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RALEIGH – Sparta’s Helen Ruth Almond and Whiteville’s Phillip Marion Jr. were named to the NC Rural Center’s Board of Directors at the organization’s November Board of Directors meeting.

Based in Raleigh, the NC Rural Center is a 30-year-old nonprofit that works to develop, promote, and implement sound economic strategies to improve the quality of life of rural North Carolinians. The Center serves the state’s 80 rural counties, with a special focus on individuals with low to moderate incomes and communities with limited resources.

“We are always thrilled to have the experience and insight of such accomplished professionals as Helen Ruth Almond and Phil Marion as part of the Rural Center team,” said Rural Center President Patrick Woodie. “These are two individuals who understand our state’s rural communities. The Rural Center Board of Directors and I look forward to working with them on behalf of all rural North Carolinians.”

Helen Ruth Almond is the president of Antaeus Consulting. She currently serves as the executive director of the Alleghany Memorial Hospital Foundation and director of marketing and public relations for Alleghany Memorial Hospital. She previously worked as a tourism development officer at the NC Department of Commerce and has had a long career in development and fundraising for various organizations throughout North Carolina and Texas. She holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Phillip Marion Jr. is currently the BB&T regional president for the southeastern North Carolina region. Since joining BB&T in 1985, he has served as a business services officer in Raleigh, business services manager for the Piedmont Region in Winston-Salem, corporate banker for the Piedmont Region, and city executive in Lumberton and Wilmington. In 1995, he led a team through the Southern National Bank merger. He is a graduate of East Carolina University and The Graduate School of Banking of the South at Louisiana State University.

The Rural Center also recognized departing board members Rex L. Baker of King, Brian Crutchfield of Boone, and Bill Gibson of Sylva at its November meeting, thanking them for their many years of service to the organization and the state.