Carol Woods values collaboration between board members, residents and staff. Carol Woods is a single-site, not-for-profit community, and a local, all-volunteer board of directors has ultimate fiduciary responsibility for the community.

From its inception in the 1970s, resident initiative has been a cornerstone of the Carol Woods community. Residents serve on the board of directors and advisory committees. They also make up more than 80 committees and interest groups that plan activities and give input into day-to-day life at Carol Woods.

Our CEO has an open-door policy, and encourages all residents and staff to contribute to making Carol Woods the standard of excellence among continuing care retirement communities. With a flattened organizational structure, an educational mission and a policy of promoting from within, Carol Woods strives to develop employees and interns into leaders with a passion for the field of aging.

Board of Directors

The Carol Woods Board of Directors includes 16 members selected from and broadly representative of leadership in the larger Chapel Hill/Durham communities. In addition, four Carol Woods residents and the Carol Woods president/CEO serve on the board. The board provides strategic direction to management and receives input directly from residents. The board, residents and staff work collaboratively to ensure Carol Woods retains its position as a leader in the field of aging and as a desirable place for present and future residents to live.

Our Board

  • Jess Aylor (Chair), serves as the Executive Director of Library Development at UNC and has more than two decades of successful fundraising experience in higher education and the nonprofit sector.
  • Delores Bailey, executive director of EMPOWERment Inc., a nonprofit in Orange County, NC. which under her oversight has become one of the largest nonprofit property owners of affordable rental unites in Orange County.
  • Sue Coppola,clinical professor in the Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy at UNC School of Medicine.
  • Stephen Elkins-Williams, former rector of the Chapel of the Cross.
  • John P. (Jack) Evans (Treasurer), former faculty and dean of the Kenan-Flagler Business School at UNC-CH.
  • Josh Gurlitz, architect and owner of JGA Architects.
  • John Hawkins, architect with experience in community planning and preservation.
  • Dottie Heninger (Resident, vice president of Residents Association, ex-officio) former computer literary educator.
  • Charles House, since 1980 has been the owner of University Florist, a local fixture since 1946. He is an Army veteran of the Defense Intelligence Agency.
  • George Lensing (Resident, president of Residents Association,ex-officio) retired Mann Family Professor of English at UNC-CH and served for more than 40 years on the Board of Directors of the Chapel Hill Inter-Church Council Housing Corp.
  • Allen Mask, an MD, well-known throughout NC for his long tenure as the medical reporter and commentator for WRAL-TV/NBC News in Raleigh, where he covered health and medical news for more than 25 years.
  • Larry McManus (Vice Chair), financial advisor at LFM Wealth Management and a certified financial planner and chartered retirement planning counselor.
  • Tom Miller, retired professor of medicine in the division of general medicine and clinical epidemiology at UNC.
  • Kendall Page, a native of Chapel Hill, is a seasoned and experienced Real Estate Attorney with over 33 years of law practice in the Triangle area.
  • Will Perreault, a community development finance professional who is President of the Community Impact Investment Corp and Chief of Staff at Self-Help, one of the nation's leading nonprofit community development financial institutions.
  • Ben Popkin, the owner of The Law Office of Maurice B. Popkin, Esquire, PLLC, through which he offers consulting services to stakeholders in the health, insurance, and legislative affairs areas.
  • Marianne Ratcliffe, president and CEO of Carol Woods.
  • Bruce Runberg, retired as associate vice chancellor of facilities services at UNC-Chapel Hill after 23 years of service to the University.
  • Margarete Sandelowski (Resident), former faculty member of the School of Nursing at UNC.
  • Adam Stein (Resident), lawyer with 50-year career specializing in civil rights cases.
  • Crystal Torain (Secretary), director of nursing at Piedmont Health Services Inc, an organization she has served for over 10 years in many key roles.

Resident Council

The Resident Council is a nine-person resident board that is elected annually by all Carol Woods residents. The president and vice president of the council serve as ex officio members on the Carol Woods Board of Directors. Each month, all Carol Woods residents gather for a Residents’ Association meeting to hear a report from the council and the Carol Woods CEO, and to discuss any issues facing the community.

Management Team

The Management Team oversees general operations for the community. Departments also have Resident Advisory Committees that assist in the guidance of decision making.

Marianne Ratcliffe, President and CEO

Marianne joined Carol Woods in 2021 after a career in senior health services, most recently with Piedmont Health Services, Inc. where she developed Piedmont Health SeniorCare, a Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly. PACE is a full-risk model of care providing frail seniors with comprehensive medical and social services needed to age safely in their community. Prior to Piedmont Health, Marianne worked as a program manager for the Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation and was a program officer for the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust. In both roles she focused on initiatives supporting healthcare access for vulnerable populations.

Marianne is a graduate of Skidmore College and earned her master’s degree in healthcare administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Gillings School of Global Public Health.


Additional team members​

  • Tommy Best, Vice President of Operations
  • Nikki Cooper, Vice President of Risk and Compliance 
  • Ken Reeb Jr., Chief Financial Officer 
  • Liz Tomajko, Vice President of Human Resources
  • Jen Wilson, Vice President of Well-Being
  • Margaret Helton, Medical Director
  • Ann Bradford, Director of Community Relations