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RiverLink Adds New Board Members and Collegiate Board Program 2018

ASHEVILLE, NC — RiverLink is pleased to announce nine new members have joined the RiverLink Board over the past several months and two positions have been created for local college students to provide board service opportunity:

Leah Wong Ashburn, Leah is the owner and president at Highland Brewing Company in Asheville, N.C. Leah has been a driving force to encourage Highland’s involvement in environmental causes and for developing sustainable business practices like solar energy on the campus of the Brewery.  She was recently honored as a nominee for Outstanding Beer Professional by the James Beard Foundation.

Dan Hitchcock, Dan Hitchcock is a previous Board Chair of the RiverLink Board of Directors.  Dan is partner in the law firm of Hitchcock Hildrebran where his practice is focused on commercial real estate and business transactions and real estate finance. 

J Hackett, J is Executive Director at Asheville Green Opportunities where he brings 17 years of experience in supportive services and community-based programming, with previous roles ranging from counselor and program manager to executive director.

Sandi Garcia Boyer, Sandi is Executive Director of the NC Youth Camp Association having served more than two decades in marketing, communications and nonprofit development roles.  Sandi and her husband Jason moved to Asheville in 2010 for his position at WLOS-TV and Sandi for a position with a local nonprofit as the Director of Development and Marketing.

Lach Zemp, Lach is an attorney with the Roberts & Stevens Law Firm and has 25 years experience trying cases and representing a variety of professional, outdoor-recreation, industry, and business interests. He has served on a variety of local boards including Pisgah Legal Services, Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy, Warren Wilson College, and WCQS Public Radio.

John Ross,  is the principal of RossWrites LLC which provides strategic communications to higher education and conservation non-profits.  He is also a past chairman of the Virginia Council of Trout Unlimited. 

Anne Keller, PHd., Anne is recently retired from a career at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency where she was responsible for sustainable community initiatives across several federal agencies to promote more sustainable approaches to housing, transportation, health, and food production at the local level. 

Kimani Anderson is a Junior at UNC Asheville and Alexandra Blue is a recent UNC Asheville Graduate and McCullough Fellow.  Both are serving terms for students of local universities as part of our Collegiate Board Member Program providing board service opportunities to local students.

Existing RiverLink Board Members include:

Chair, Fred Cardina  – Retired HR Professional

Vice-Chair, Michael Bragg  — Retired Vice Pres. and General Claim Counsel – State Farm Insurance

Treasurer, Dave Lewis – Retired Chief Financial Officer

Board Secretary, Sandy Melton – part owner, Blue Heron Whitewater

Ken Grossman – CEO and founder, Sierra Nevada Brewing

Jason Young – Town Manager, Town of Woodfin

Peter Sprague – Director of Fuel Operations, Ingles Markets

Lowell Grabel – Retired Project Management Consultant

Paul Dismukes –  Retired Healthcare Professional

John Oswald – President and CEO, Mills Manufacturing Corporation

Joseph Ransmeier – Joe Ransmeier Woodworking

Joe Sasfy – retired Music Critic Washington Post and Time-Life Music series

David Whilden – Senior Trust Officer Boys Arnold Trust Company

According to Garrett Artz, Executive Director of RiverLink, “We are proud that so many of our region’s best and brightest leaders choose RiverLink as a place to provide their diversity of skills to carry forward the hard work of revitalizing the French Broad River Watershed.”

Founded in 1987, RiverLink is a catalyst for the environmental and economic revitalization of the French Broad River and its watershed.

For more information about RiverLink and its programs, contact Suzanne Moore, development manager, (828) 252-8474,; or check out


Garrett C. Artz

Executive Director, RiverLink



Spearheading the environmental and economic revitalization of the French Broad River and its tributaries as a place to live, work and play. Since 1987 we have engaged in simultaneous efforts to address water quality concerns throughout the French Broad River basin, expand public opportunities for access and recreation, and spearhead the economic revitalization of Asheville’s dilapidated riverfront district. We hope you find our Web site informative and enjoyable.




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SheVille Team

We are a one-of-a-kind magazine that provides local, regional, national and international information about women’s lives and education, performing and visual arts and writing, the environment, green living and sustainability and regional Western North Carolina business, people and events. “Villages preserve culture: dress, food and dance are a few examples. As villages grow in population and turn into towns, local cafes make way for large American chains. Handmade leather sandals are discarded for a pair of Western sneakers. Due to its small size, a village fosters a tight-knit sense of community. explains the meaning of the African proverb, “It takes a village,” by stating that a sense of community is critical to maintaining a healthy society. Village members hold a wealth of information regarding their heritage: they know about the ancient traditions, methods of production and the resources of the land. When villages become dispersed or exterminated in times of war, this anthropological knowledge disappears. Large cities are not as conducive to growing and producing foods such as fruits and vegetables. Villages, on the other hand, usually have ample amounts of land and other resources necessary for growing conditions.” The Importance of Villages by Catherine Capozzi Our Mission provides readers with information important to women’s lives and well-being. We focus primarily on the areas of education & health, business & finance, the arts & the environment. We are particularly interested in local & regional resources, organizations & events.
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