I HAVE BEEN TOLD VERY FEW MEMBERS OF THE MISSION BOARD LIVE OUTSIDE BUNCOMBE COUNTY OR HAVE TIES TO THE REGION. COULD YOU PROVIDE BRIEF BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION FOR EACH OF YOUR BOARD MEMBERS? WHY AREN’T THERE MORE NON-BUNCOMBE RESIDENTS ON THE BOARD?

I HAVE BEEN TOLD VERY FEW MEMBERS OF THE MISSION BOARD LIVE OUTSIDE BUNCOMBE COUNTY OR HAVE TIES TO THE REGION. COULD YOU PROVIDE BRIEF BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION FOR EACH OF YOUR BOARD MEMBERS? WHY AREN’T THERE MORE NON-BUNCOMBE RESIDENTS ON THE BOARD?

The Mission Health System Board of Directors is comprised of local community members with deep and strong ties to the region – both Buncombe County and beyond. All of these Board members are part of our community, volunteering their time without pay because they care deeply about ensuring access to high quality care for everyone in western North Carolina for generations to come.  It is that commitment that governs their every decision.

Board seats are awarded based upon necessary skills and qualifications.  Mission Health is an approximately $2 billion entity operating in an extraordinarily complex and regulated industry.  The skills, experience and dedication required to fulfill that fiduciary duty are significant. While it is certainly likely that someone could both live outside of Buncombe County and have great competence, passion, time and more, the point here is that it is competence, skills, time and alignment that matter most in effective governance.

These committed and exceptional individuals not only govern Mission Health with dedication, they are also philanthropic, civic minded, and talented leaders in the community as well as respected leaders in the corporate community sitting on national Foundation and Corporate Boards, serving as members of Rotary, and serving on regional Economic Development Coalitions and Chamber Boards.

Our Board members are:

  • John R. Ball, MD, JD, Chair – Ball, a retired medical executive, attended both medical and law school at Duke University, originated the Washington Office of the American College of Physicians and served as its executive vice president for eight years. He lives in Asheville with his wife.
  • John W. Garrett, MD, Vice Chair­­ – Garrett has practiced gastroenterology for 27 years in Asheville where he has lived with his wife and family. He remains active in medical practice and serves on several national committees for the American Gastroenterological Association.
  • Janice Brumit – Brumit, a native of western North Carolina who was born and raised in Boone, NC, currently lives in Asheville with her husband and is the Vice President of Community Relations for Brumit Restaurants Group.
  • Daniel Casse – Casse is co-founder and managing partner of High Lantern Group, a firm that focuses on business communications, strategic positioning, and thought leadership for executives. Mr. Casse lives in Asheville.
  • Suzanne S. DeFerie, Treasurer – DeFerie, a native of Lenoir, NC, has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Asheville Savings Bank since 2008, recently acquired by First Bank in 2018. She currently lives in Asheville.
  • Bridget A. Eckerd, PE – Eckerd served on the Foundation Board of Mission for 12 years and was on the construction team for the Reuter Children’s Outpatient Center. Ms. Eckerd moved to Asheville in 1991 where she resides today.
  • Leon Elliston, M.D. – Elliston, a member of the Mission Hospital Staff since 1979, is a partner in Allergy Partners, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Dr. Elliston lives in Asheville with his wife, Katherine Volatile, MD – an Ophthalmologist who practices in both Hendersonville and Brevard.
  • ChrisFlanders, M.D. – Flanders is a Board-Certified Emergency Medicine Physician. His private-practice group, Carolina Mountain Emergency Medicine, has provided services to Mission Health for many years. He lives in Asheville with his family and has served as Emergency Services Service Line Leader.
  • Scott Hickman – Hickman is Chief Executive Officer of Riverbend Malthouse, the third craft maltster in the nation and the first in the South. Just prior, he was president of Tamalpais Ventures and previously CEO of the W.P. Hickman Company, his family’s business.  He lives in Arden with his family.
  • Lynn Kieffer – Kieffer is recently retired as a community pharmacist and has resided in Asheville for 28 years with her husband. In addition to the Mission Health board, Ms. Kieffer serves on the Mission Foundation Board’s Executive Committee.
  • Thomas (Tom) A. Maher – Maher is the owner of Pisgah Investments LLC, which focuses on public equities, primarily public real estate companies, and the President of Pisgah Investments Foundation, a private foundation focused on charitable giving in western North Carolina. He lives in Asheville with his family.
  • Tom Oreck – Oreck is the CEO of 3Green LLC, specializing in branding and multi-channel marketing. He is the former CEO of Temp-tations LLC and the former President, CEO and Chairman of the Oreck Corporation. Mr. Oreck lives in Asheville with his family.
  • Anne Ponder, PhD – Ponder is Chancellor Emerita of UNC Asheville after serving nine years and retiring in 2014. She was recognized with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine Award, the state’s highest civilian honor, and is a consultant specializing in presidential transitions and college and university strategic planning.  Dr. Ponder lives in Madison County with her husband.
  • Kenneth (Ken) G. Racht – Racht is Chairman and CEO of Racht Development Corp. After retiring in 1986, Mr. Racht elected to work in non-profit governance and has served as Chair of the Transylvania Endowment and Vice Chair of Transylvania Regional Hospital. He lives in Brevard with his wife.
  • Jeffrey (Jed) Edwin Rankin – Rankin, a native of Marion, is the owner and president of Marion Credit Company, Mitchell Credit Company in Spruce Pine, Macon Credit Company in Franklin, M&J Loans of Shelby and R&R Reinsurance LTD in Marion. He also serves on the Mission Hospital McDowell Board. He has always lived in Marion with his family.
  • Robby Lee Russell – Russell is Senior Vice President and Commercial Relationship Manager of PNC Bank as Senior Vice President and Commercial Relationship Manager covering western North Carolina. He lives in Arden with his wife.
  • LaVoy Spooner, Jr., Secretary – Spooner and his wife have lived in the Asheville area for 18 years. He retired from AT&T in 2014 after a significant career in the telecommunications industry, receiving the Excellence in Public Service Award from the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce that same year.
  • Wyatt S. Stevens, Immediate Past Chair – Stevens, a native of Asheville and a partner in Roberts & Stevens, has more than 20 years of experience in complex personal injury litigation and commercial litigation. Mr. Stevens has been recognized in Business North Carolina magazine’s Legal Elite.  He lives in Asheville with his family.