Advisory Board

Meet the Advisory Board of Directors

BillieBillie Brandon Howell
Billie is the President of Deer Valley Development Corporation, a family owned business that has provided recreational opportunities for families and seasonal residents of Watauga County for more than 30 years. She has been a community volunteer for numerous organizations and currently serves on the Board of Trustees for the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, the Western Youth Network Board, and the Advisory Board of the Women’s Fund of the Blue Ridge.

Deborah Smith
Before retiring, Deborah worked as a psychologist connected to Florida’s Child Welfare system and mental health managed care. She also had a full-time private practice and oversight responsibility for a community mental health program prior to moving to North Carolina twelve years ago. She and her wife are currently enjoying living in beautiful western Ashe County. Deborah enjoys gardening and needlework and loves to travel.

Kathleen Kennedy-Olsen
Kathleen, a Miami-based philanthropist and entrepreneur is a widely respected businesswoman and volunteer leader. As Managing Director of her family’s philanthropic foundation, The Ethel & W. George Kennedy Family Foundation, Kathleen guides charitable support in multiple states supporting a variety of causes and holds positions on numerous non-profit boards. What started out as a part-time job has become a lifelong passion: “I never lose sight of the importance philanthropic foundations and volunteerism has as an instrument of change in the lives of people in need.”