About the Asheville Affiliates
Founded in 1999 as a social networking group for young professionals to benefit area non-profits, the Asheville Affiliates has grown to a community network of over 3,000 members.
Non-profits interested in working with the Asheville Affiliates should submit their applications in January each year. The Affiliates board of directors selects non-profit partners based on community need, organization size and viability, then schedules a fundraising event for each one. Affiliates board members assist in every step of the event planning process including budgeting, venue selection, securing sponsorships and marketing.
All Affiliates events follow a similar format–Thursday evening, $25 ticket covers food,beer, wine and entertainment. A raffle and silent auction raise additional funds.
ALL proceeds from fundraising events go directly to the non-profit partner.
The goal is to provide an affordable opportunity to support local non-profits, have fun and network. All events are open to the public, and membership is free.
In the past 17 years,The Asheville Affiliates have raised over $500,000 for 65 non-profits.
Meet the Board
Beth Hesse, president
Beth was born and raised in southwestern Pennsylvania. She moved to Asheville in 2002 to attend Montreat College, where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Studies in 2005. In 2008, Beth moved back to Pennsylvania to attend Duquesne University, where she received a Master of Science degree in Environmental Science and Management. Beth currently works as an environmental consultant, focusing on providing due diligence services and managing remediation sites across the country. In her spare time, Beth enjoys gardening, attending concerts, and being outside.
Upon learning about the Asheville Affiliates at one its 2017 parties, Beth decided to actively contribute to its mission by serving on the Asheville Affiliates Board. She is excited to serve the Asheville community through this board.
Salley Williamson, secretary
Salley Williamson is the Development and Communications Manager at Open Hearts Art Center, a 501(c)(3) supportive studio and gallery for people with disabilities with the mission to empower people to reach their full potential through the arts. She has lived in Asheville since 2008 and loves being part of the vibrant community. Salley enjoys working on her farm, playing music, hiking, and being on the water.
She attended past Asheville Affiliates events and decided to become a board member this year after getting to know the Affiliates when they hosted a fabulous party for her nonprofit in 2017.
Julie Barber, treasurer
Julie Barber is an accountant for Pine Gate Renewables, LLC, which originates, develops, finances and operates utility-scale solar farms. Besides her dream of a world of limitless energy, she has always been passionate about the non-profit sector. Julie started her career and worked in the non-profit sector for years before leaving to help the solar industry. She enjoys spending her free time in aid of the non-profit organizations that are close to her heart.
Julie has lived in Asheville since 2015 and feels lucky to call this place home. She enjoys being outdoors, hiking, going on adventures with her dogs, live music, and playing sports. This is Julie’s first year on the board for the Asheville Affiliates and is looking forward to making a difference!
Katie is graphic designer that owns Rotanz Design and specializes in web and logo design for small businesses and artists in Western North Carolina. She moved to Asheville in 2012 after graduating from Virginia Tech and loves hiking and camping with her fiancé and two pups. She also enjoys YouTube yoga, bowling, traveling and all things football.
Katie has enjoyed attending Asheville Affiliates parties over the years and joined the board in 2018.
When people come together to support a shared cause, they create communities that are happier, healthier, and filled with better human beings. Chris moved to Asheville in 1998 and has seen the power of a strong, caring community that finds innovative solutions to difficult problems while enjoying all that comes with living in the mountains of North Carolina. He is the Marketing Planner for Buncombe County Recreation Services which allows him to work on inclusive community collaborations, partnerships, and sponsorships.
Born and raised in the beautiful city of Asheville, Logan works as the director of initiative management at Symmetry Financial Group, an insurance brokerage with the mission of protecting America’s families through life’s unique journeys. Logan enjoys hiking through the mountains, volunteering, reading, and dancing as much as possible.
She is elated to be a member of Asheville Affiliates and help bring attention to the incredible organizations making an impact across Western North Carolina.
Jen Teague is the Executive Director for the Council on Aging of Buncombe County, a non-profit that provides services and supports to older adults and their families. She has lived in Asheville for a little over a year and half and has enjoyed getting to know the area and attending the Asheville Affiliate Parties. She is committed to social justice and lives her life by the motto be the change you wish to see in the world. In her free time she enjoys yoga, long walks on the South Slope, and hanging out in the sunshine!
