A Shared Vision

Building an innovation district takes a city. The Innovation Quarter today is the result of a partnership of many public and private entities in and around Winston-Salem.

The roots of the Innovation Quarter lie with a partnership formed by city, county and state government, local businesses, developers and community members and a strategic partnership between Wake Forest Baptist Health and real estate and development partner Wexford Science & Technology. Together, these entities share the same passion for encouraging greater collaboration, connectivity, and congregation of people and ideas.

Julie Freischlag, MD, FRCS, Ed (Hon)

Julie A. Freischlag, MD, FACS, FRCSEd(Hon), DFSVS

Chief Executive Officer, Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist
Dean, Wake Forest School of Medicine

Julie A. Freischlag is the chief executive officer of Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Health and dean of Wake Forest School of Medicine. Her leadership includes overseeing a growing, multi-hospital health system and physician network, the state-of-the-art and highly competitive Wake Forest School of Medicine, and the school’s technology transfer and commercialization arm, Wake Forest Innovations. As CEO and dean, she has the overall responsibility for the health system’s clinical, academic and innovation enterprises and its annual operating budget of $3 billion. Previously, Freischlag was vice chancellor for Human Health Sciences and dean of the School of Medicine at UC Davis.

Terry Hales Jr., MBA, CPA

Terry Hales Jr., MBA, CPA

Senior Vice President, Academic Administration and Operations, Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist

Executive Vice Dean, Wake Forest School of Medicine

Terry Hales leads the team responsible for growing the 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

Graydon Pleasants

Head of Real Estate Development

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. 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.

Jason Kaplan

Jason Kaplan, MUP

Associate Vice President, Innovation Quarter Operations and Wake Forest School of Medicine Academic Resources

Kaplan joined Wake Forest School of Medicine in 2012, focused primarily on academic resource support to faculty researchers and educators along with staff and students.  With a passion for urban planning and design, Kaplan joined the Innovation Quarter in May 2018 to lead the operations team in real estate and property management, parking, leasing support, capital project implementation, event support and Innovation Quarter mapping and data resources. Current projects include a GIS mapping study to inventory the entire Innovation Quarter ecology and landscape and master planning for the next phases of development.

James Patterson

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, content marketing, branding and digital strategy. Patterson has provided integrated marketing strategy and direction on behalf of many national nonprofits 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. A tireless advocate for his local community, he has served on the board of directors of several Winston-Salem nonprofits, including the Downtown Winston-Salem Partnership, Neighbors for Better Neighborhoods and Leadership Winston-Salem.