Yelton to lead Rowan Vocational Opportunities

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Stan Jordan, president of the board of directors of Rowan Vocational Opportunities, Inc., has announced the appointment and promotions of three staff members; Gary Yelton as executive director, Louis “Skip” Kraft as director of operations in Cabarrus, and Wilson R. Cherry as director of community affairs.

“We are extremely pleased to announce the appointment of these individuals who have demonstrated commitment, leadership and proficiency in advocating and serving consumers with developmental and intellectual disabilities,” said Jordan. “The dynamics of this multi-talented group will have a tremendous impact on the overall growth, progress and sustainability of (Rowan Vocational Opportunities).”

Rowan Vocational Opportunities was founded in 1966 to provide opportunities for individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities to learn work and life skills.

As executive director, Yelton succeeds John Williams, who retired in May. Yelton had served as director of operations at the Cabarrus site since November 2011. He is a Cabarrus County native and earned a bachelor’s degree in business management from N.C. State University. Yelton has over 30 years of experience in management and 25 years in the commercial banking industry. He was a member of the Rowan Vocational Opportunities board of directors since 1997 and served two terms as board president. He is a member of the Salisbury Rotary Club, Salvation Army Board and serves as elder and Sunday school teacher at his church. Yelton loves spending time with his family and friends, as well as playing golf. He is an avid fly fisherman.

Kraft succeeds Yelton as director of operations at Cabarrus Vocational Opportunities after previously serving as classroom instructor and qualified professional there since 2012. Kraft earned a bachelor’s degree in special education and adaptive physical education from Catawba College and a master’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He enjoys golfing and outdoor activities such as camping and hunting. He is also a competitive bass fisherman.

Cherry will assume the positions of director of community affairs and qualified professional after previously working as special projects coordinator. He lives in Concord and is a graduate of Catawba College with a bachelor’s degree in political science. Cherry has over 20 years of experience working with the developmentally or intellectually disabled population. He is a member of the Rowan Rotary Club, on the board of directors of the ARC of Rowan and co-chairman of the Salisbury-Rowan Sports Hall of Fame. He is a previous recipient of the Salisbury-Rowan Human Relations Council’s Humanitarian Service Award, 2014 First-in-Families Volunteer of the Year Award for North Carolina and the “Jackie Award” for outstanding service during the 2014 United Way campaign.

Rowan Vocational Opportunities also received a 2014 Distinguished Agency Award for the United Way campaign.