Robin is a ceramicist who owns and operates Robin Lee Essentials, an ethical jewelry line that supports wellness through essential oil. Each piece is carefully handcrafted in Asheville and a percentage of proceeds goes to local animal rescue centers.
When Robin is not in the studio, she enjoys spending time outside with her dog, Leo; whether it be hiking, camping, traveling to the coast, gardening, or simply relaxing with a book in the sun.
This is Robin's first year as an Asheville Affiliates board member. She is delighted and honored to be a part of Asheville Affiliates and looks forward to working with fellow members to benefit the greater good of the community.
Tara McCracken is a District Director of Workforce Development at Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina. Tara is honored to be part of the Goodwill team in Asheville and believes in the transformation that is provided by Goodwill’s services and mission. Tara moved to Western North Carolina in 2001 to attend Mars Hill University (Go Lions!) and has lived in the Asheville area ever since. She loves being a part of this vibrant, fun and engaged community. In her spare time, Tara enjoys walking her dogs, grabbing a beer with her husband and spending time with the amazing friends she has met over the years.
After learning more about the mission of The Asheville Affiliates, Tara was excited to get involved. She is looking forward to learning more about the amazing work of other area nonprofits and contributing to their success and sustainability for years to come.
Ashley is a freelance craft writer and editor who moved to Asheville in 2013. Crafting is one of her favorite hobbies too, and she loves knitting in breweries with friends. After graduating from Berea College in Kentucky, Ashley served as an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, and later worked at United Way of America in Alexandria, Virgina. After many years working in the corporate world, she's happy to be back in nonprofit as a volunteer to benefit the Asheville community.
Kelly, along with her Asheville-native husband, is the founder and co-owner of Bliss Farm & Retreat, a holistic, farm-based center focused on total health and wellness. It is a place that reflects their love of locally harvested, sustainable food and the permeating peace of the Smoky Mountains. Kelly also runs her own interior design firm; her greatest joy comes in creating space for others to find their most centered and grounded existence. She also loves tending to the many animals on the farm and practicing yoga.
Kelly is a graduate of Auburn University and first fell in love with Asheville in 2010, when she completed her Yoga Alliance Teacher Training at the Asheville Yoga Center. Over the years, she has enjoyed serving on various non-profit boards, but is most excited to participate in the Asheville community through this wonderful organization.
Born in Charleston, Ettinger has always called the Carolinas home. She attended Coastal Carolina University where she graduated as an Art Major and then quickly moved to Asheville for its dynamic culture and strong sense of community. For over 6 years Ettinger has worked for Eagles Nest Outfitters (ENO) where she currently serves as the Credit Manager and actively builds lasting relationships with a growing network of local Asheville businesses. In her free time, she enjoys exploring new music, gardening, and traveling to unfamiliar and adventurous places.
After learning of the Asheville Affiliates, Ettinger knew that she could offer more and became excited for the opportunity to contribute to the community that we have all grown to love!
Christian is a Sr. Quality Control Advisor for Mission Health System’s revenue cycle delivering coaching and leadership to department. He has been with the organization since graduating from UNC Asheville in 2013. He has spent years interpreting in a healthcare setting at various dental and medical practices. During his free time he likes to keep a good balance between coffee, pizza and vigorous exercise! Christian currently lives in beautiful downtown Asheville with his bulldog Reagan where they enjoy the best breweries in town and spend quality time seeking for more adventures.
He has recently joined the board and is excited to share stories and have fun all while making an impact in the community and the non-profit sector!
Ryan is a Senior Recruiter for DHG Search - a service line of Dixon Hughes Goodman - and specializes in the Construction/Real Estate industry. He earned his BA in Technical Sales from Weber State University in Ogden, UT where he graduated cum laude, with honors, and multiple Dean’s List awards.
He moved to Asheville 13 years ago where he resides with his wife and their two labs. When he is not recruiting, Ryan enjoys working out, watching football, and is active in his church where he serves as an Elder.
Ryan joined the Asheville Affiliates board in 2019 and is thrilled to be serving our community by supporting our local non-profits!