The I-CARE, Inc. Story
In 1965, the Reverend Jordon C. Harris attended a North Carolina NAACP State Convention in Winston-Salem where a representative from the National Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO), explained the Anti-Poverty Program and its functions. During the question and answer period, Reverend Harris asked why no one had been to the Statesville-Iredell County area to set up an anti-poverty program for our low-income citizens. The reply was both shocking and disturbing, as it was explained that OEO had sent representatives to our city and county, only to be told that poverty in our area was non-existent.
Reverend Harris returned home, determined to accurately document the truth about poverty in the area and establish an anti-poverty program to serve Iredell County’s low-income residents. He compiled statistical data, made local contacts, and held meetings. One of those meetings was attended by Mrs. Louise Wilson, Executive Director of the Experiment in Self-Reliance of Winston-Salem, N. C. Mrs. Wilson met with Rev. Harris, Mr. G. L. Wilson, Rev. Wilson Lee, Mr. Andy Barker, and Mrs. Louise Doyle and provided technical assistance and encouragement to submit a funding proposal to OEO. It was later that Mr. Andy Barker and Rev. Harris created the agency name, Iredell Community Action Research and Evaluation, Inc., and the acronym I-CARE, Inc.
When all the planning and homework was completed, Rev. Harris, Mr. Barker, and Mr. G. L. Wilson boarded an airplane bound for Washington, D. C. where they met with representatives from OEO. At that meeting, the funding proposal was discussed and submitted. In December 1965, I-CARE, Inc. was approved by the Office of Economic Opportunity as a non-profit corporation designated to provide assistance for low-income Iredell County residents.
Bryan Duncan, a Certified Community Action Professional, has worked in Community Action since 1993. He is a 1990 graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill (BA – Sociology) and started his career in Community Action as a case manager with the JTPA Summer Youth Employment and Training Program at the Salisbury-Rowan Community Action Agency (SRCAA). He subsequently became the case manager for the JTPA Title II-C Out-of-School Youth Program and remained with SRCAA through the transition to the Workforce Investment Act Youth Program. In 2004, he was promoted to the Human Resources Director for SRCAA overseeing HR generalist duties for a staff of more than 230 employees.
In January 2006, Bryan was hired as the Executive Director of I-CARE, Inc., which operates programs in Iredell, Lincoln, Alexander, and Catawba counties in North Carolina. He currently serves as the Chair of the National Community Action Partnership Board of Directors; member of the N.C. Community Action Association Board of Directors; member of the Southeastern Association of Community Action Agencies Board of Directors; Chair of the Greater Statesville Chamber of Commerce; co-founder of the Partnership for Equity Iredell; and, member of the Rotary Club of Statesville.
A Nationally Certified ROMA Trainer, Certified Poverty Simulation Trainer, and active member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., Bryan and wife Pam have two sons, Darius (28) and Kalil (26).
Originally from Charleston, South Carolina, Reba Bowens has worked within a few sectors of the nonprofit industry from arts to pharmaceutical. Upon graduating from Winthrop University with a Bachelor of Arts in Dance Performance and Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Reba took a senior-level accounting position at the Lash Group. At the Lash Group, a pharmaceutical consulting firm, Reba was first exposed to nonprofit accounting.
After spending 5 years at the Lash Group, Reba decided to take time off to pursue a Master’s in Arts Administration at Winthrop University to combine her nonprofit financial knowledge with her passion for the Arts & Culture sector. Not long after completing her graduate school studies, Reba accepted a leadership position at the Arts Council of York County. As the Interim Associate Director, she helped the organization remain afloat during COVID resulting in a budget surplus.
Working in the nonprofit sector, Reba believes organizations must find ways to provide those that they serve with access to resources to improve their quality of life.
Mary Ann works as an Accounting Clerk where she processes Accounts Payable, Payroll, and assists as the Front Desk Receptionist greeting clients.
In 2005, Cesilia began working for I-CARE. She provides administrative support to the I-CARE team. In her role, she ensures compliance with policies and program regulations. She has a strong sense of devotion for the community I-CARE serves.
Ebony Lash started her journey in Human Resources 5 years ago in the small business sector as HR Admin. She fell in love with the role and the support that she would supply for both employees and management. Realizing this is where she was meant to be, Ebony became a Human Resource Manager in 2016. She completed her undergraduate degree at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in 2008, and received her MBA in Strategic Human Resource Management, at Grand Canyon University.
In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family, reading, and working out. I am extremely excited to be a part of Community Action and to bring my prior experience and passion for Human Resources to I-CARE, Inc.