Members of new MPA advisory board announced

The Western Carolina University Master of Public Affairs Program recently announced members of a new advisory board established to provide support to the program to improve its mission of serving the Western North Carolina region.

Advisory board members are:

  • Leslie Anderson, owner of Anderson Consulting in Asheville;
  • William Annarino, retired chief of police from the city of Asheville;
  • Laura Foor, foreign trade zone administrator with the Charlotte Regional Partnership;
  • Bill Gibson, executive director of the Southwestern Commission Council of Governments in Sylva;
  • Gerald Green, director of planning for Jackson County;
  • Max Haner, retired N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources official in Asheville;
  • Craig Honeycutt, county manager in Alamance County;
  • David Huskins, CEO of Ridgetop Associates in Linville Falls;
  • Laura Jeffords, executive director of  The Mediation Center in Asheville;
  • Joel Mashburn, retired county manager of Iredell County;
  • Alison Melnikova, assistant town manager in Waynesville;
  • Brenda Mills, director of administrative services for the city of Asheville;
  • Sarah Nuñez, regional assistant director of admissions for Western Carolina University in Asheville;
  • Rachael Nygaard, director of the 2-1-1 Program for the United Way of Asheville-Buncombe County;
  • Caroline Rodier, executive director of Smart Start of McDowell County;
  • Danna Stansbury, director of marketing and administration for the Land of Sky Council of Governments in Asheville;
  • Kendra Turner, campaign director for Terry Bellamy for Congress;
  • and Tosh Welch, who works in educational development for the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians.

The board will advise WCU on matters such as curriculum, recruitment and career development.

The Western Carolina MPA program provides professional training for individuals interested in careers in public and nonprofit service. For more information, contact Roger E. Hartley, director of the program, at or 828-227-3494, or visit the program’s website.