Support Staff

Chancellor Sheri Everts, #1 Fan
Chancellor Everts has been the biggest supporter of our team, and has found ways to help the team when all hope seemed lost. In 2016, Chancellor Everts was responsible for getting the team’s insurance approved for the American Solar Challenge, just days before the team left for the race. She also assisted in sending the team off to each race, and speaking on their behalf whenever she can.

She will be at the ASC 2018 starting line in Omaha, NE.

Dan Blakeley, Executive Faculty Director
Founder of Team Sunergy, Dan served the team as Project Director for 5 years until his graduation in 2018 when he was hired by Appalachian State’s Department of Sustainable Technology and the Built Environment. He works closely with the students on the team in all aspects of the solar car racing.

Dan has attended FSGP 2015, ASC 2016, FSGP 2017, WSC 2017, and will attend ASC 2018.

Dr. Lee Ball, Lead Adviser
Lee does everything in his power as Director of Sustainability at Appalachian State to make sure that Team Sunergy is able to grow, build, and compete each year. He is the strongest and most persistent advocate for the team, and is always willing to find time in his schedule to support the team anyway he can.

Lee has attended ASC 2016 and WSC 2017, and will attend ASC 2018.

Dr. Chris Tolbert
Chris Tolbert has been around since the early beginnings of the team. He has served as an extremely valuable mentor, advisor, and role model for the team. Chris is also a technology engineering teacher at West Wilkes High School, advising the school’s electric vehicle in a similar capacity.

Chris has attended FSGP 2015, ASC 2016, FSGP 2017, and will attend ASC 2018.

Appalachian Foundation and University Advancement
The Appalachian Foundation and University Advancement of Appalachian State have played a crucial role in supporting the team. University Advancement leads fundraising initiatives for the Appalachian Foundation, which serves to help Appalachian State offer the best educational experience possible for all students. University Advancement helps Team Sunergy research, strategize, request, and maintain partnerships with our sponsors and donors. They also play an important role in helping us with special fundraising events. Notable assitance was received from: Audra Vaz, Gina Harwood, Norm Potter, Randy Edwards, Geoff Graham.

Alice Gryder, HR Specialist
Alice goes above and beyond to ensure that the team has everything they need to function operationally. She manages team employees, travel authorizations, and any Appalachian State logistics the team needs. She also provides the team warm smiles and great conversation.

Audra Vaz, Development Adviser
Audra has been with the team for many years, and has worked hard to help the team find funding for the car, races, and student scholarships. She has been an instrumental advisor to the business team, and has been responsible for raising tens of thousands of dollars for the team.

Audra has attended FSGP 2017

Brian Raichle, Technical Adviser
Brian Raichle is the department chair for the Sustainable Technology in the Built Environment. He has worked closely with the team for several years and has served as a technical adviser.

Brian has attended ASC 2016 and FSGP 2017.

Brad Johnson, Technical Adviser
Brad Johnson is the graduate program director for the Engineering Physics program. He has worked with the team since for several years and has served as a technical adviser to the team.

Brad has attended ASC 2016 and will attend ASC 2018.

Jeremy Ferrell, Technical Adviser
Jeremy Ferrell is a professor in the department of Sustainable Technology in the Built Environment . He has worked with the team since the beginning and has served as a technical adviser to the team.

Brad has attended FSGP 2015 and ASC 2016.

Erich Schlenker, Business Adviser
Erich is the Director of the Transportation Insight Center for Entrepreneurship. He has worked with the business team closely in the past year and aided them in strengthening their marketing strategies and sponsor relations.

Sustain Appalachian, Office of Sustainability
The Office of Sustainability has aided the team in numerous ways including: providing an office space, aiding in acquiring funds and purchasing products, human resources, and advocating on behalf of our team across campus and NC.

College of Fine and Applied Arts
The department of Sustainable Technology and the Built Environment was the original home for the solar vehicle team and is home to many of the advisers of the team.

College of Arts and Sciences
The college allowed the team to use their machine shop, under the guidance of Mike Hughes and Dana Greene. Mike Hughes and Dana Greene helped build all the suspension components of the team’s previous two cars.

University Communications
University Communications have supported the team since the beginning by donating their time to create: award winning video productions, article writing, public releases, photography, social media, website, graphic design, and award-winning magazine.

In 2016 they published an article called Racing the Sun along with a video entitled Appalachian State's Team Sunergy and the 2016 Formula Sun Grand Prix. The video received the Gold Aviator Digital Award, The Communicators Awards Award of Distinction, Gold Hermes Creative Award, and the MarCom Platinum Award. Their article also received a Communicator Awards Award of Distinction.

In 2017 they published an article called Runnin' on Shine along with a video under the same name, which followed the FSGP 2017. The article won the Gold Hermes Creative Award.

Special thanks to Chase Reynolds, Troy Tuttle, Megan Hayes, Marie Freeman, Garrett Ford, Dave Blanks, Elisabeth Wall, Pete Montaldi, Derek Wycoff, Chris Grulke, and Alex Jansen.

University Purchasing
The funds on the team are run through accounts with Appalachian State University, which being a government owned entity, incurs a lot of rules when it comes to purchasing. The University Purchasing department went above and beyond to ensure that the parts for ROSE arrived on time. Notable assistance was received from: Chad Hicks, Judy Goodwin, Susan Poole, and John Wall.

Physical Plant
The Physical Plant at Appalachian State has gone above and beyond to make sure that our vehicles are maintained and our facilities are in line. They also cleared their schedule to paint ROSE with little notice. Notable assistance was received from: Brett Scantlin, Bob Smith, and Mike Mast.

Business Affairs
Business Affairs has made sure that the team has a garage to build their cars in, and provides legal counsel for all races and insurance. Notable assistance was received from: Paul Forte, Dayton Cole, and Jennifer Crisohon.