Meet Our Board
Board of Directors
Nikia E. Bye, Founder & Chief Executive Director: Nikia works full-time running the operations of Trusted Parents. She earned two Bachelors of Arts degrees at the University of North Carolina Charlotte, one in Psychology and the other in Religious Studies. She is a graduate of the Disability Rights Council of North Carolina Partners in Policymaking, a disability advocacy training program. Nikia is an accredited Triples P (Positive Parenting Program) service provider for Primary Care Parenting. She is also the Coordinating Director of Family Support Network ™ in the Charlotte region (FSN of Trusted Parents). She serves as an active council member on the NC Child Parent Advisory Council. She co-pastors Built on Faith Ministries with her husband. She resides in Huntersville, NC with her husband and three beautiful children, one of which has autism.
Merton W. Bye Jr., Co-Founder & Director: Merton is the co-founder of Trusted Parents. He attended the College of New Rochelle in New York where he received a degree in Business Management. He is Senior Business Risk & Control Analyst at TIAA, where he has been employed for 16 years. He is the senior Pastor of Built on Faith Ministries located in Charlotte, North Carolina. Along with his wife, Merton has over 19 years’ experience serving the community of those affected by disabilities. Merton is married to Nikia Bye, and resides in Huntersville, NC with their three children.
Tammy Stimpson, President: Tammy is a supervising manager at Shutterfly and an entrepreneur. She has a passion for children with special health care needs and has dedicated her time educating herself on how she can better serve, not just her son diagnosis with autism, but also the special needs community. She has spent many hours volunteering for Trusted Parents before joining the board as a director and then president. She also serve as an active volunteer with CMS (Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools). Tammy resides in Charlotte NC with her husband and three sons.
Candice Grant, Treasurer: Candice is an author
and public speaker. She earned a Bachelors of Arts degree in Journalism, and
now is the owner of The Word Artisan, a professional writing and speaking company.
She is a kidney transplant recipient with a devout appreciation for nonprofit
organizations. She is an advocate for special needs children in the Charlotte
Mecklenburg School System as a Surrogate Parents in the educational planning
sessions and she serves as a speaker representative for the National Kidney
Foundation. She is a mother of a son diagnosed with autism and resides in
Charlotte with her husband and two additional children.
Jolean Hilliard, Secretary: Jolean is a Payment Specialist at Duke Energy. She is a graduate of the NC Partners in Policymaking, a disability advocacy training program. She is an active volunteer in the community of those living with disabilities. She resides in Charlotte with her son diagnosed with autism.
Dawn Hicken, Advisor: Dawn is an entrepreneur who is passionate about helping individuals with special health care needs and their families. She is active in the community and served as a volunteer for multiple nonprofit organizations, including the exceptional children department of the Cabarrus County School system. She served on the board of the International Mom’s Club in American Canyon and Charlotte, NC. Dawn resides in Concord NC with her husband and her two sons, one of whom is diagnosis with autism
Richard Wright, Advisor: Richard is the Assistant Director of Radiology at Emory University Hospital. He received his education in Radiology at the Academy of Health and Science at Fort Sam in Houston TX, and his Bachelors of Arts in Marketing from Mercy College in New York. His is an active member of the ARRT and the AHRA. His dedication to serving the community of those living with disabilities stems from his love for his nephew diagnosis with autism. Richard resides in Lawrenceville GA with his wife and three children.
Elizabeth Hobson, Financial Advisor: Elizabeth a financial advisor for Morgan Stanley Wealth Management. As a financial planner and parent of two special needs children, she has brought her passion for Special Needs Advocacy and Philanthropic Gifting as founder of the Special Needs Planning and Wealth Management. Elizabeth is dedicated to helping special needs families protect their assets, income and lifestyle; and focus their resources to providing a generational continuum of care. Her area of expertise is wealth management, retirement distribution, trust based on asset planning, wealth transfer and inheritance, estate planning, charitable gifting, and special needs planning. Elizabeth lives in Iredell County with her three beautiful children, all of whom has special health care needs.