The award and dinner recognize PHCC alumni for their successes and achievements in their careers and communities. This year’s distinguished alumni are P. Kenneth Copeland, Jr. of Farmville; Brenda Dunwoody of Collinsville; Pamela V. Foley of Bassett; Lee Ann Fuller of Martinsville; April Haynes of Martinsville; Timothy D. Martin of Martinsville; Curtis R. Millner, Sr. of Martinsville; Kimberly G. Phillips of Martinsville; Bernadette J. Stowe of Bassett; Mark Stroud, Sr. of Martinsville; Jackie T. Thornton of Eclectic, Ala.; and LaDonna H. Varner of Bassett.
Copeland earned an associate degree in business administration from PHCC in 1987. He continued his education at Averett College, earning a bachelor of science in accounting, and at Virginia Commonwealth University, receiving a master in business administration. He currently serves as the vice president of administration and finance at Longwood University in Farmville. Copeland is a member of the American Institute of CPAs, the Virginia Society of CPAs, and the Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society, College Schools of Business. In addition to his career at Longwood, he is a member of the choir and collegiate ministries at the Farmville Baptist Church.
Dunwoody graduated from PHCC with a paralegal certificate in 1994, and in 2005 received an associate in legal assisting. During her time at PHCC, she was instrumental in starting the Student Paralegal Association. Dunwoody’s husband joined the Army shortly after her graduation, placing them in Germany, Korea, Afghanistan and stateside at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. She currently serves as a senior paralegal specialist for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Afghanistan. Because of her work in combat zones in Afghanistan, Dunwoody has received several recognitions from the Army. She is currently working on a bachelor of science degree in business administration from the University of Maryland.
Foley received an associate in secretarial science from PHCC in 1978. Afterwards, she attained a certified professional secretary designation in 1983, graduated from the Disney College of Knowledge and became a destination specialist for Australia and the South Pacific. She currently serves as an incentive travel specialist at Martin Travel. Foley is also on the Local Board of PHCC, the Board of Directors for the United Way of Henry County and Martinsville and is a children’s worship teacher at Fort Trial Baptist Church. She has also served on the Board of Directors for the Martinsville Uptown Association, is a past president of the Blue Ridge Chapter of Professional Secretaries International and served on the supervisory committee for the Martinsville Dupont Credit Union.
Fuller graduated from PHCC in 2000 with an associate in general studies and a certificate in bookkeeping. She has been working as a court management analyst with the Supreme Court of Virginia since 2006. Fuller is an active member of the community, volunteering with the Big Brothers, Big Sisters program; serving as a member of the Charity League of Martinsville-Henry County; and participating in medical mission trips through the Friends of Barnabas Foundation. Fuller is quick to respond to those in need, raising funds to help, for example, a boy scout who did not have the funds to fully participate in the group’s activities. After her sister-in-law was diagnosed with breast cancer, she formed a team for the Susan G. Komen Walk for the Cure in Washington, D.C., raising more than $15,000 to contribute to the cause.
Haynes earned an associate in general studies from PHCC in 1994. She continued her education in the Teletechnet Distance Education Program offered by Old Dominion University, and received her bachelor of business management from Averett University in 2009. Haynes also participated in the nonprofit management program at Duke University. She is currently the director of the Martinsville Area Community Foundation. Haynes gives back to her community as a member of the Charity League, as the financial leader of the Community Fellowship Church, a past member of the Martinsville Henry County United Way Nonprofit Leaders Network Board of Governors and the United Way’s Community Investment Team.
Martin graduated from PHCC in 1980 with a certificate in general business and an associate in business management. He continued his education at Averett University, earning a bachelor of arts in business administration. Martin is currently the president of marketing and sales for Fred Martin Associates, and is an adjunct professor of business and management-related courses at PHCC. Martin was instrumental in reviving Uptown Martinsville, forming the Martinsville Uptown Revitalization Association. He is currently the chairman of the Martinsville City Planning and Zoning board, of which he is the first member to become a certified public planner, and a member of the Board of Directors for the PHCC Foundation. Martin has been recognized for his achievements with a listing in “Who’s Who in America’s Junior and Community Colleges,” a Citizen of the Year recognition in 1997 and a Certificate of Appreciation in the O’Henry Work Experience Program through the Henry County Public Schools.
