Leadership


Innovation Quarter leadership oversees the strategic plan and day-to-day operations of the 330+ acre innovation district.

Julie A. Freischlag, MD, FRCS, EdD

Chief Executive Officer, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center
Dean, Wake Forest School of Medicine

Julie A. Freischlag, MD, is the chief executive officer of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and dean of Wake Forest School of Medicine. Consistently ranked among the nation’s top 50 medical centers, Wake Forest Baptist includes Wake Forest Baptist Health, a growing, multi-hospital health system and physician network, the state-of-the-art and highly competitive Wake Forest School of Medicine, and Wake Forest Innovations, its technology transfer, commercialization enterprise. As CEO and Dean, she has the overall responsibility for the Medical Center’s clinical, academic and innovation enterprises and its annual operating budget of $2.5B. Previously, Freischlag was vice chancellor for Human Health Sciences and dean of the School of Medicine at UC Davis.

Terry Hales, MBA, CPA

Senior Vice President, Academic Administration and Operations, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center
Executive Vice Dean, Wake Forest School of Medicine

Terry Hales, MBA, CPA, leads the team responsible for growing Wake Forest Innovation Quarter. Hales was heavily involved in creating the initial master plan for the Innovation Quarter, then called the Piedmont Triad Research Park, from 2002-2012. In February 2018, he re-joined the Innovation Quarter team to lead planning for the next phase of development and creation of strategies for a sustainable innovation ecosystem. Hales first joined Wake Forest School of Medicine in 1996 with a background in finance, including accounting positions with both public accounting and industry. Since then, he has held evolving roles within the institution, including assistant dean for finance, vice president for financial planning and chief financial officer, Wake Forest University Health Sciences and vice chief officer, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.  He is currently senior vice president of academic administration and operations and executive vice dean.

Graydon Pleasants

Head of Real Estate Development

Mr. Pleasants leads site development and infrastructure for the Innovation Quarter. He was the co-founder of Meridian Realty Group in 1986, and by 1990 Meridian was the top commercial brokerage firm in Winston-Salem. After divesting his interest in Meridian, he formed and managed Forsyth Partners Brokerage, which became Carter of the Carolinas, a partnership with Carter of Atlanta. This company became the first full-service commercial real estate provider in the area with offices in Winston-Salem, Greensboro, Raleigh and Charlotte. Mr. Pleasants also later helped form Magnolia Partners, developer for One West Fourth Street, a 430,000-square-foot, Class A office building in downtown Winston-Salem. He now owns Pleasants Properties and also serves in various community leadership positions and with numerous economic development professional organizations in Winston-Salem.

James Patterson

Director, Marketing & Communications

James Patterson has led the marketing and communications efforts on behalf of the Innovation Quarter since 2015. He is responsible for all external communications, media relations, contet marketing, branding and digital strategy. Patterson has provided integrated marketing strategy and direction on behalf of several national non-profits and government organizations, including AARP Foundation, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the U.S. Department of Education.