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Key Personnel

John Petrone, President

John Petrone is the President of SouthWood Corporation. John comes to SouthWood with manufacturing and operational experience at Instrument Transformer Equipment Corporation, a Falfurrias Capital portfolio company in Monroe, NC. His previous experience also includes McGuireWoods LLP. John served as an Infantry Officer in the United States Marine Corps. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and graduated from Woodberry Forest School. In his spare time, John enjoys golf, hunting, fishing and traveling. He is engaged to Baxter Springs Close.

Ernest Dwight, Executive Vice-President

Ernest is the Executive Vice-President and Founder of SouthWood Corporation. Started upon his graduation from Belmont Abbey College in 1970, SouthWood has grown from a one-person shop into a full-service design/build firm, servicing clients across the US, the Caribbean, and into Europe. Equally familiar with the technical and manufacturing aspects of the business as well as the creative and design side, Ernest spends most of his time in executive management, marketing and business development. He has written articles about, and given presentations on, signage, identity and wayfinding to local and national associations and publications serving the architectural, lodging, housing and recreational industries. He is recognized as one of the most knowledgeable and experienced experts in his field. Ernest has served on the Board of ULI Charlotte, the Caribbean Hotel Association Education Foundation, the Charlotte Apartment Association and others. He and his wife, Vicky, have 4 children and 8 grandchildren. He is a native of Charlotte, NC and enjoys traveling, woodworking, and auctions.

Donita Stewart, Treasurer

Donita has over twenty-five years experience in finance and information technology. A graduate of Queens University with a BA in Accounting, she has been responsible for SouthWood's financial, legal and IT operations, plus human resources since 1999. Donita enjoys golf, gardening, and cooking. She and her husband, Ron, have three adult children.

Tony Peloso, Design Manager

A SouthWood employee for over ten years, Tony is responsible for the management and oversight of SouthWood's Design Department. He coordinates all activities and personnel throughout the entire design process - from initial concepts to finalized shop drawings. With a background in signage and exhibit design and production, he understands both the design-driven side as well as the manufacturing side of the process and works with manufacturing in value engineering. Tony has a BFA in Graphic Design from the University of Akron. He and his wife, Gina, are proud parents to daughter Ava. Tony enjoys football from The Ohio State University and his favorite holiday is Halloween.

Jeff Webb, Installation Manager

With thirty years of experience at SouthWood, Jeff has worked in most every department and in every facet of the manufacturing process, including as Finishing Room Supervisor, Wood Shop Supervisor and Drafting Technician. In his current role as Installation Manager, he manages a team of installers who are responsible for installing, servicing and repairing structures and major components. He schedules and supervises all delivery and installation services, including sign permitting and related research. Jeff and his wife, Renee, have one daughter. Jeff enjoys camping and off-roading in his Jeep Wrangler.

David Beasley, Purchasing Manager

A SouthWood employee for over thirty years, David manages all purchasing functions. He researches new products to keep SouthWood abreast of new materials and technologies, selects vendor sources, and negotiates costs. He has worked in and managed virtually every department in manufacturing. Some of his prior positions at SouthWood include Chief Estimator, Production Scheduling, and Finishing Room Supervisor. David and his wife, Cathy, have two adult daughters and a granddaughter. An avid music lover, David regularly attends the annual Merlefest in Wilkesboro, NC, as well as many other live music events.