Two Norfolk State University graduates are leading the institution’s Board of Visitors. Dr. Byron L. Cherry Sr., class of 1982, was elected as the board’s rector and Dr. Melvin T. Stith, class of 1968, was elected vice rector during the BOV quarterly meeting in March.
Cherry, a retired U.S. Army colonel, founded Succeed to Lead LLC in 2008. As chief executive officer, he is responsible for corporate, strategic and business planning, financial management oversight and corporate business outreach. The company is committed to serving its clients with integrity, good sense and wise solutions to the problems facing organizations, large and small. Succeed to Lead’s customer base includes the Department of Defense (DoD), federal, state and local governments as well as customers in the private and public sectors. Succeed to Lead provides a broad range of consulting services in financial management to include all areas of budget analysis and budget execution, information technology, IT portfolio management, information assurance and cyber security, logistics management, program/project management, organizational leadership and human resource management to the DoD, other federal agencies and state and local governments.
Cherry received his Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Norfolk State University; the MBA from Troy State University, Troy, Alabama; a Master of Science in National Resource Strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, National Defense University, Washington, DC; a certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies from Regent University, Virginia Beach, Virginia; and his doctorate in organizational leadership from Regent University, Virginia Beach, Virginia. Additionally, Cherry has a certification in Information Assurance from the Information Resource Management College, Washington, DC. He is married to the former Josephine Barbara-Ann Benson of Virginia Beach, Virginia. They are the parents of three children.Stith, the new vice rector, is a Vietnam veteran who served in the U.S. Army Military Intelligence Command from 1968 to 1972 and achieved the rank of captain. A native of Jarratt, Virginia, he received his Bachelor of Science in Sociology from Norfolk State University and his MBA and Ph.D. in marketing from the Martin J. Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University in 1973 and 1978. His research interest is on the impact of value systems on consumer behavior and key influences on black and white consumption patterns. He has shared his research and professional expertise with corporations, academic institutions and government agencies.
In January 2005, Stith became the 16th dean of the Syracuse University Whitman School of Management. He served in that capacity until June 2013. Until his retirement in December 2014, Stith was a professor of marketing in the Whitman School of Management. From 1991 to 2004, Stith was dean and the Jim Moran Professor of Business Administration in the College of Business at Florida State University and previously was associate professor and chair of the marketing department at FSU. He is also dean emeritus at Florida State University. From 1982 to 1985, he was a visiting professor in the School of Business and Industry at Florida A&M University. He served as associate dean and assistant professor in the College of Business at the University of South Florida from 1977 to 1982.
Stith currently serves as a member of the board of directors of the following public corporations: Synovus Financial Corp., AFLAC and the Flowers Food Corp. He also serves as a director for AARP Services and was also a member of the board of directors for the Pathways Commission. He is a member of the Crouse Hospital board of directors and served as president of the Crouse Hospital Foundation located in Syracuse. Additionally, he is a member of the advisory board of Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families and the local professional theatre, Syracuse Stage. He is a founding member of the board of directors of the Jim Moran Foundation.
He is married to Dr. Patricia Lynch Stith, a Norfolk State University alumna, who recently retired as assistant provost for equity and inclusion at Syracuse University and associate dean of the graduate school. They are the proud parents of three children, Melvin Jr., Lori and William Stith.
For more information, contact the NSU Office of Communications and Marketing at (757) 823-8373.