Our Leadership


Jack Betts

Journalist, retired associate editor, The Charlotte Observer
Meadows of Dan, VA

Betts retired in 2011 as associate editor of The Charlotte Observer after nearly 40 years in North Carolina journalism. He was inducted into the N.C. Journalism Hall of Fame in 2006 and the Order of the Long Leaf Pine.

Cynthia Evans Tessien

Vice Chair
Professor of Practice, Wake Forest University and Former CEO, Inmar, Inc.
Winston-Salem, NC

Cynthia Evans Tessien is the Reznick Group Faculty Fellow and a Professor of Practice in the School of Business at Wake Forest University.

Olson Huff, MD

Vice Chair of the Board of Directors, The Light Foundation
Black Mountain, NC

Olson is a semi-retired pediatrician and pediatric medical consultant to Mission Hospital in Asheville. He is a strong advocate for children's health and is active in the war on childhood obesity. He was instrumental in founding the Kids in Parks program.

Pat Shore Clark

Winston-Salem, NC

Pat grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, and received her college degree from University of North Carolina at Greensboro. After graduation, she went to Washington D. C. to work for Senator Sam J. Ervin, Jr. and worked with him for 18 years - including the Watergate Years when she was Chief of Staff.

Alfred G. Adams

Attorney and Community Volunteer
Winston-Salem, NC

Alfred recently retired as a partner with Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, LLP.

Dr. Greg Brown

Retired, Virginia Tech University
Asheville, NC

Greg is retired from Virginia Tech where he served for 12 years as dean of the College of Natural Resources. He remains active with the national Society of American Foresters where he serves as co-chair of the Membership and Credentialing Task Force (which is developing a proposal to change the overall structure and scope of the Society to broaden its membership). He also serves on the steering committee of the Asheville chapter of FRIENDS of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Brad Daniel

Healthcare Executive
Roanoke, VA

Brad is a health care executive. He is the Chair of the Finance Committee and has served in previous Foundation roles as Treasurer and Chair of the Marketing Committee. Like many, his Parkway story began when he convinced his future wife, Marcy, that hiking to Humpback Rocks counted as a date. They are now raising their children Walker and Hope to jump with joy whenever they hear “Let’s go to the Parkway!”

JoAnn Davis

Former CEO, Hospice & Palliative CareCenter
Winston Salem, NC

Broaddus Fitzpatrick

Attorney, Conservationist, Community Volunteer
Roanoke, VA

A retired litigating and estate planning attorney, Fitzpatrick works on land conservation, resource management initiatives and community service projects. An active Elder of Second Presbyterian Church, Roanoke, he has also served as a disaster relief volunteer and coordinator throughout the Southeast. He has rehabbed homes in the eastern Kentucky coalfields with the Appalachia Service Project and has built Habitat for Humanity homes in Virginia since 1987. Broaddus earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia, studied International Law at Queens’ College, Cambridge University, and received his Juris Doctor from the University of Richmond.

Craig Lancaster

Sales and Marketing Coordinator, Mahle Motorsports
Fletcher, NC

Craig earned his MBA from Gardner-Webb University. He spent his youth fly fishing and hiking with his family in the mountains of Western North Carolina.

Gary Stewart

President, Leading the Way, LLC
Matthews, NC

Gary Stewart is the former Chairman of the Board of Woolpert, Inc., a national design-geospatial-infrastructure consulting firm. He is a registered landscape architect and has spent the majority of his personal career planning and designing parks for federal, state, and local government agencies.

Council of Advisors

Becky Anderson

Becky Anderson Consulting, Founder – Handmade in America
Asheville, NC

Becky Anderson of Becky Anderson Consulting, Inc. serves as a consultant for cultural and economic development projects related to The Creative Economy. Most recently she served as Founding Director of HandMade in America, a community development organization located in Western North Carolina.

W. Louis Bissette

Partner, McGuire, Wood & Bissette, Former Mayor – Asheville, NC
Asheville, NC

Louis Bissette practices law in the areas of economic development, land use, and zoning.

Philip Blumenthal

Director of Wildacres Retreat

Philip Blumenthal is the director of Wildacres Retreat, a conference center located one mile from the Blue Ridge Parkway in Little Switzerland, North Carolina.

Paul Bonesteel

President, Bonesteel Films
Asheville, NC

Paul Bonesteel is the director and founder of Bonesteel Films, a full-service production company based in Asheville, North Carolina. His career spans documentary filmmaking and commercial production, with his tenth full-length documentary film, The Day Carl Sandburg Died, recently featured on the Emmy award-winning American Masters.

Hobie Cawood

Chairman-President Emeritus, Old Salem, Inc.; National Park Service (retired)
Lewisville, NC

Hobie served thirty-three years with the National Park Service in eight different assignments and was Superintendent of Independence National Historical Park (1971-1991) during the bicentennial era of the United States. After retirement from the National Park Service, he became President of Old Salem, Inc. in Winston-Salem (1991-2001). He is a past Chairman of the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation.

Bob Clark

Cone Family Scholar, Artist, Clark Gallery
Charlotte, NC

Bob began his association with the Parkway Foundation through his interest in the Moses H. Cone Memorial Park historically know as Flat Top Manor. He is an advocate on behalf of Moses H. Cone Memorial Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway for historic interpretation and preservation

Dan Donahue

General Counsel, R. J. Reynolds (retired)
Winston-Salem, NC

Dan has a law degree from UNC Chapel Hill, and practiced as a civil defense trial lawyer in Greensboro for 10 years, and then as a partner with Womble, Carlyle, Sandridgre and Rice in Winston-Salem from 1978 until 1990. In 1990 he went in-house with the RJ Reynolds Tobacco Co. as a Sr. Vice-President and managed lawsuits against Reynolds until his retirement in 2005.

