WNC Communities Leadership

BOARD OF DIRECTORS: Fiscal Year End 6.30.2022

Chair: Dean Kanipe, McDowell County

Immediate Past Chair:  Randy Rogers, Haywood County

First Vice Chair:  Jimmy Cowan, District Field Representative of NC Farm Bureau Federation

Second Vice Chair: Karen Hammett, Haywood County

Treasurer:  Craig DeBrew, Henderson County

Secretary:  Jeffery Owen, Buncombe County

President:  K. Ray Bailey, Buncombe County

Vice President:  L.T. Ward, Buncombe County

Chivous Bradley, Rutherford County

Lumpy Lambert, GM of Operations for Harrah’s River Valley

Laura Leatherwood, President of Blue Ridge Community College

Bruce Peterson, Buncombe County

Harris Prevost, Vice President of Grandfather Mountain

Zeb Smathers, Mayor of the City of Canton

Shelley White, President of Haywood Community College

Roger Wiggins, Fiscal Officer of Southwestern Commission

Bill Yarborough, Haywood County

Ross Young, Director of  Madison County Cooperative Extension 


  • W. Louis Bissette Jr., McGuire, Wood & Bissette
  • F. Ed Broadwell, Buncombe County
  • E. Charles Dyson, Bladen County
  • Jacob F. Grigg, Madison County
  • Sam H. McGuirt Jr., Henderson County
  • Richard B. Wynne, Henderson County


Executive Director and WNC AgOptions Coordinator:  Jennifer Ferre

Director of Community and Agricultural Programs:  Terri Wells

Community Programs Coordinator: Susan Garrett

Agricultural Programs Coordinator: Dana Brown

Scholarship Coordinator: Abigail Parker

Director of Hemlock Restoration Initiative: Margot Wallston

Accounting:  Amy Tipps




In Memory…

WNC Communities has been fortunate to have great leadership through the years in two of our region’s finest, Morris L. “Mac” McGough and Patricia Brinkley Shulimson.  Please see their dedication pages to learn how we continue to honor their lives and contributions to our mountain home.