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The mission of our Mentor Lunch Program is to enhance the personal and professional development of you, our students, by building long-lasting relationships with our alumni and friends. At the same time, our alumni mentors will:

  • build long-lasting relationships with you, our students
  • create an employee pipeline for their businesses
  • increase their connectivity with our department


Damon Butler

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Dynamic and skilled creative executive with a process engineering background. This mix of both brand marketing and consulting skills has delivered Triangle Blvd – a creative firm which produces top quality new media marketing assets which are highly effective and engaging.

For the past 10 years, I’ve been the President of Triangle Blvd – one of the leading digital creative services organization in the South East. We’ve believed for years that the future of marketing on the web is rooted in video, and that is why our current agency focuses heavily in the space. I’ve been known to be an articulate and effective communicator leading hundreds of video production, web development, mobile applications, and major live events.

Prior to launching Triangle Blvd Damon worked at Lenovo as a WW Business Transformation Lead focused on planning, forecasting, and collaboration. Prior to that, I was at IBM as a Business Analyst.

Damon Butler | Mentor Lunch Program


James McLawhorn

Friday, February 23, 2018
I began my employment with the Public Staff Communications Division in June of 1984. While with the Communications Division, I testified before the Commission in general rate proceedings regarding matters of telephone quality of service.

In September of 1987, I was employed by GTE-South as an engineer in the Capital Recovery Department. I was responsible for analysis and recommendations to Company management regarding appropriate depreciation rates for recovery of the Company’s capital investments.

I began my employment with the Electric Division of the Public Staff in November of 1988. I assumed my present position as Director of the Electric Division in October of 2006. It is my responsibility to supervise and make policy recommendations on all electric utility matters before the Commission.

I am married with two children: one is a senior at NC State and the other is a senior at Broughton High School in Raleigh. I am active in my church and the greater Raleigh community, and enjoy Wolfpack sports (Go Pack!).

James McLawhorn | Mentor Lunch Program


Joseph Pleasant, Jr.

Joseph M. Pleasant, Jr. served as chief information officer and senior vice president of Premier, Inc., the largest healthcare alliance in the United States. Prior to that current appointment, he served as chief administrative officer of SunHealth, Inc., one of Premier’s predecessor organizations. Joe received his BSIE degree from NC State in 1972, and completed his MBA degree from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 1977. A founding member and past chair of the Coalition for Healthcare eStandards organization, a fellow member of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), he is also a founding member of the College of Healthcare Information Executives (CHIME).He currently serves on the Board of Directors of GS1US and is on the leadership team of the GS1 Global Healthcare organization. Mr. Pleasant serves on the Board of Advisors for the Industrial and Systems Engineering Department of NC State University and is presently retired.

Joseph Pleasant, Jr. | Mentor Lunch Program


Jeff Johnson

Thursday, March 1, 2018
Jeffrey Johnson is the owner of JWJ Energy, providing exclusive strategic and executive consultancy to EDF Trading Ltd and EDF Inc. He is currently serving as Interim President, EDF Trading North America in Houston and also serves the EDF Group as a board member in its CENG nuclear generation joint venture with Exelon. Johnson was one of the founding members of EDF Trading in 1999 and has been involved in a number of business development activities over the years in London, Paris, and Houston.

Prior to working with the EDF, Johnson spent over 16 years in various engineering, finance and corporate capacities at Duke Energy. Independent of EDF related activities, he served on the Board of Visitors of the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University and he was active in developing the Energy and Environment program within the Nicholas School. Johnson earned his BS in Industrial Engineering in 1978 from NC State University.

Jeff Johnson | Mentor Lunch Program


Haleh Byrne

Haleh Byrne is the Product Lead – Industrial Engineering & Student Projects at IES. She leads a wide spectrum of industrial engineering services and projects. She engages NC State students as part of her project teams in the areas of productivity and quality improvements, costing, facilities layout, process & training documentations, ergonomics assessment, and scheduling, as well as client-customized projects.

She also provides lean, statistical process control, measurement systems analysis and work measurement training in conjunction with Timer Pro (video analysis software) Workshops as well as related implementation events. Haleh manages Student Projects which provide services for clients. With over 100 projects involving 500+ students in the past decade, clients have reported strong impacts in flexible duration and diverse engineering disciplines. Haleh has more than 20 years of experience in diverse industries as an industrial/product/quality engineer. She worked at Flextronics in Youngsville as a product engineer. Her prior work history includes being an industrial engineer at the U.S. Postal Service in Los Angeles, an industrial/quality engineer at General Motors, an industrial engineer at Monsanto Electronic Materials in St. Louis and an industrial/quality engineer Buehler Products in Cary.

Haleh obtained her B.S. in Industrial Engineering from NC State. She is an ASQ certified quality engineer and is SME bronze lean certified. She also has extensive training and experience in statistical engineering as well as project management. Haleh is currently the IIE Raleigh Chapter President and Lean Division Board Director at Institute of Industrial Engineers. She served as Education Chair for ASQ Raleigh Chapter from 2009-2012 and has presented at many professional conferences.

Haleh Byrne | Mentor Lunch Program


Jennifer Rose

Thursday, March 6, 2018
Jennifer Rose, MBA, joined the Performance Services department at Duke University Health System in 2006. She is responsible for management engineering support provided across the health system and manages the University HealthSystem Consortium program for the health system. Prior to joining DUHS, Jennifer was a management consultant for eight years with Premier, Inc. She earned a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from North Carolina State University and a MBA from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She is also an ASQ Certified Six Sigma Black Belt.

Jennifer Rose | Mentor Lunch Program


Dr. Gul Ege

Dr. Gül Ege is currently the research and development senior director responsible for SAS’s price optimization, size optimization and forecasting solutions for the retail industry and received the SAS CEO Award of Excellence in 2011. Over the years, she has worked on financial analysis and reporting procedures, forecasting and investment analysis software, and SAS Risk Dimension Software. In 2003, Dr. Ege started building the R&D Merchandise Intelligence Team.She is active in many professional societies including the Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE), International Business Forecasting Association (IBF), American Production and Inventory Control Society (APICS), Institute for Operation Research and Management Sciences (INFORMS), Professional Pricing Society (PPS) and Association for Retail Technology Standards (ARTS). She received her BS, MS and PhD degrees in industrial engineering, having received her PhD from NC State University (1988).

Dr. Ege Gul | Mentor Lunch Program