Board of Directors

2017 – 2018 Board of Directors

Dan Poeta, President
Daniel Poeta, founder of Horizon Heating and Air Conditioning, has served as the president of the Board of Directors since 2015. Poeta, who joined the board in 2012 and served as vice president from 2013 to 2015, also serves on the board of the Henderson County Chamber of Commerce and its Ambassador Committee and is a graduate of Vision Henderson County Class of 2013. He and his wife of 21 years, Katrina, and their two children live in Hendersonville.
Amy Laughter, Vice President

Amy Laughter, Regional Education Facilitator with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, joined the board in 2016.  She is a native of Henderson County and proud graduate of Henderson County Public Schools.  Amy has worked in public education for 24 years as a teacher, instructional coach, and in her current role in recruitment and retention of teachers.  Amy has been married for 25 years to BJ Laughter, a school principal, and has one daughter, Emma, who is a junior at Hendersonville High School.

Sara Bagwell, Secretary
Sara Bagwell, Blue Ridge Community College retiree and community volunteer, has served as the HCEF Secretary since July 2015, when she joined the Foundation Board. She also serves on the Kiwanis Club of Hendersonville’s Board of Directors and has led the club’s ‘Young Children Priority One’ programs since 2012. She also is a member of Henderson County League of Women Voters. Sara and her husband, Paul, are both Henderson County natives. They have two adult children, three grandchildren and two step-grandchildren who have attended or now attend Henderson County Public Schools.
Curtis H. Marker, Treasurer
Born and raised in suburban Chicago, Curtis H. Marker attained a B.S in Engineering from Purdue (1965) and an MBA from Northwestern (1967) and went on to a thirty-one year career with ExxonMobil in the international oil business.  He and his wife, Sue, have two adopted children – a son from Japan and a daughter from Indonesia.  They searched for the perfect place to retire and found it in Hendersonville, NC.  In retirement he has served on the Board of the Children and Family Resource Center and in numerous positions on the boards and committees of his local country club and property owners association
Sharon Ashe, Voting Member
Sharon Ashe recently retired from Henderson County Public Schools. She is highly committed to public education. Sharon taught for 21 years in two middle schools, was an instructional coach in three schools for four years and was the secondary curriculum director for seven years. Sharon is also a member of Kiwanis Service First Club and Delta Kappa Gamma education sorority. She and Bruce, her husband of 40 years, reside in Hendersonville and have two grown sons, Graham and Price.
Jennifer Balkcom, Voting Member
Jennifer Balkcom is a newly-elected board member.  She completed an A.A.S. in Business Administration-Banking and Finance from Blue Ridge community College.  She has been employed by United Federal Credit Union for four years and has a 19-year career in banking and community service.  She also serves on Henderson County Chambers Education Committee, Park Ridge Health Foundation Board and St. Gerard House Board.  Jennifer is a life-long resident of Henderson County.  She resides in Hendersonville, with her husband, Clint and with their two sons.


Jessica Collins, Voting Member

Jessica Collins joined the Board of Directors in 2017 and is a native of Hendersonville. After graduating from West Henderson High School, she attended Appalachian State University where she earned her Bachelor of Science and High Point University for her Master of Science. Jessica is currently employed with Pardee Hospital as the Physician Liaison.


Jessica is a graduate of Vision Henderson County class of 2017 and the United Way Rising Leaders Program. She is also an active member in Junior Welfare Club of Hendersonville and participants in numerous volunteer activities including the Appalachian State University Wilson Scholarship Review Committee, Pardee Hospital Foundation Cornhole Tournament, and Boys and Girls Club: Girls Night Out.

