When all of our hearts beat as one, people...everyone...thrive

Board of Directors


Mike Blackwelder, Director of Community Outreach, Hearts Beat As One Foundation

Mike Blackwelder is the Chief Advancement Officer at Safe Alliance in Charlotte, NC. His current responsibilities include management and supervision of the Advancement Department, oversight of all agency fundraising events, individual and corporate relationships. Mike also provides training to staff and oversees the agency's volunteer management efforts. Mike has been an active member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) - Charlotte Chapter since 2007, serving on the membership, scholarship, and NC Philanthropy Conference committees at various times. He will serve as a member of the AFP Board of Directors beginning in 2015. Mike graduated from Campbell University with a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration. He received a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and recently completed a Master's degree in Business Administration. He has completed AFP's Mentoring Program and First Course in Fundraising, as well as the Boys & Girls Clubs of America's Resource Development Training track. Mike has over 7 years of experience in nonprofit fundraising, including the United Way of Central Carolinas, and most recently as the Development Director for the Boys & Girls Club of Cabarrus County

Christina Stritzinger, Director of Advancement Hearts Beat As One Foundation

Christina is heavily involved in the banks's diversity and inclusion initiatives & serves on the leadership team for a Charlotte-area employee network. Christina is originally from Newark, Delaware, but spent most of her time in South Carolina before moving to the Queen City in 2010.  She is a graduate of the University of South Carolina where she earned her bachelor of science in business administration, studying corporate finance and public relations. Christina is an active Carolina alumna and remains involved with USC's Beta Upsilon chapter of Alpha Kappa PSi.  She is also a life long golfer, proud dog mom, die-hard Gamecock fan, and dedicated volunteer.  Prior to joining Hearts Beat as One, Christina most recently served as Chairman of the Board with Habitat Young Professionals of Charlotte. Christina continues to serve on the HYP board in an advisor capacity, and brings to HB1 a passion for building relationships and driving positive change in the Charlotte community.


Suzie Ford - Director of Public Relations/Marketing, Hearts Beat as Foundation​​

Suzie moved to Charlotte from California in 1996. Suzie and her husband Todd are very active in the community, personally and professionally. In 2013, Suzie was a Make-A-Wish Honeree. Since opening NoDa Brewing Company in 2011, the brewery has held events benefiting Autism Charlotte, Beards Because, Safe Alliance, Carolinas Breast Cancer Fund, Spay Neuter Clinic, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, CAST, Pints for Prostates, Second Harvest Food Bank, St. Baldrick's Foundation, Isabella Santos Foundation and many more. 

Marty Miller - Treasurer at Hearts Beat as One Foundation

Marty has a lot to share, but he is not quite ready yet. Stop by later.




Bret Wendel - Vice Chairman

Beginning in Dayton Ohio where he joined a local political organization Bret found out just how much he could do to affect positive change. After assisting in the passage of Dayton's domestic partner registry Bret went to join and eventually led he Greater Dayton LGBT Center to some noteworthy achievements including the most diverse and highly attended pride festival in Dayton's history. Shortly following his move to the Charlotte area Bret joined the HRC City Host Committee. After a successful year of events leading up to the HRC Gala, Bret and other leaders in the community decided it was time to start an organization that would fill a much needed gap. One that transcends any label and centers the focus on the Charlotte area and the people who live here, Bret became a part of an extraordinary team of people whose talent and skills made for a successful launch of the Hearts Beat As One Foundation. He proudly serves along side these amazing people as the Vice Chairman of the board. His two defining mottos are "Judge less, love more." and "Be kind to one another." Bret also manages a local pool and spa retailor. In his spare time he likes to spend time with his friends and family, explore local food and brews (NoDa CAVU mostly) and watch as much Star Trek as possible.



Joe Davis - Chairman, Hearts Beat as One Foundation

Joe Davis is a local activist, volunteer and leader in the Charlotte, NC community serving nonprofit organizations in various roles since 2008. Some of his recent accomplishments include Co-founder/Owner of Unity Charlotte 2012, the organization that welcomed over 1200 LGBT & LGBT friendly Delegates and affiliates from across the nation to Charlotte by hosting the "Unity Charlotte Charlotte 2012" LGBT welcome event during the Democratic National Convention. In 2013, Joe led the fundraising for Charlotte Pride as the Chair of Development.  Charlotte Pride had their most successful year ever,  sailing padt goals in attendance, sponsorships and funds raised for the organization. Joe has been a long time supporter of the Human Rights Campaign, most recently serving as Co-Chair of Sponsorships and City Host Committees for the 2014/2015 HRC North Carolina Galas and currently serves on the Campus Pride Board of Directors.  By day, Joe is a Vice Presiident of Financial Planning and Analysis at Wells Fargo Bank.  He enjoys traveling, boating, and spending time with family and friends in his spare time.

The Hearts Beat As One Foundation Board of Directors is comprised of very talented & diverse pool of individuals. The application process is rigorous and not all that apply are selected. We are very proud of what we have accomplished in such a short period of time. It is due to the hard work of everyone on our board.