Advisory Board

Meet Our Advisory Board

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Faye Cooper
Faye Cooper along with the Mast General Store, the business she and her husband John, reopened in 1980, have touched many sectors of our community always with the intention of improving quality of lives whether in human service, education, conservation, the arts or sustainable economic development.  Faye has been an active advocate as well as a participant in helping to find ways to enhance the circumstances of those around her.  She helped the founding group of women develop the organization, served on the board and now is honored to continue to serve in an advisory capacity.  She appreciates all those who have contributed time, talent and treasure to suppport HCWF, AWF and WFBR.

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Edith Colvard Crutcher
Ashe County native, Edith Colvard Crutcher, is a Commissioner of the Indian Arts and Crafts Board of the U.S. Department of the Interior. For the past 15 years, Edith has worked on the federal level with issues concerning the Native American Community and the Arts. She is an advisor on the design process for the Museum of the American Indian on the Capitol Mall in Washington, as well as an appointee to the Private Sector of the United States Information Agency. Additionally, Edith serves as a Director on the board of the National Museum of Women in the Arts, a Chair of NMWA National Advisory Board, and a Member of the Board of Trustees of Lees-McRae College. Most recently, she is the founding chair of the Playwright Project in Healing Springs, NC. As a strong advocate for the arts, Edith has organized promotional events for Wolf Trap Performing Arts, Washington Opera, San Diego Symphony, and Atlanta Opera. Edith has a passion for public relations efforts and social work programs and has traveled extensively. She has even lived in the Orient and in Europe, but now keeps a home on ancestral land in Ashe County as well as in Washington.

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Billie 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.

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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.

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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.”