Judy Scott Edwards, Voting Member
Judy Scott Edwards was elected to serve on the Foundation Board starting in July of 2016. She is a graduate of Rutledge College of Greenville SC with an A.A.S in Business Management and A.A.S. in Merchandising and has worked in the Banking Industry for more than 25 years.  She is currently employed with Carolina Alliance Bank, as Branch Manager and AVP of the Hendersonville office.  Judy grew up in Greer, South Carolina and her two children, Jaylan and Aleigha, attended and are graduates of the Henderson County School system.  She has previously served as a member of the Salvation Army Advisory Board, a member of the Kiwanis Club of Henderson County, served the Miss Hendersonville Scholarship Pageant and served as a Preliminary judge for Miss North Carolina and South Carolina Scholarship Pageants. Presently she also serves on the Henderson County Chamber of Commerce Membership Committee and the United Way Campaign Cabinet.
Anderson Ellis, Voting Member

Anderson Ellis is an attorney in Hendersonville with Prince, Youngblood & Massagee, PLLC. He was raised in Hendersonville, and attended Wake Forest University (undergraduate) and University of Mississippi (law school). He has served as President of the Kiwanis Club, President of the Henderson County Bar Association since 2013, and Vice-President of the Children and Family Resource Center. He and his wife Brittany live and work in Hendersonville with their rescue dog, Tipper.

Josh English, Voting Member
Joshua A. English, a District Manager and Assistant Vice President with Wells Fargo & Co., joined the board in 2014. He is a native of Henderson County and a proud graduate of the Henderson County School System. He has a 15-year career in banking and community service. He is also a member of the Kedron Masonic Lodge in Hendersonville as well as the Hendersonville Shriners Club. Josh has been married for over 10 years to Heather English, a district manager with Southwood Realty. They reside in Zirconia, NC, and have one daughter, Rayne English, and a son, Ethan Wiggen.
Graham Fields, Voting Member
Amy Jones, Voting Member
Amy Jones joined the board in 2014.  She is a native of Henderson County and a proud graduate of the Henderson County School System. She earned an Associate Degree in Applied Science Business Administration from Blue Ridge Community College and furthered her education by successfully completing many financial programs.   Her banking career started in 1994 in Hendersonville, NC, with a focus on management and lending.  Amy has been a member of the Hendersonville Kiwanis Club since 2005. Some of Amy’s other interests are dancing, camping, and art.
Rebecca Lebowitz, Voting Member

Rebecca is retired and is a full time resident of Hendersonville since 2011.

She has thirty seven years of experience in education in New York City (NYC) and New York State (NYS) as a NYC public school teacher, the Education Director of a NYS Office of Mental Health Psychiatric Center, the NYS Education Department liaison to citywide and statewide interagency projects, a NYS and NYC Fiscal and Program Manager, an Adjunct Professor for Graduate Education Administration at Brooklyn College and the Assistant Superintendent for Funded Programs, Compliance and School Improvement in a Long Island school district.

In the aftermath of 9/11, she was appointed to serve as a member of Community Board 1 (CB #1) in Manhattan for nine years and served as the Co-Chair and subsequently the Chair of the Youth & Education Committee.

She was a Governor’s appointee to the Board of Visitors of Queens Children’s Psychiatric Center and served as a Board member of Manhattan Youth Downtown Community Center.


She continues her commitment to youth and families through Board appointments to the Hendersonville Symphony Orchestra and the Children and Family Resource Center.  She is presently serving her second appointment cycles with both organizations.

Darla Lindeman, Voting Member

Katherine Mansfield, Voting Member
Katherine Mansfield, a credit analyst at First Bank, is a new HCEF board member.  She graduated from Appalachian State University earning a B.A in History in 2012.  After returning to Asheville, she became a substitute teacher in the Henderson County School System.  In 2014, she began a career in banking and has continued to volunteer for organizations in Henderson County including Big Brothers Big Sisters and United Way.  Katherine is excited to begin working with the Henderson County Education Foundation and carry on her dedication to the Hendersonville community.
Jimmie Lynn Whitmire, Voting Member

Jimmie Lynn Whitmire joined the Board of Directors in 2016. She is a graduate of the Henderson County Public Schools and Greenville Technical College. A registered Dental Hygienist, Jimmie Lynn has practiced in Henderson County for 44 years. Jimmie Lynn was actively involved as a past president of PTO, Academic Boosters and Henderson County Parent Advisory Committee. She was the co-founder of PAGE (Parents for the Advancement of Gifted Education). She is married to former coach/educator John Whitmire, whose family has deep roots in Henderson County Education. She has one son, John, Jr. who with his wife, Heather, have 2 granddaughters. When she is not working part-time she enjoys spending time with her granddaughters and scrapbooking. Jimmie Lynn looks forward to working to support the needs of Henderson County children.