Xpress presents: The complete 2017 Asheville Innovators list

AVL INV Class of 2017

Marked by a variety of characteristics, innovation can be found in multiple disciplines. But all innovators set out in front of the pack, bushwhacking a trail where none exists. Innovative organizations and projects bring outside-the-box thinking to problems or present a refreshing take on the status quo.

Xpress sought to find those clearing the path for our community’s future and put out a call for the public to nominate innovators. We received a total of 41 nominations and, through a process of several in-house jury deliberations, arrived at the eight we profile in this special issue. It wasn’t easy. And the runners-up made us deliberate if we should even feature more.

Xpress is proud to present Asheville’s Innovators. We hope their actions inspire you to innovate in your corner of Western North Carolina.

Xpress Asheville Innovator jury: Edwin Arnaudin, Jeff Fobes, Dan Hesse, Max Hunt, Carolyn Morrisroe, Tracy Rose and Gina Smith

AVL INV

Below are the 2017 Asheville Innovators. Click on a picture to read about the projects and organizations highlighted in this year’s special issue:



Stan Cross,
Matthew Johnson


Ron Larsen


Luis Carlos Serapio


Ted Stump,
Michael Murphy


Sunil Patel


Sara Sanders,
Brent Skidmore


Kevin Mahoney


Claire Callen, Thomas Karl
and Mack Pearsall
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About Dan Hesse
I grew up outside of Atlanta and moved to WNC in 2001 to attend Montreat College. After college, I worked at NewsRadio 570 WWNC as an anchor/reporter and covered Asheville City Council and the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners starting in 2004. During that time I also completed WCU's Master of Public Administration program. You can reach me at dhesse@mountainx.com.

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