Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy
Protecting the World's Oldest Mountains

SAHC Board of Trustees

Trustees are elected by the Conservancy’s general membership for a three-year term. After an initial term, a trustee may be re-elected to a second three-year term, but may serve no more than two consecutive terms. Current Board Members are:

  • Jeanette Blazier, Kingsport, TN
  • Courtney Blossman, 
Asheville, NC
  • Leslie Casse, Asheville, NC

  • Bruce Cunningham, Kingsport, TN
  • Nancy Edgerton, Asheville, NC
  • Lyman "Greg" Gregory, Asheville, NC
  • Jack Hamilton, Asheville, NC
  • Jim Houser, Charlotte, NC
  • Anne Kilgore, Kingsport, TN
  • Florence Krupnick, Asheville, NC
  • Jay Leutze, Minneapolis, NC
  • Bill Lowndes, Asheville, NC 

  • Kathy Singleton, Kingsport, TN
  • Milton “Buddy” Tignor, Jr., Asheville, NC
  • Patty Cunningham-Woolf, Asheville, NC
  • Mary Bruce Woody, Asheville, NC


SAHC Staff

Carl Silverstein, Executive Director

Carl Silverstein has served as Executive Director of the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy since 2000.


Kristy Urquhart, Associate Director

Kristy Urquhart has been Associate Director for the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy since 1997 and has served on the staff since 1991.


Cheryl Fowler, Membership Director 

Cheryl Fowler joined our staff in 2001. She is from Waynesville, North Carolina.


William Hamilton, Farmland Program Director

William joined our staff in 2005, and is focusing on farmland preservation efforts.


Michelle Pugliese, Land Protection Director

Michelle Pugliese joined Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy as its Land Protection Director in November 2007. Previously she:


Hanni Muerdter,
Stewardship and Conservation Planning Director

Hanni Muerdter joined SAHC as Stewardship and Conservation Planning Director in September, 2007. She is from Bethel in Haywood County, NC, and currently resides in Yancey County.


Angela Shepherd, Communications Director

Angela joined the staff of the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy in August 2010.

She is interested in folklore, mountain heritage, and sustainable communities. She enjoys playing with her kids, hiking and camping, painting, and making jewelry.

Lisa Fancher, Finance Compliance Director

Lisa Fancher joined the SAHC staff in July 2011. She moved to western NC from the Jackson, Mississippi area.

Lisa has two grown sons and enjoys singing and playing music with friends, hiking, reading, and spending time with two brothers and a sister in South Carolina.

Pauline Heyne, Donor Relations Manager

Pauline joined the SAHC staff in March of 2013. She moved to Asheville from Phoenix, Arizona.

Allison Kiehl, Farmland Stewardship & Sustainability Director

Allison joined the staff of the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy in September 2010.

Allison enjoys hiking, ocean sports, gardening, biking, basketball, and softball. She is interested in ecology, agricultural conservation, composting, and music.


Andrea Thompson, AmeriCorps Stewardship Associate

Originally from the Asheville area, Andrea graduated with a degree in Environmental Studies from Montreat College.  She recently worked in invasive species management for Western North Carolina Alliance and is a stewardship intern this summer with The Nature Conservancy in Indiana.

Joe Lovenshimer, AmeriCorps Stewardship Associate

Joe grew up in the Morganton area and has been involved with outdoor adventure recreation since an early age.  He graduated from Brevard College with a BS in Biology and has been constructing zip line courses for the past year.  He conducted bird surveys in the northeast last summer with Vermont Center for Ecostudies.

Caitlin Edenfield, Americorps Land Protection Associate

Caitlin graduated from Virginia Tech's College of Architecture and Urban Studies with a BA in Landscape Architecture last year.  She attended one semester at Tongji University in Shanghai, China.  She was an intern at the Asheville Design Center, worked as a farm manager in Lewisville, NC, and was an AmeriCorps trail crew member in Vermont.

Anna Zanetti, AmeriCorps PR & Outreach Associate

Originally from Johns Island, South Carolina, Anna received degrees in Sustainable Development and Communications from Appalachian State University.  She is founder and past president of US Green Building Council, ASU Student group and has been active in urban farm initiatives and building healthy communities by feeding all regardless of means.  She spent her summer as an outreach intern for Vermont's New Farmer Network.

Temporary Staff and Interns

Yael Girard is serving as Community Farm and Food Assistant at SAHC’s Community Farm in Alexander, NC this fall. Yael will work to support trail construction and interpretive signage at the farm, to enhance public education opportunities there. Yael is a graduate of Warren Wilson College and spent several years as a river guide in Montana.

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Upcoming events

July 18 - 20
Grassy Ridge Mow-off
Highlands of Roan

July 26
Yoga on the Mountain
Fairview Farming Community

August 1
Razor Wit "For Love of Beer & Mountains" Partner Hike
Barnardsville, NC

August 9
Birding Hike with Simon Thompson of Ventures Birding
Highlands of Roan

August 22 - 24
Healing Our Backs w/ Yoga TM
with Lillah, the Back Whisperer
One Center Yoga, Asheville

SAHC in Recent News

Land Trusts to Create New Trail System in Hickory Nut Gorge
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National Trails Day
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SAHC Celebrates 40 Years
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In Land We Trust
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Mountain Brews
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40 Years of Service to the Highlands of Roan
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