Rising Leaders is a seven-month long program, designed to develop the next generation of community leaders and board members for Henderson County nonprofit organizations. United Way of Henderson County has created the Rising Leaders program to educate individuals and give them the tools and connections to become key volunteers with our community partners and other nonprofits in Henderson County.

Class of 2019-20

Tara Abshire, Office Assistant, Brevard Housing Authority
Chrystal Anthony, Realtor, Beverly Hanks
Chase Arrington, Financial Advisor, Bank of America-Merrill Lynch
Jessica Bentley, Finance Director, WNC Bridge Foundation
Ericka Berg, Membership Coordinator, Conserving Carolina
Barbara Dunkin, Realtor, Remax
Amanda Gardiner, Branch Manager and Asst. President, Wells Fargo Bank
Alexandra Green, Headstart/Pre K Teacher, Western Carolina Community Action
Janice Guazzo, Graphic Designer, self employed
Hayley Hucks, International Program Director, Bold Earth Adventures
Ben Lucas, Print Shop Manager, Vocational Solutions
Mike Murphy, Design Engineer, BorgWarner
Lindsay Patton, Marketing Assistant, Formation PR
Matt Paynter, Area Manager, Mast General Store
Doug Rostick, Financial Advisor, Edward Jones
Mark Russell, General Manager, Southern Alarm and Security
Chris Scruggs, Realtor, We Sell WNC/Keller Williams
Duane Sizelove, Revenue Cycle and Epic Optimization Director, Pardee Hospital
Ashleigh Swayze, Social Worker, Henderson County DSS
Emily Thomas
Josh Warren, Owner, Warren Restoration


Thanks to the generous sponsorship by WNC Bridge Foundation and Carolina Village, the Rising Leaders Program is free of charge for all participants. Space is limited each year. Graduates are already making a strong impact in our community, as many of them have been recruited to serve on committees, boards of directors and in other key roles of local non-profit organizations. 

For more information on the Rising Leaders Program, please contact Sarah Kowalak at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.