Blake Blythe joins Chowan Board of Trustees

Published 6:53 pm Thursday, March 24, 2022

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Chowan University announced March 15 that Joseph “Blake” Blythe joined its Board of Trustees in 2022. 

Joseph “Blake” Blythe

The university press release continued by noting that trustees serve overlapping terms of four years and collectively work as a policy-making body for the university. Blythe will attend his first meeting at the spring meeting of the board on April 21. 

Blythe grew up working for his parents, who had established Blythe Ford Inc. in Franklin. At the age of 19, he purchased the Courtland-based Cobb Ford Dealership, which also sold Ford tractors. In his years of business, Blythe did everything from deliveries to washing and selling cars. 

After a brief retirement in 2000, he purchased the dealership that his father established and later sold to the Sadler family. The dealership is now named Blake Ford in Franklin, and Blythe currently serves as the co-owner. 

In addition to serving on the Chowan University Board of Trustees, Blythe’s board memberships include service for Sona Bank, the Ford Motor Company Advertising Board and the Virginia Auto Dealers Association. He is also serving his fifth term as a member of the Winton Town Council in North Carolina.

A member of Winton Baptist Church, Blythe serves as the chairman of the church’s deacons. He and his wife Diane reside in Winton, North Carolina. He has four children — Courtney Jackson, Kirstin Riddle, Chelsea Garner and Wood Downs.

Blythe is no stranger to Chowan; his mother Peggy received her Certificate in Business from then-Chowan College in 1952, and his daughter Chelsea graduated in 2013 and is a successful educator. 

“I am delighted to have Blake, a respected business and civic leader, join the Chowan University Board of Trustees,” Chowan President Kirk E. Peterson said. “He joins our dedicated board (members) who bring diverse perspectives and a wealth of individual and collective knowledge to help elevate the university.”