AIR Announces new Executive Director

Press release from the Asheville Independent Restaurant Association:

A new, but familiar face will soon take over as Asheville Independent Restaurant Association’s Executive Director.

The Association is excited to announce the selection of Kim Murray as the Executive Director of the Asheville Independent Restaurant Association (AIR). Murray, an industry vet & former AIR Board Member, will start in February.

“Kim stood out for three reasons,” said Carolyn Roy, AIR Hiring Task Force Chair and Biscuithead owner.  “She has extensive restaurant experience and understands the needs of our members. As a former board member, she understands our mission, and that was critically important to the search committee. Finally, Kim has a proven track record of taking on new challenges and tackling them with enthusiasm and skill.”

Murray is the current owner of Creekside Taproom, and has also held many positions throughout the industry including Westmoreland & Scully (Corner Kitchen, Chestnut), Bone & Broth, and The Lobster Trap. Murray also served on the AIR board for eight years, during which time she served as vice president and treasurer.

While Murray will remain an owner of Creekside Taphouse, she will step away from day-to-day responsibilities to focus entirely on AIR.

“It’s a full-time job,” Murray said. “Here we are in a new year, and we are dealing with another Covid variant. I know what this means to our members. They deserve my full attention, and they will have it,”

Murray’s selection concludes an executive search that began in October 2021 following current Executive Director Jane Anderson’s announcement that she would be stepping down.

In making the announcement, Roy noted that Murray will inherit an organization on strong footing, thanks to the work of current Executive Director Jane Anderson.

“During Jane’s nine years leading AIR, our membership has increased over 150% and grown in stature and strength,” Roy said. “She navigated us through our most challenging two year in our history, advocated for what we needed with city and county leaders, organized a vaccination clinic for our members, and worked tirelessly on our behalf. Thank you hardly seems adequate.”

To ensure a smooth transition, Anderson will work with Murray through February before pursuing other opportunities in the Asheville area.

For more information on AIR, visit


AIR is a group of over 100 locally owned, independent restaurants that serve the flourishing food scene of Asheville, NC. They began in 2003 with the spark of an idea formulated by four local restaurant owners who believed that by working together, Asheville’s independent restaurants could create a culture of collaboration and stewardship unique in the industry. Today, the 13-member board leads an organization of more than 100 members, making AIR the largest not-for-profit (501C-6) organization of its kind in the U.S.

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