Jesse Helms Center Staff

John Dodd, President

John Dodd

Since joining the staff as President of the Jesse Helms Center in 1994, John Dodd’s work has focused on the continuing development of numerous initiatives promoting liberty and our country’s founding principles. Under the direction of Mr. Dodd, the Center developed a nationally-acclaimed experiential learning program on entrepreneurship and freedom that has over 9,000 graduates, as well as conducted a $5 million capital campaign, leading to the construction of the 23,000-square foot Helms Center headquarters which was dedicated by Lady Margaret Thatcher.  Mr. Dodd also worked directly with governmental and educational leaders in Mexico to introduce the John Templeton Foundation’s Laws of Life character education program throughout the country and was integrally involved in the formation and development of the Virtual Trade Mission Foundation’s APEC Voices of the Future program.  Mr. Dodd completed his undergraduate degree at the College of William and Mary and received his Master’s in Education from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Prior to his work with the Center, Mr. Dodd was president of J&T Dodd, a consulting firm where he worked with political candidates and nonprofits. Dodd is the co-author of And The World Came His Way – Jesse Helms’ Contributions to Freedom and has appeared on numerous radio and television programs to discuss Senator Helms and the programs of the Jesse Helms Center. Mr. Dodd is also a successful lacrosse coach, having taken his Wingate University team to the 2001 NCAA semi-finals and his 2016 high school team won the North Carolina state championship. Mr. Dodd is a Senior Fellow of the American Leadership Forum and a member of the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation Scholars Review Jury. He and his wife Teresa have two adult daughters.


Brian Rogers, Chief Operating Officer

Brian Rogers joined the staff in 2004 after working as Executive Director of the Defenders of Property Rights, based in Washington, D.C. As the Chief Operating Officer, Rogers manages multiple facets of the organization including fundraising and programs. Rogers’ prior roles include working for Century Communications, Inc and working as the Director of Special Projects for the Leadership Institute. Rogers is a graduate of Wingate University and began his policy-focused work with an internship for the late Senator Jesse Helms. Additionally, he is a 2009 graduate of the E.A. Morris Fellowship. He and his wife Catherine, have four children, Ashley, Sarah, James and Sam.

Rich Carney, Archives Director & Curator

Rich Carney joined the Jesse Helms Center in September 2014 and comes to us from the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington, D.C. While with the National Archives, Rich served as a Supervisor for a joint digitization project with Ancestry.com and helped produce over 30 million digital images for online research. Prior to his time at the Helms Center, Rich also worked at the State Archives of North Carolina and for the North Carolina History Project in Raleigh, NC. He received his B.A. in History from Appalachian State University and his Master’s Degree in Public History from North Carolina State University. He and his wife, Eliza, are happy to be back in the Old North State.

Wanda Goodwin, Chief Financial Officer

With over 20 years of dedicated service to the Jesse Helms Center, Chief Financial Officer Wanda Goodwin works daily to ensure financial and book keeping practices are in keeping with the mission of the organization and with non-profit standards. Goodwin attended Winthrop University and graduated from King’s Business College with a business degree. She and her husband Sam have four adult children and five grandchildren.

Garrett Dahms, Marketing Director & Free Enterprise Leadership Challenge Coordinator

Garrett Dahms joined the Jesse Helms Center in October of 2014.  He is a 2014 graduate from Wingate University and is currently pursuing a Project Management focused Masters of Business Administration at Wingate University’s Ballantyne Campus. Also, Garrett attended FELC as a student in 2008, and returned as a summer counselor in 2011 and 2012.

Carolyn Phifer, Development Associate

As a Development Associate since 1997, Carolyn Phifer has worked on fundraising and constituent concerns. Prior to her work for the center, Phifer worked in the Admissions Office of Wingate University. She attended Wingate University and received her degree in Business Management. She and her husband Jerry have two adult children and three grandchildren.

Ladonna Snodgrass, Rental Coordinator and Facilities Manager

Since joining the staff of the Jesse Helms Center in 2001, Ladonna Snodgrass has worked in several capacities including assisting with programs, managing the center’s gift shop, assisting in the archives department, coordinating rentals of the facility and managing all facility/museum concerns. Prior to her work with the center, she worked in the Admissions Office at Wingate University and held managerial retail roles. She and her husband Mike have four children.

Board of Directors

  • James C. Broughton (Chairman)
  • John Hendley (Vice Chairman)
  • Marion Bagwell (Treasurer)
  • Andrew Hartsfield (Secretary)
  • Dr. Rhett Brown (President, Wingate University)
  • Frank Aikmus
  • James D. Duncan
  • The Honorable Robin Hayes
  • Nancy Helms
  • Chuck Howard
  • Todd Johnson
  • Dr. Joseph Patterson
  • Mike Stuart
  • Mary Summa
  • Brian Summers
  • C.C. Dickson, Jr. (Emeritus)