Executive Committee

Richard Rairigh

Richard Rairigh, Chair

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 Be Active Kids program director and physical activity education advisor in the Children’s Healthy Weight Research Group at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill’s Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. He has served on the Children and Nature Coalition, Active Play Alliance, North Carolina IOM Early Childhood Obesity Prevention Task Force, SHAPE NC Design and Implementation Team, 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.

Jayne McBurney

Jayne McBurney, Past Chair

Jayne is the Program Coordinator for Steps to Heath, NC State’s SNAP-Ed Program. The Steps to Health program is delivered through Cooperative Extension across the state with the goal to help people make the healthy choice, the easy choice. SNAP-Ed programs such as Steps to Health teach people who are eligible for SNAP about good nutrition, how to make their food dollars stretch further, and learn to be physically active. The program also helps communities to create Policy, Systems, and Environmental changes to create healthy communities.

Jayne began her career in North Carolina as a Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Educator in 2007 with Cooperative Extension. Over a ten-year period in the field, she built a financial education program featuring money management classes and home buyer workshops. She also taught classes in food safety, healthy eating, and food preservation. She has served on the Executive Board for Eat Smart, Move More, NC; and on the Board of Directors for Partnership for Children of Johnston County, Garner Area Ministries, United Way of Johnston County, and Reach Out Johnston; she was a member of the Garner Planning Commission from 2015-2017.

A native of Ohio, Jayne received both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from The Ohio State University. After receiving her BS, she spent a year as a Youth Development Volunteer through International 4-H in the country of Panama. Upon return to Ohio she was a 4-H Extension Associate, then returned to Graduate school. She had an 8-year career at Ohio State advising students in the Admissions Office, University College and the College of Nursing.

Jayne has a love of teaching and a passion for helping people live within their means by making good choices in all aspects of life. When not at the office, Jayne enjoys traveling, time with her family, and using her skills and abilities in service projects.

Hayley Cowell

Hayley Cowell

Hayley is the Family and Consumer Sciences Agent with N.C. Cooperative Extension in Stanly County. She has worked with N.C. Cooperative Extension for 13 years. During this time she has provided her communities with research-based programs and resources in the areas of wellness, food safety, and volunteerism.

She has held leadership positions with the National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences at the District, State, and National level. She is a graduate of Stanly Leadership.

Hayley received her Bachelor of Science in Nutrition Sciences from NC State University, and completed a Master’s degree in Youth, Family and Community Sciences.

Hart Evans

Hart Evans

Hart is the Statewide Planning and Programming manager for NCDOT, advocating for alternative transportation methods that involve increased physical activity and effort as well as lower carbon emissions. He works with infrastructure implementation, planning for healthy and sustainable communities, and works with numerous municipalities and non-profit organizations to help reduce our dependence on cars and a sedentary lifestyle.

He is a strong community and social services professional with a dual Bachelor’s Degree from UNC in Environmental Studies and Political Science with a minor in City and Regional Planning.

Ashley Honeycutt

Ashley Honeycutt

Ashley Honeycutt, RD, LDN is the manager of Heart & Vascular Outreach at UNC REX Healthcare. She oversees Cardiac & Pulmonary Rehabilitation, Heart & Vascular Mobile Screenings, REX Nutrition Services and Diabetes Education.

Ashley received her undergraduate degree from UNC-Chapel Hill, a short trip from her hometown of Raleigh. After working six years in the technology industry, she decided to make a career change and become a dietitian. She completed her DPD and dietetic internship through Meredith College and was offered an opportunity as an outpatient dietitian at REX Wellness Centers.

In her years at UNC REX Healthcare, Ashley has led the development and growth of community and corporate health promotions, nutrition and lifestyle enrichment programs both within UNC REX Healthcare and in the local community. She has served on the Justus Warren Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Task Force since 2009. In 2008, she was awarded the North Carolina Dietetic Association’s Recognized Young Dietitian of the Year. In 2011, she was named a finalist for the Triangle Business Journal’s Health Care Hero Award. She has received two national awards from the Medical Fitness Association – the Robert Boone Award of Merit in 2008 for her work with Rex’s Healthy Way weight management program and Director of the Year in Health Education in 2012.

