As community members who serve alongside Dogwood’s board, committee members are instrumental in helping to fulfill Dogwood’s purpose.
Dr. John Ball credits his grandfather, who was only able to graduate from the 8th grade, for instilling a passion for education and medicine in him. Because his children were the first in the family to go to college, Dr. Ball’s grandfather put a high stock in education and thought caring for others by learning and practicing medicine was the highest calling.
Dr. Ball earned both medical and law degrees at Duke University, which led him to a career in health policy and administration, serving as CEO of the American College of Physicians and the American Society for Clinical Pathology. He also served as interim president of the Milbank Memorial Fund, as CEO of Pennsylvania Hospital, and as board chair of Mission Health.
Dr. Ball was a founding board member of Dogwood Health Trust.
Annette Staley’s family has lived in Western North Carolina for at least a century, and there is no other place they would rather be.
Annette is the Senior Workforce Development Specialist at Foothills Regional Commission and serves on the Region C Workforce Development Board, helping employers in the region meet their workforce needs and assisting individuals with building their careers. Additionally, she is the Home Mission President of AME Zion Church’s Piedmont Episcopal District and serves as a member of the Steward Board for Zion Grove AME Zion Church and as a Buds of Promise Superintendent for the Hendersonville District of the Women’s Home and Overseas Missionary Society.
As a member of the Investment Committee, Robert helps provide oversight of Dogwood’s investments, ensuring growth and sustainability for generations to come.
Since 1999, Robert has served as the CFO for Deerfield Episcopal Retirement Community, a faith-based nonprofit that provides a continuum of aging services. Robert began his career with Peat Marwick and worked as a controller for a financial services firm for 10 years. He also worked for a New York accounting firm and is a graduate of Texas A&M University, where he earned an accounting degree. Robert serves on the Board of Adjustments for the Town of Biltmore Forest.
Scott Hickman is the CEO of Riverbend Malt House, an Asheville, North Carolina based producer of high quality, locally sourced craft malt utilized by the craft brewing and craft distilling industries. Previously, he held the position of CEO at the W.P.Hickman Company (2009 North Carolina Small Business of the Year runner up), which was sold in 2012 to a public company. Scott was a member of the Board of Directors of Mission Health System in Asheville from 2009 to 2019 and during his tenure served terms as Treasurer and Chair of the Finance Committee.
Scott has many years of sales, marketing and executive experience with companies ranging from startups to Fortune 500 firms, including a 13-year stint with technology pioneer Sun Microsystems, which included the opportunity to manage Sun’s Eastern European operations in Budapest, Hungary. He has taught business strategy as an adjunct professor at the University of North Carolina, Asheville. Scott holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BS degree in Industrial Engineering from Stanford University.
Lyle Johnson joined Biltmore Farms in 2005 and soon after served as the Vice President of Finance, deepening his more than 18 years of finance and accounting experience. In 2016, Lyle was appointed Biltmore Farms’ Chief Financial Officer. He earned his bachelor’s degree from New Mexico State University and began his career in finance in 1998, working for Security Capital Group where he was responsible for analyzing more than $23 billion in real estate transactions.
In addition to his service with Dogwood, Lyle has served on the Biltmore Lake Homeowners Association Board since 2007 and currently serves as its president. He also served on Western Carolina University’s MBA advisory board and is a graduate of Leadership Asheville.
Tom Maher serves on several boards in Asheville and has long utilized his finance and investment expertise for the betterment of the nonprofit community.
Tom is the owner of Pisgah Investments LLC, which focuses on public equities, primarily public real estate companies, and the President of Pisgah Investments Foundation, a private foundation focused on charitable giving in Western North Carolina and Charleston, SC. Prior to relocating to North Carolina, he had been Partner, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer for Eastern Development LLC, a privately owned real estate investment and development company in Massachusetts. He was a founding board member of two schools, Esperanza Academy in Lawrence, MA and Beverly School of Kenya. He lives in Asheville with his wife, Nancy, and they have two children, Peter and Colleen.
After receiving a B.A. from Emory University and M.S. degrees from both Georgia Tech and Georgia State University, Jim spent more than 20 years as a financial executive in the airline industry. He finished his career as CFO of a telecommunications company in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area before moving to Asheville in 2010. Amid several corporate roles, he notes a “sabbatical” as CFO of CARE USA, an international relief and development organization that operates in some 60 developing countries. During nearly four years in this role, he was able to learn from across some of the most impoverished places in Southern Asia, Latin America and Africa. With this came a clearer understanding that it is not initiative, but the circumstances of birth, that dictate an overwhelming proportion of opportunity across the world.
In retirement, Jim has been involved with many local non-profit organizations. He has served, on the board of MANNA Food Bank for several years and will serve as its board president in 2022. Jim is also a Guardian ad Litem, appointed by the Juvenile Court system of Buncombe County to represent the interests of children in the protective custody of foster care.
Nathan Renfro is an Asheville native and has spent most of his life in the mountains of Western North Carolina. He earned a degree in Management Science (Finance) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and began working for Bank of America’s investment division in Charlotte after graduation. In 2004, Nathan took a break from the investment banking world and moved with his wife, Erin, to Thessaloniki, Greece where they lived for two years. In 2006, Nathan and Erin returned to Asheville where they have since been blessed with four wonderful children. Nathan is now a managing partner at an investment firm where he oversees a portfolio of hedge fund and private investments.