Dr. Harvey Durham

Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Emeritus and Professor Emeritus of Mathematics, Appalachian State University
Boone, NC

Dr. Durham retired from Appalachian State University as Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Emeritus and as Professor Emeritus of Mathematics. During his 39 years at ASU, he worked primarily in the area of administration and held such positions as Chairman of the Department of Mathematics, Associate Dean of the Faculty, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Provost, Executive Vice Chancellor and Interim Chancellor.

Joe Epley

Epley Consulting – Public Relations & Communication
Tryon, NC

A native of the North Carolina mountains, Joe's honors include North Carolina’s Order of the Long Leaf Pine, UNC’s School of Journalism Hall of fame, The Defense Information School’s Hall of Fame and the Gold Anvil, the highest recognition for lifetime achievement within the public relations profession. Joe is the past chair of the Polk County Economic Development Commission and serves on several boards.

Frank Fary

Public and Community Relations, Cone Mills (retired)
Blowing Rock, NC

Frank has been active in numerous community organizations since retiring from Cone Mills, serving as president of the Rotary Club of Blowing Rock and on the boards of the Blowing Rock Historical Society, the Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show Foundation and two terms as trustee of the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation.

Marcia Greene

Director of Marketing at Chetola Resort
Blowing Rock, NC

Marcia Greene has been director of marketing at Chetola Resort for 18 years.

Charles Higgins

Retired Director of the U.S. Office of Public Health
Hernando, Florida

Charles Higgins retired in November 2014 after serving in the U.S. Public Health Service for 24 years and working in public health for 37 years.

Sean Higgins

Interpretation and Education Manager, North Carolina State Parks

Sean Higgins is the interpretation and education manager with the North Carolina State Parks system.

David Holt

Musician, Artist
Fairview, NC

Four-time Grammy Award winner David Holt is a musician, storyteller, historian, television host and entertainer, dedicated to performing and preserving traditional American music and stories.

Raymond Hornak

Chairman, Forge Communications
Raleigh, NC

Ray is chairman of Forge Communications, a strategic communication and public relations consulting firm based in Raleigh, NC. . He is a founding board member of the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation. Ray is an accredited member of the Public Relations Society of America and is a past president of the Society’s North Carolina Chapter and national delegate to PRSA.

George Kegley

Business Editor, Roanoke Times (retired)
Roanoke, VA

George Kegley is a retired business editor of The Roanoke Times and an active Roanoke Valley volunteer. He covered the Blue Ridge Parkway when its headquarters was in Roanoke in the mid-1900s and he formerly served on the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation board.

Lee Minor

Sylva, NC

A native of Arkansas, Lee’s interest in national parks began during a summer job with a concessionaire at Glacier National Park in 1965.

Phil Noblitt

Former Management Assistant, Blue Ridge Parkway
Black Mountain, NC

Phil Noblitt began his Parkway career in 1987 as a district ranger.  He subsequently served for 10 years as the Parkway’s specialist for interpretation and education.  For several years prior to his retirement in 2007, he worked as a management assistant, coordinating public information and serving as the Parkway’s liaison with the travel and tourism community.  Phil is also author of Mansion in the Mountains, a history of Moses and Bertha Cone and Flat Top Manor.

Rebecca Reeve

Director of Evaluation and Learning at the North Carolina Center for Health & Wellness
Asheville, NC

Rebecca Reeve is the director of evaluation and learning at the North Carolina Center for Health & Wellness (NCCHW) at UNC Asheville.

Bob Shepherd

Land of Sky Council (retired)
Asheville, NC

Bob Shepherd was born and reared in Ashe County, N.C. Following a career which included the army, the US Dept of Agriculture, he began a career in regional planning and development, retiring in 2002. Since retiring, he has served as Interim Manager of Blowing Rock, Maggie Valley, Columbus and Tryon, and he currently chairs the Compensation Committee of the Home Trust Bank.

Jerry Starnes

Blowing Rock, NC

After graduating from UNC-Chapel Hill and Emory University, Jerry spent most of his career in Texas. He has been a steel mill executive, a commercial developer, and a Blowing Rock Realtor.

Kent Tarbutton

Managing partner of Chetola Resort in Blowing Rock, North Carolina
Blowing Rock, NC

Kent Tarbutton is the president of Tarbutton Associates Inc., which specializes in hotel and resort management, commercial real estate development, and real estate management.

Dan Wells

Chair of the Asheville chapter of Friends of the Blue Ridge Parkway
Old Fort, NC

Dan Wells, a native of Petersburg, Virginia, graduated from Virginia Military Institute and the University of Virginia.

Dr. Anne Mitchell Whisnant

Deputy Secretary of the Faculty, Office of Faculty Governance; Adjunct Associate Professor of History and American Studies, UNC-Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC

Anne Mitchell Whisnant is a university administrator and scholar who earned her Ph.D. in history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1997. In 2006, UNC Press published her Super-Scenic Motorway: A Blue Ridge Parkway History, the most extensive serious study to date of the development of the National Park Service’s most visited site and in 2010, Anne, along with her husband David, published a children’s book about the Parkway titled When the Parkway Came.