WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Norman D. Potter has been named vice president for development and alumni affairs at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. Potter previously was senior vice president and group director in the Wealth Management Division at BB&T Corporation.
Potter will oversee the Office of Development and Alumni Affairs, the mission of which is to raise private philanthropic support for the Medical Center to enhance patient care, health education, research and community service. The office also maintains contact with alumni of Wake Forest University School of Medicine and plans alumni activities throughout the year.
Potter’s banking career will translate well into his position at the Medical Center, said Richard H. Dean, M.D., CEO and president of Wake Forest University Health Sciences. “Norm’s credentials and experience will dovetail into our needs. His strong interpersonal skills and his understanding of the issues of private wealth management are very complementary to his new role with us. He also brings a passion for our health care mission, encompassing patient care, research and education, that is admirable.
“Norm’s knowledge about investment, estate and trust management and planned giving strategies will help him to build relationships with our current donors and with prospective donors,” added Dean. “The fact that he was selected after a national search underscores his unique qualifications despite having not worked in an academic setting before.”
Potter graduated from Penn State University with a degree in economics and finance. He worked for Mellon Bank in Pittsburgh and the First National Bank of Tulsa (Okla.) before joining the Avery County Bank (N.C.) founded by his grandfather. After helping the Avery County Bank to modernize its operating systems, Potter began focusing on private wealth management at Salem Trust Bank in 1989. In 2001, he was hired by BB&T as senior vice president and private financial services manager.
Potter’s interest in higher-education fundraising stems from involvement with the Schreyer Honors College at his alma mater, Penn State. He has volunteered as a development consultant to the college, mentored several honors students, including one who is now with the student-run free medical clinic at New York University’s School of Medicine. He was also an executive in residence and speaker in finance at Appalachian State University.
Potter is a certified trauma life-support technician and volunteer firefighter and previously contemplated a mid-career change into the health care field. “I am excited to have this opportunity to work in health care and to be part of the team that has as its goal the constant improvement of patient care, better basic research, and the highest quality medical education,” he said.
“I am also committed to the idea that the biomedical research park downtown, of which Wake Forest University is a major part, is crucial to the long-term future of our city and region,” he added.
Community service has been a major part of Potter’s life. “I have been heavily involved in youth organizations, from the college ministry my wife, Patricia, and I direct at Calvary Baptist Church to the Civil Air Patrol (Potter is a licensed pilot) and the Boy Scouts. It is important to help our youth understand the dimensions of leadership and give them opportunities to practice it.”
He also has done volunteer work with the Winston-Salem Symphony, the Winston-Salem Food Bank, and the Wake Forest University Planned Giving Council.
Potter assumes his new post Sept. 1.
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About Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center: Wake Forest Baptist is an academic health system comprised of North Carolina Baptist Hospital and Wake Forest University Health Sciences, which operates the university’s School of Medicine. The system comprises 1,187 acute care, psychiatric, rehabilitation and long-term care beds and is consistently ranked as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” by U.S. News & World Report.