Throughout his career he has been involved in serving the Western North Carolina community through organizations such as Mission Health, Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministry (ABCCM), Mountain Area Pregnancy Services, and Asheville Christian Academy.
Henry Wilkinson’s board service began in 1987 as a member of Mission Hospital’s board and as chair of the Mission Foundation board. Rather than having a little involvement with many organizations, he kept this singular focus believing it could have the greatest impact on the residents of our region. Now as a member of Dogwood’s Investment Committee, he serves side by side with a core group that has a similar focus and is focused on results not acknowledgement.
Henry grew up in Marion and moved to Asheville in 1975. He spent 20 years in the packaging business before becoming a private equity investor. In addition to serving on Dogwood’s Investment Committee, he previously served on the Endowment Investment Committee at Wofford College. He and his wife Susan, a recently retired radiologist from Jacksonville, Florida, spend as must time as possible with their twin grandsons.
Dr. Suzanne Landis has been a primary care physician specializing in geriatrics since the mid-1980s. She has helped train hundreds of family medicine residents, the majority of whom are practicing in WNC. Dr. Landis recently helped start the MAHEC Internal Medicine residency program and is working on community-based curricula for these residents. She has retired from clinical practice.
Dr. Landis is the founder of Project Access, a program of the Buncombe County Medical Society, and started WNC Community Health Research Services (CHRS) at MAHEC in addition to having led MAHEC’s aptly named Suzanne Landis Center for Healthy Aging. For her many years of service, Dr. Landis received the E. Harvey Estes, MD, Physician Community Service Award from the NC Medical Society in 2002. In addition to serving with Dogwood, Dr. Landis is a member of Givens’ Board of Directors, the Advisory Board for the North Carolina Center for Health and Wellness at UNCA, and the Physicians Innovation Network among many others. She holds an MD from the University of Pennsylvania and an MPH in Epidemiology from UNC Chapel Hill.
Dr. Brian Mitchell came to Western North Carolina from Boston in 1976 to begin a medical practice of internal medicine. He was joined by his wife Nancy of Greensboro who began a career of home health nursing. Dr. Mitchell remains in full-time practice, employed by Erlanger Western Carolina Hospital.
Nancy and Brian are active members of MountainTrue. They have raised two daughters, Kate and Anna, and are proud grandparents of one-year-old Ivy.
Dr. Dwight Mullen spent his career in public service as a UNC-Asheville professor in Political Science and recently retired. During his tenure, Dr. Mullen taught thousands of students, 40 percent of whom came from Western North Carolina, giving him a unique 35-year relationship and perspective with the residents of our region. While at UNCA, Dr. Mullen also served as Special Assistant to the Chancellor for Diversity and Multicultural Affairs and as a Professor of Africana Studies.
Dr. Mullen is the founder of the State of Black Asheville, which began in 2008 as an undergraduate research project for one of his classes. They researched open-source data sets in Education, Criminal Justice, Economics, and Health then presented their findings at a weekend conference open to all students and the wider community. The intent was to provide data and a sense of urgency to county and city-wide strategic plans as well as offer the students an opportunity to see how policies and institutions impact citizens and residents over the long-term. These findings became indicators of the disparities in many social determinants of health and is just one example of how Dr. Mullen’s work has taken the long view to address opportunities and challenges with creative, but measured, risk-taking ideas that are rooted in data.
A member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, April Smith Ross has had a long and successful career as a nurse. She has held multiple positions within Cherokee Indian Hospital, having been a Clinical Nurse Lead, a Clinical Informaticist, and currently works as the Assistant Director of Care Management. Additionally, she has held roles in Women and Children’s services at Harris Regional Hospital and was also employed as the school nurse in the Cherokee Central Schools system.
April holds a master’s degree in nursing from Duke University in Durham, a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, and an associate degree in nursing from Southwestern Community College in Sylva. April is currently working towards a post-Graduate certificate in Nursing Informatics from the Duke University School of Nursing.
April serves locally as a board member of the Cherokee Preservation Foundation and regionally as a committee member of Dogwood Health Trust.
Described as an outstanding leader and educator, Dr. David Joyce has more than 30 years of experience in higher education. He currently serves as president of Brevard College after having previously served as president of both Ripon College and Union College. Dr. Joyce also has held several positions within higher education advancement.
An ordained minister in the United Methodist Church, Dr. Joyce received an Ed.D. from Vanderbilt, a master’s degree from North Carolina State University, and a Master of Divinity from Yale University. He’s served on the governing boards of the National Association of Schools and Colleges of the United Methodist Church, the Council of Independent Colleges, the Appalachia Service Project, and the Appalachian College Association to name only a few. For fun, he and his wife, Lynne, enjoy mountain biking, whitewater canoeing, fly fishing and the occasional marathon.
Harris Prevost is known for his passion for his home state, his family, golf and basketball, and most of all, Grandfather Mountain and all the people he worked with there for many years. Harris began with the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation in 1973 and served in numerous capacities during his more than 45-year tenure, including public relations, advertising, fundraising, and civic engagement. He ultimately retired as vice president of operations, and in 2020, took on a part-time role as community relations director.
Harris served as a mentor to so many during his time with Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation. He also taught accounting teaching accounting classes at Appalachian State University for 41 years. Additionally, he’s served on numerous boards and committees including the boards of Grandfather Mountain, WNC Communities, North Carolina Travel and Tourism Board, and the Blue Ridge Parkway Association.