Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce names its new board of directors

From the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce:
The Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce has named its 2011-2012 board of directors and appointed LaVoy Spooner, external affairs regional director at AT&T North Carolina, as chairman.

Spooner was inducted during the Chamber’s 114th Annual Meeting held June 30 at The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa and succeeds outgoing chair, Alice Oglesby of io design & illustration. During his tenure as chairman, Spooner plans to engage a broader array of the Chamber’s membership in the many quality programs that the organization offers.  Spooner will also place an emphasis on leading the Chamber in efforts to convene its membership on public policy issues that impact the local business community.

Spooner will serve with the following members of the Chamber’s executive committee:
Alice Oglesby, io design & illustration, Immediate Past Chairman
Linda Brandt, LB Marketing Services, First Vice Chair
Dana Stonestreet, HomeTrust Bank, Second Vice Chair and Chair of the Audit Committee
Ben Hamrick, Johnson, Price & Sprinkle, Treasurer
Bob Kendrick, Kendrick & Associates, Secretary
Michelle Rippon, Constangy, Brooks & Smith, Legal Counsel
Kit Cramer, President & CEO of the Asheville Chamber  

In addition, the following members will serve on the executive committee as department vice chairs:
Lynn Carlson, 1900 Inn on Montford, Vice Chair for the Convention and Visitors Bureau
Suzanne DeFerie, Asheville Savings Bank, Vice Chair for Economic Development
John Miles, integritive, Inc., Vice Chair for Member Services and Communications
David Phillips, Pike Real Estate Development, Vice Chair for Public Policy
Carol Rovello, Strategic Workplace Solutions, Vice Chair for Small Business and Entrepreneurship

The remaining members of the board of directors for 2011-2012 are:
David Bailey, United Way of Asheville & Buncombe County
George Briggs, The North Carolina Arboretum
Tracy Buchanan, CarePartners Health Services
Carolyn Coward, Van Winkle Law Firm
Dr. Hank Dunn, A-B Tech
Hunter Goosmann, Education and Research Consortium of the Western Carolinas
Himanshu Karvir, Holiday Inn Biltmore West
Stephan Magura, Blue Ridge Bone & Joint Clinic, P.A.
Andrew Nagle, A-B Emblem
Dr. Ron Paulus, Mission Health System
Chuck Pickering, Biltmore
Dr. Anne Ponder, UNC Asheville
Robby Russell, Wachovia Bank
Wendy Whitson, River District Artists
John Wirtz, Eaton Corporation
Oscar Wong, Highland Brewing Company

Ex-Officio voting members of the board are:               
K. Ray Bailey, Buncombe County Commissioner and Chair of the Economic Development Coalition for Asheville-Buncombe County
Ron Morin, The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa and Chair of the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority

For the first time, the Young Professionals of Asheville (YPA) will have a seat on the board—Travis Smuckler, The Van Winkle Law Firm and Chair of YPA

Ex-Officio non-voting members of the board are:
Terry Bellamy, Mayor of the City of Asheville
David Gantt, Chairman of the Buncombe County Commission


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About Jeff Fobes
As a long-time proponent of media for social change, my early activities included coordinating the creation of a small community FM radio station to serve a poor section of St. Louis, Mo. In the 1980s I served as the editor of the "futurist" newsletter of the U.S. Association for the Club of Rome, a professional/academic group with a global focus and a mandate to act locally. During that time, I was impressed by a journalism experiment in Mississippi, in which a newspaper reporter spent a year in a small town covering how global activities impacted local events (e.g., literacy programs in Asia drove up the price of pulpwood; soybean demand in China impacted local soybean prices). Taking a cue from the Mississippi journalism experiment, I offered to help the local Green Party in western North Carolina start its own newspaper, which published under the name Green Line. Eventually the local party turned Green Line over to me, giving Asheville-area readers an independent, locally focused news source that was driven by global concerns. Over the years the monthly grew, until it morphed into the weekly Mountain Xpress in 1994. I've been its publisher since the beginning. Mountain Xpress' mission is to promote grassroots democracy (of any political persuasion) by serving the area's most active, thoughtful readers. Consider Xpress as an experiment to see if such a media operation can promote a healthy, democratic and wise community. In addition to print, today's rapidly evolving Web technosphere offers a grand opportunity to see how an interactive global information network impacts a local community when the network includes a locally focused media outlet whose aim is promote thoughtful citizen activism. Follow me @fobes

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