SPARTANBURG, S.C. - Converse University is pleased to welcome three new members to its esteemed Board of Trustees:
● Chris Cannon, Executive Chairman of Cannon Roofing
● Paul J. Coté of Spartanburg, SC, President/CEO at Coté Color Corporation
● Stinson Woodward Ferguson '07; Of Counsel at The Anthony Law Firm
Chris Cannon has served as President/ CEO of Cannon Roofing from 2004 to 2021 and has served as Executive Chairman since 2021. Prior to 2004, Chris was Vice President of Cannon Roofing Co., Inc. from 1983 to 2004. Chris is a 1983 graduate of Wofford College with a BA in Accounting. Chris’ current/prior community involvement includes: Board Member of Cancer Association of Spartanburg & Cherokee Counties; Board Member of Spartanburg Day School (Board Chair & various Committee Chairs); Board Member of Converse College (Committee Chair); Committee Member of Spartanburg County Foundation Investment Advisory Committee (Committee Chair); and Board Member of the Cancer Division of Spartanburg Regional Foundation.
Paul Coté has been blessed to be surrounded by Converse women for the better part of his life. He is married to Nancy Bain Coté (’79) whose grandmother was a member of the Class of 1922 and whose cousins Page Irwin Lee and Mary Irwin were members of the Class of 1976 and 1980 respectively. Paul earned his BS degree in Biology and Chemistry from the Citadel and his MS degree in Polymer Chemistry from Clemson University. He began his career as a chemist with Milliken and Company before joining his father in their family business, Coté Color Corporation, where he is now the President/CEO.
Paul has served as an Elder at First Presbyterian Church of Spartanburg where he is also co-chair of the Stephen Ministers, is a member of the board at the Tom Hanna YMCA, and is past chair of the Spartanburg Day School board and a past member of the Investment Committees for both the Spartanburg Day School and the Spartanburg County Foundation. He was a founding member and past president of the Eastside Rotary Club and is a Paul Harris Fellow.
Stinson Woodward Ferguson is Of Counsel to Anthony Law Firm in Spartanburg and an Assistant Municipal Judge for the City of Greenville. Additionally, she is a licensed funeral director and serves as Vice President of Corporate Sustainability (previously Director of Organizational Development and Treasurer) for the J.W. Woodward Funeral Home, Inc. The Funeral Home, founded by Stinson’s great-grandfather in 1916, is the oldest, black, family-owned business in Spartanburg.
In 2012, Stinson received her Master of Laws, Environmental Law (LL.M.), summa cum laude, from Vermont Law School, with a concentration in Energy Law and Policy. She earned her Juris Doctor (J.D.) from the University of Georgia School of Law in 2010, where she was the recipient of the Law School Public Interest Fellowship. She earned her Bachelor of Arts, French (B.A.), with a Minor in Business Administration, magna cum laude, from Converse University in 2007.
Greenville Business Magazine recognized Stinson in 2020 and 2021 as a Legal Elite Honoree in Environmental Law. In 2018, she was recognized as an Upstate Black History Maker by 107.3 JAMZ FM Radio. In 2016, she was named Rotarian of the Year by the Rotary Club of Greenville; and a Black History on THE BLOCK honoree by 96.3 / 104.5 FM Radio. In 2014, she was named one of Converse University’s 125 Outstanding Alumnae, and Lawyers of Color, Inc. recognized her as one of their “Hot List” of 100 outstanding minority attorneys under 40-years-old.
Stinson currently serves on the Board of Directors for Ten at The Top (“TATT”), which seeks to foster trust and collaboration through partnerships and cooperation that impacts economic vitality and quality of life across Upstate South Carolina. In 2020, she was appointed by Greenville City Council to serve on the Green Ribbon Advisory Committee, which advises City Council on ways to develop and improve sustainability throughout Greenville.
Converse University empowers students to become transformative leaders who see clearly, decide wisely, and act justly. Converse was founded in 1889 by citizens of Spartanburg, SC, who aimed to create an educational experience for women, and in fall 2020 it welcomed its first undergraduate co-educational incoming class. The University encompasses the School of Humanities, Sciences, and Business; the School of the Arts; the School of Education and Graduate Studies; and the Converse College for Women. Converse students experience deep scholarship, transformative mentorship, experiential learning, and wonderful support for and belief in each other. Through this unique formula, Converse is a creator of opportunity for its students through a personalized education that also includes the professional and technical skills graduates need to be successful in their careers.
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