37 New Leadership Asheville Graduates Join Ranks of 1,200+ Alumni


Key figures in Asheville’s business and nonprofit sectors came together on May 14 at the Crest Center & Pavilion for the graduation ceremony of the Leadership Asheville Class of 2014. The 37 new graduates of Leadership Asheville’s 32nd class join the ranks of more than 1,200 alumni of the program. Leadership Asheville, the region’s foremost community leadership development organization since 1982, is a program of UNC Asheville.

“Leadership Asheville has been a great experience,” said graduate Joe Hungerford, director of engineering for BorgWarner Turbo Systems. “I’ve never been involved with such a diverse group of people that get along so well and are so passionate about one thing… our community.”

“As the public information officer for the Asheville Fire Department,” said graduate Kelley Klope, “my LA32 experience has opened numerous doors to help build community relationships for me and the department.”

Befitting the nature of Leadership Asheville, the graduation program included team project presentations and group discussions. This Leadership Asheville class partnered on community service projects with the Asheville Area Arts Council, Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity, The Salvation Army Boys and Girls Clubs, MAHEC (Mountain Area Health and Education Center), the Literacy Council of Buncombe County, Homeward Bound of WNC, and the Irene Wortham Center. The graduation also included a keynote talk by program alumna Karen Tessier, founder and president of Market Connections, an Asheville consulting firm.

Leadership Asheville’s 2014 graduates are: Ilana Alberico, Innovative Spa Management; Jennifer Banks, Helps Ministries; Greg Bonin, Asheville Movement Collective; Caleb Bradshaw, Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministries; Abby Cain, GoldenWood Financial / Rock Bottoms, Inc.; Denise Cargile, Cumberland Advisors LLC; Mike Cortes, TD Bank; Susan Fouts, Western Carolina University; Brandon Garrison, Duke Energy Progress; Eric Hardy, City of Asheville; Dolly Horton, Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College; Kelly Houston, Buncombe County; Joe Hungerford, BorgWarner Turbo Systems; Ed Kizer, Sage Counseling Financial Services; Kelly Klope, City of Asheville; Danna Knight, Buncombe County Schools; Harris Livingstain, McGuire, Wood & Bissette, P.A.; Julie Mayfield, Western North Carolina Alliance; Max Mays, Kudzu Branding & Design; Robert Mays, Van Winkle Law Firm; Courtenay Morgan, Ward and Smith, P.A.; Dari Mullins, Signarama; Jenn Murphy, YMCA of Western North Carolina; Barbara Noon, Mission Medical Associates; Collin O’Berry, Looking Glass Strategic Research Consultants; Melissa Pennscott, Johnson Price Sprinkle, PA; Ana Pinheiro Privette, independent consultant; Leah Quintal, JB Media Group LLC ; Leigh Ruhl, Mission Healthcare Foundation; Dave Russell, RiverLink; Martha Stradley, independent contractor; Dan Swift, Mills Manufacturing; William Tepper, Jos. A. Bank Clothiers; Michelle Vruwink, Arroyo Research Services; Keri Wilson, The Littlest Golfer; Nancy Yeager, UNC Asheville; and Andrew Zetterholm, Uplevel YOU.

Registration for the next session of Leadership Asheville is open through May 23. Leadership Asheville Program 33 begins with a full-day orientation and a separate two-day, one-night opening retreat, both in September, and continues with full-day monthly sessions through graduation on May 20, 2015. Additional involvement in the following year allows participants to meet and engage with a broader community of leaders.

Leadership Asheville receives generous support from its strategic partners: The Omni Grove Park Inn, Mission Health System and TD Bank. For more information and an application to the Leadership Asheville Program 33, visit www.leadershipasheville.org or contact Susan Bean at sbean@leadershipasheville.org or 828.255.7100.