Dementia Alliance of North Carolina Welcomes Our New Board Members 

Dementia Alliance of North Carolina is pleased to announce the addition of four new members to our Board of Directors. Each of them brings a unique blend of skills, experience, and passion that will undoubtedly enrich our mission and propel us forward in our efforts to improve the lives of those living with dementia across North Carolina.


Cory Howes

Partner, Strauss Attorneys, PLLC

Cory is passionate about helping people with estate planning, which comes from his own experience with his grandmother’s estate. His dedication to helping individuals and families plan for their futures with care and precision, and a heartfelt commitment to our mission, makes him an invaluable asset to our Board. With his extensive network within the legal and financial sectors, Cory will help develop meaningful collaborations and partnerships that will enhance our ability to serve our community even more effectively.

Cory is a Raleigh native and earned a Bachelor of Science in Business from Wake Forest University before starting his career as a financial advisor and employee benefits consultant, aiding individuals and families with financial planning, insurance, and investments while also working with companies to develop and

implement employee benefits programs. After several years of working with a variety of attorneys, he made the decision to return to school and enrolled in the T.C. Williams School of Law at the University of Richmond. 

Cory is currently a Partner at Strauss Attorneys PLL. He opened and leads the firm’s Raleigh office. He is a member of the Wake County Bar Association and the North Carolina Bar Association, and serves on the NBCA Legislative Affairs Committee and on the Board of the North Carolina Forum of Estate Planning Attorneys. 

Beyond his professional life, Cory loves being a husband to his wife, Lindsay, and father to their twins, Caleb and Harper, and two Irish Setters, Pearl and Penny. He also enjoys basketball, golf, camping, skiing, and snowboarding.

Favorite DA-NC Value: “Engagement and Empowerment: It is so important for families and caregivers to have support and not feel alone, and to have the tools to care for their loved ones, themselves, and other family members impacted.”

Steven B. Martin, MHA, CPHQ, FACHE

President & Chief Executive Officer of Constellation Quality Health

 Steven leads with a focus on operational success, strategy development, and mission achievement. He holds a Masters in Health Administration from the Medical University of South Carolina and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Wofford College. He is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE) and Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality (CPHQ).

Steven currently serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of Constellation Quality Health. He previously served as a Vice President within Atrium Health’s Quality Division in Charlotte, NC. His responsibilities included the comprehensive oversight for accreditation/certification activities, medical staff services/quality, Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (Patient Non-Discrimination), and the Insurance and Payor Quality of Care Complaint process. 

His additional prior leadership roles include Vice President for Business Development/Senior Consultant at Courtemanche & Associates, Inc. and Director of Quality Management at Carolinas HealthCare System. Steven has also served as a member of the Joint Commission’s Health Systems Liaison Advisory Council, as Deputy for the COVID-19 Surge Operations Leadership Group at Atrium Health, and as a Hospital Surveyor with The Joint Commission. 

Favorite DA-NC Value: “I feel I am most aligned with Engagement and Connection. Healthcare is complex and difficult to navigate; I am fulfilled when I can make a difference in improving access and care delivery for patients.” 


Dion Bennett
VP – Business Development Officer II, First Bank

Dion’s interest in joining DANC’s Board stems from his personal experience with his family navigating his father’s battle with dementia.  His firsthand experience underscores his commitment to raising awareness about dementia and enhancing the resources available to families facing similar challenges. 

Dion has called Raleigh home since the age of 5. He graduated from North Carolina State University with a B.S. in Pulp/Paper Science and a B.A. in Chemistry. Prior to transitioning into banking, Dion worked 12 years as an engineering consultant for large industrial and utility clients. His diverse experiences have led to a unique and diverse skill set, including traditional lending, risk management, treasury management, and specifications design management. He has served on the Holt Brothers Foundation Board and is a member of the North Carolina Bankers Association and Risk Management Association.

As Vice President and Business Development Officer at First Bank, Dion manages relationships with North Carolina businesses for commercial lending and finance. In this role, he assists commercial based clients and businesses with financing, business strategy development and resolution, commercial debt refinance, and multiple related aspects of business operations.

Dion is active in the community with various charitable organizations in Wake county and beyond.  Bennett and his wife of 20 years, Kimberly, have two children, Deanna, 25 and Donovan, 29. 

Favorite DA-NC Value: “Empowerment through knowledge and support. During my father’s journey with dementia I found out how much I did not know about the disease and the resources available to the community. During the last 2+ years there have been a number of people that have asked me for advice, guidance, and support. I believe that there is a large community that would benefit greatly knowing there are resources like Dementia Alliance out there willing and able to assist.”

Cris Charbonneau
Director of Social Impact, Fidelity Investments 

Cris brings a wealth of personal and professional experience to the DANC Board, as well as a deep passion for advocacy and a commitment to fostering a supportive community for individuals and families affected by dementia. Cris’s journey as a caregiver for her parents living with dementia and Alzheimer’s has equipped her with invaluable insights and a deep understanding of the challenges faced by those navigating similar journeys. 

Cris holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of Oregon and is a mom of four. A community builder and education advocate, she has more than 25 years of experience across private, public, and non-profit education and technology sectors in communications, marketing, PR/media relations, and digital media. She has worked tirelessly in education to develop school networks, and engage families and communities with extensive skills in branding, change management, and crisis communications. She recently served as the Director of Advocacy and Engagement for myFutureNC in championing North Carolina’s educational attainment goal, and was previously the Vice President of Communications and Marketing for KnowledgeWorks, a national education non-profit focused on competency-based learning and early college opportunity. She has served the Wake County Public School System as the Chief of Family and Community Engagement and as Director of Marketing for VIF International Education, now Participate Learning. Cris has also served on multiple boards, most recently as Board Chair of the Programs Committee of Wake Ed Partnership, a local education non-profit.

Cris is currently the Director of Social Impact at Fidelity Investments. She is responsible for outreach, marketing, and engagement of the Invest in My Education (ME)℠ initiative, designed to support underrepresented students to achieve greater educational attainment through scholarship, resources to support college and career success, financial education, and access to stronger professional networks. 

Favorite DA-NC Value:Dignity and compassion is the north star for the work of Dementia Alliance NC in providing engagement and connection, and knowledge and support, with integrity. We do this because everyone deserves dignity, respect, and compassion as they navigate dementia, whether that be as an individual with dementia or those providing care and support.”