Ashley has been involved with the Eat Smart Move More NC movement since 2007 and is excited to be more involved as part of the Executive Committee.

Rachel Pohlman

Rachel Pohlman

Rachel Pohlman joined the Poe Center August of 2015 and currently serves as the Nutrition Program Director. Rachel is a registered and licensed dietitian (RD, LDN). Rachel obtained her Master’s in Public Health Nutrition from UNC Chapel Hill in 2000. Rachel has extensive teaching experience working in a variety of settings and with all age groups. She started her career teaching environmental education. After working at a school in Zimbabwe in the 1990’s, Rachel switched her focus to public health. Rachel is passionate about improving the health of communities by empowering individuals with knowledge and pairing that with policy and environmental changes which make it easier to practice behaviors that support health. Rachel currently serves on many coalitions working to improve access to healthy foods and creating safe places to be active, including serving as the co-liason for the NC State Nutrition Action Coalition. Outside of work, Rachel enjoys spending time with her husband, 2 kids, and highly energetic dog. She loves to cook and regularly plans meals around local, seasonal food. Rachel spends her free time outside, whenever possible.

Susanne Schmal

Susanne Schmal

Susanne Schmal is a public health practitioner with 20+ years in chronic disease prevention, wellness and school health. She is the Healthy Schools Consultant in the NC Department of Public Instruction, a position funded by CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. She works with school districts in NC, community partners, as well as state and national partners to support their efforts and build on successes addressing components within the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child framework. Prior to being with the Department of Public Instruction, Susanne worked as part of various grants at the NC Division of Public Health, UNC-Chapel Hill, the Division of Community Health at Duke University Medical Center, as well as Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. She received her MPH at UNC-Chapel Hill from the Gillings School of Global Public Health. She currently serves on additional committees and boards, including:

  • NC School-Based Health Alliance, which supports accessible, affordable and quality healthcare in school-based and school-linked health centers across NC.
  • Durham Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission, which provides advice to the City Council and the Board of County Commissioners on questions relating to bicycle and pedestrian issues.
  • Society of State Leaders of Health and Physical Education, Chair of the Communications and Marketing Committee

She is a graduate of the XXVII Class of Leadership NC, the state’s premier program for developing leaders who want to drive improvements and influence outcomes. Susanne has lived in Durham for over 15 years with her spouse, Molly, their two dogs and a cat. One of their dogs, Sydney, is a certified therapy dog that has visited with the NC Department of Justice staff, the Ronald McDonald House in Durham, and an assisted living facility.

Susanne enjoys biking the ATT, running, eating good food, traveling, and hanging out on her back porch with friends and family.

Gwen Williams

Gwen Williams

Gwen is the Family & Consumer Sciences Extension Agent for Johnston County. She recently started with her Extension service in May 2023 after being a Family & Consumer Sciences teacher for N.C. Public Schools. Gwen began her FCS teaching career in 1996. In addition to teaching Food & Nutrition for a large part of her career, Gwen is a certified Chef in Natural Chef from CCCI and Culinary Nutrition from Johnson & Wales University. She provides her communities with programming in the areas of food preservation and safety, wellness, and nutrition, and increasing local food intake.

She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Family and Consumer Sciences/Humans Science for Campbell University.

Former Chairs of Eat Smart, Move More NC

Gregg Griggs (Served: 2007-2009), NC Academy of Family Physicians
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
Melissa Roupe (Served 2016-2019), Vidant Health
Joanne Lee (Served 2019-2021), Healthy Places by Design
Jayne McBurney (Served 2022-2023), Steps to Health (SNAP-Ed), North Carolina State University