory Committee, Sexual Health Initiatives For Teens (SHIFTNC) Board of Directors, North Carolina Alliance for Athletics, Health, Physical Education, Recreation, Dance, and Sport Management (NCAAHPED-SM) Trustees, Western North Carolina Health Impact Steering Committee and the Institute for Emerging Issues Health Council. Dave comes to the CCCPH from UNC Asheville where he served as the founding Executive Director for the NC Center for Health and Wellness beginning in 2010.

Dave is a Raleigh native who enjoys reading, golf, time in the gym, following the App State Mountaineers and sitting on the deck at sundown at Beech Mountain. Dave's wife, Joyce, is Director of Educator Preparation for the NC Department of Public Instruction. The Gardners have two grown children and one grandchild in the Raleigh area.


Shelisa Howard-Martinez

Shelisa Howard-Martinez, Member at Large

Shelisa Howard-Martinez is Care Share’s Director of Community Engagement. She directs Care Share's technical assistance program, serves as lead staff to the Collaborative Network Committee and provides onsite technical assistance to communities primarily in Eastern North Carolina. Shelisa also facilitates a national learning collaborative and the Safety Net Advisory Council, a group of representatives who collaborate and coordinate strategies for the safety net at the state level.

A native of Wilmington, North Carolina, Shelisa has served as an advocate, program coordinator and project manager for a variety of community-based organizations. She is committed to improving health outcomes for underserved communities. Shelisa has taught English as a Second Language to farm workers in Person County, coordinated a literacy program for adult immigrants, advocated for increased access to family planning services for low-income women, and worked to increase the capacity of local Domestic Violence programs to serve women of color, immigrant women and women with disabilities. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from UNC-Chapel Hill, where she also was a Francis L. Phillips Travel Scholar. Shelisa earned a master’s degree in Public Administration from North Carolina Central University and a graduate certificate in Ethnic and Rural Health Disparities from East Carolina University.

Shelisa lives in Durham with her family. In her spare time, she enjoys researching her family’s history, swimming and listening to music from all over the world.


Richard Rairigh, Member at Large

Richard Rairigh, Member at Large

Richard Rairigh taught elementary physical education, received his Master of Science degree at West Virginia University in Physical Education Teacher Education with a concentration in Motor Development and Motor Learning, and then pursued doctoral work at the University of South Carolina. After the University of South Carolina, he worked at Meredith College in the Department of Health, Exercise, and Sports Science and then worked as the Director of Programs at Be Active North Carolina. He currently serves as the Director of Be Active Kids, a signature program of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation. Rich is co-chair of the Children and Nature Coalition, Founder of the Active Play Alliance, and North Shape NC Design and Implementation Team member. He has also served on the North Carolina IOM Early Childhood Obesity Prevention Task Force, Kids Eat Smart Move More Advisory Committee, North Carolina Child Care Commission, Clayton Downtown Development Association, and more. Rich has co-written two resources on Sport Education and over 25 articles on physical education and active play, and provided over 100 presentations at the national and international level.


Sherée Thaxton Vodicka

Sherée Vodicka, Past Chair

Sherée Thaxton Vodicka, MA, RD, LDN is Executive Director of the NC State Alliance of YMCAs. In this role, Sherée leads the Y’s state level advocacy efforts to reduce the epidemic of childhood inactivity and poor nutrition. In addition, Sherée works in collaboration with the 28 Corporate YMCA CEOs to implement organization and community-wide changes that will help make the healthy choice the easy choice. Before coming to the Alliance, Sherée served as the Executive Director of Advocates for Health in Action, a Wake County-based healthy weight collaborative. Prior to that, Sherée served eight years managing integrated marketing communications for the N.C. Division of Public Health’s Physical Activity and Nutrition Branch around healthy eating, physical activity and healthy weight for all North Carolinians. Sherée received a Bachelor of Science degree in Dietetics from the University of Kentucky with High Distinction, and a Master of Arts degree in Mass Communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she was a Park Fellow. Sherée is an active member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics as a Registered and Licensed Dietitian and Nutritionist. Sherée practices what she preaches. She loves to cook delicious, nutritious meals with fresh ingredients from her garden, and stays in shape hiking, biking, and practicing Pilates and yoga. She resides in Raleigh with her husband, Doug.


Jenni Albright

Jenni Albright, Coordinator

Jenni Albright, MPH, RDN, LDN is the Eat Smart, Move More North Carolina Coordinator. In this role, she provides staff support and administration to the Eat Smart, Move More NC movement. Jenni is proud to support the vision of a North Carolina where the healthy choice is the easy choice. Her seven years of full-time service at the North Carolina Division of Public Health laid a strong foundation for her current role. When wearing one of her other hats, Jenni may be found walking her kids to school, cooking healthy meals, or teaching online Eat Smart, Move More, Weigh Less classes. Jenni is honored to coordinate the ongoing partnership and opportunity for collaboration that ESMM NC offers. Jenni graduated from Furman University with a degree in Health and Exercise Science and then received her Master of Public Health degree with a Nutrition focus from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


Former Chairs of Eat Smart, Move More NC

Gregg Griggs (Served: 2007-2009) NC Academy of Family Physicians
Dr. Carolyn Dunn (Served: 2009-2011) NC Cooperative Extension, NC State University
Dave Gardner (Served: 2011-2013), NC Center for Health and Wellness, UNC Asheville
Vondell Clark (Served: 2013-2014), Novant Health
Sherée Vodicka (Served: 2014-2016), NC Alliance of YMCAs


ESMM logo

Eat Smart, Move More NC exists through the work of its many partner organizations.
Please address all inquiries to the Eat Smart, Move More NC Webmaster.