Millner is a 2000 graduate of PHCC, earning an associate in industrial technology. Prior to attending PHCC, Millner earned his associate and bachelor degrees from Columbia College in Columbia, Mo. He is currently retired from the Army after 23 years of service, retiring as Chief Warrant Officer. Millner currently serves on as chairman of the Board of Directors for the Fayette Area Historical Initiative, as the treasurer for the Smith River Missionary Baptist Association and as the assistant treasurer for the Virginia Baptist State Convention Deacon & Deaconess Auxilary. Millner has earned the Award of Distinction by the Virginia School Board Association School Board Academy, the Certificate of Achievement for completion of The Leadership Foundation, and a Certificate of Graduation for completion of the Leadership Development Program sponsored by the Martinsville-Henry County Chamber of Commerce.
Phillips earned an associate in both education and general studies from PHCC in 1993. She then attended Radford University where she received her bachelor of science degree in interdisciplinary studies in 1995. Phillips has also taken graduate courses from University of Virginia, Radford University and University of Phoenix. She is currently a Carver Elementary School teacher. Phillips is devoted to the students she teaches, volunteering with numerous committees at school, including the Courtesy Committee, the Field Day Committee, the Yearbook Committee and the Child Study Committee. Phillips has also devoted her time as a member of the Patrick Henry Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization, American Cancer Society, Girl Scouts and First Presbyterian Church, where she serves on the Education Committee.
Stowe received an associate in business administration from PHCC in 1993. She continued her education at Radford University, earning a bachelor degree in business administration with a major in accounting. While at Radford, she earned the Dean’s Award for Outstanding Senior across all majors in the College of Business and Economics. Currently she works for Southwestern Virginia Gas Company as the vice president of finance and human resources. Stowe is dedicated to her community, and is a founding member of the Community Recovery Program through Piedmont Community Services. One of her greatest passions is the youth of the community. In 1997, she formed a youth group at her church to help instill in them the value of faith and community services.
Stroud graduated from PHCC in 1993 with an associate in education and general studies. He currently serves as a councilman for the City of Martinsville. After earning his degree, Stroud began working with the Martinsville Sheriff’s Department and after several years, became a general skill instructor with the local academy. He is an active member of the community, serving on the Board of Directors of Piedmont Community Services and on the Steering Committee for the Virginia Municipal League. Stroud has served on the Steering Committee for the Crisis Intervention Taskforce, and was recently appointed to the Planning Committee of the Virginia Department of Health, Office of Emergency Medical Services.
Thornton earned an associate of liberal arts from PHCC in 1975. She then attended Virginia Commonwealth University, receiving a bachelor of science in business administration in 1977 and a master of science in 1978. She currently is the director of human resources for Triton Management in Alabama. In 2005, she and her husband opened Dirt Road, a small USDA manufacturing plant, based in Alabama, dedicated to the production of handmade frozen casseroles. Thornton currently serves on the Virginia Commonwealth University alumni board, is the chairman of the Nomination Committee of the Special Olympics of Virginia and is a member of the NFIB State of Alabama Human Resources Board.
Varner graduated from PHCC in 1992 with an associate in liberal arts. She went on to earn a bachelor of arts in English from James Madison University, followed by a master of arts in teaching from Hollins University in 2008. In 2011 she received a National Board Certification in Teaching. She is currently a high school English teacher at Bassett High School as well as a dual enrollment instructor with PHCC and a Longwood University instructor with NCI. Varner also serves as the English Department chairperson, Advanced Placement lead teacher and Vertical Team coordinator. Her hard work does not go unnoticed. She has received the Academic Excellence Award, chosen by high-performing students in the Henry County Public Schools, for nine of the 11 years the award has been given. Varner volunteers her time at Harmony Hall in Bassett, and at her church where she is a youth leader, preschool teacher, Vacation Bible School director and chairperson for the Nurture Committee.