The Henderson County Education Foundation (HCEF) welcomes four new members to its Board of Directors: Melisa Escobar, Mark Russell, Alan Skelton, and Amanda Staton. 2020-2021 HCEF Board President, Darla Lindeman, says “We are looking forward to utilizing the talents and experiences these four new board members will bring to the Foundation. Each of them has a passion for education, and we are happy to have them on our team.”

Melissa Escobar is a certified Spanish interpreter with Western North Carolina Interpreter Network and Verbatim Language Solutions. Originally from Caracas, Venezuela, she is a graduate of AB Catholic University and has lived in Hendersonville since 1988. An active member of the community, Melisa has been involved with the Henderson County Public Schools as an ESL substitute teacher, PTO president of Hendersonville High School, and a member of the Superintendent Parent Advisory Committee. Melisa has three children, all of whom graduated from Henderson County Public Schools, and is married to Efren D. Escobar.

Mark Russell is the general manager of Southern Alarm and Security. He is originally from Buffalo, NY and attended Wake Forest University earning a BA in Communications. Mark has spent ten years in higher education fundraising between Wake Forest, University of Buffalo, and Virginia Tech. Mark is married to Emily Johnson Russell and has two young daughters.

Alan Skelton served as President of Wilson Learning, a seminar-based training company, before his retirement. He is the founder of CTI, a telecommunications company, and co-founder of Thomas Golf, an internet-based golf equipment and technology company. Alan has been involved with education in many capacities including fund-raising and board membership with the NC School for the Deaf. A native of West Virginia and graduate of Virginia Tech, his love for the mountains brought him and his wife, Janie, to Hendersonville, NC 25 years ago.

Amanda Staton is a Regional Services Senior Consultant with Wells Fargo Bank, NA. She has been a resident of Henderson County for the last 18 years and a graduate of Montreat College in Black Mountain in Business Management. Amanda is married to Jason Staton, a native of Henderson County and graduate of Hendersonville High School. They have three sons: Caleb, Mason, and Maverick.

“I am looking forward to working alongside each of these new members. It is an exciting time to be a part of the Henderson County Education Foundation board as we are finalizing our new strategic plan and striving to respond to the emerging needs of our community, ” Summer Stipe, Executive Director.

In addition to adding four new board members, the Foundation also voted in new officers for the 2020-21 fiscal year: Darla Lindeman, President; Jessica Collins, Vice President; Susan Thomas, Secretary, and Curt Marker, Treasurer.