Chairman and Ex-Officio Member of all Committees
Gary’s first job was during the 1970’s glory-days of the community mental health movement. His 40-year career was in public mental health and human services administration in Ann Arbor, MI; Evanston, IL and Alexandria, VA. He has a MA in sociology and MPH in public health administration from the University of Michigan. Gary and his wife, Judy, retired in 2009 to Hendersonville where he volunteers on the First Congregational Church Governing Council and Meals on Wheels.
Vice Chairman, Co-chair of the Bids & Blues Committee and Member of Community Outreach and and Fundraising Committee
Gino is a Sales Executive with Morrow Insurance in Hendersonville. Before moving to the mountains of western NC, he spent the last seven years as an Insurance Executive in Sarasota, FL. Gino is a graduate of College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA and a former Fulbright Scholar through the US State Department. He is pro-actively involved in the Hendersonville community and is a recent graduate of the United Way’s Rising Leaders program and the Henderson county VISION program.
Treasurer and Finance Committee Chairman
Terry is a Partner of a local CPA firm with offices in Hendersonville and Brevard. He is a graduate of University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. He has been treasurer of various non-profits over the last twenty-plus years including Four Seasons Hospice, Interfaith Assistance Ministry, The Free Clinics, Carolina Village and Thrive. He was also Finance chair and formed Council President of Grace Lutheran Church.
Secretary and Member of Community Outreach and and Fundraising Committee
Paula is the Director of Development at Children & Family Resources. She has prior experience in development work at other area nonprofits and an extensive background in advertising with the Hendersonville Lightning, The Times-News and Towns Publishing. She graduated from West Henderson High School and attended UNC-Asheville. She is a mother of three twenty-somethings. An avid photographer, Paula is known for carrying a camera around her neck most of the time. She volunteers her photography talents for local non-profits including, of course, Thrive, and also serves on the Apple Festival Board of Directors. “I felt a calling to special needs children at a very young age when my teachers always had me work with students with mental health needs in our classroom. I always thought I would be a Special Education teacher. Life had other plans but I feel that being on the board at Thrive has brought me a little closer to that idea. I may not teach, but I can advocate by being active on the Thrive Board.”
Facilities and Services Committee Chairman
Retired president of a privately owned operations and maintenance company with a long history of specializing in problem identification and resolution. Skill set includes marketing and PR, financial management, strategic planning & fundraising.
Member of Bids & Blues Committee
Richard Bobb retired in 2001 as President, Chief Executive Officer and Board Member of Guide Dogs for the Blind, Inc., San Rafael, CA. Dick received a Bachelor of Science degree from The Ohio State University and later served as a Lieutenant in the United States Navy. Dick has served on boards of the Blue Ridge Community College Educational Fund, as Founder of the WNC Buckeye Club, and is past Chairman of the Board of the Governor Morehead Foundation in Raleigh, NC. Dick and his wife, Betty, have been married for 55 years, and have a married son, Michael, and one grandson.
Board Development Chairwoman
Jolie lives in here in Hendersonville with husband Beau and daughter Annabelle. She is an avid nonprofit volunteer in PR, fundraising, program development, and volunteer recruitment. Jolie received her Bachelor’s in English from the University of Florida. Jolie and Beau, moved to Hendersonville in 2010 from Atlanta. Jolie is very active in her community and loves calling Hendersonville home.
Member of Facilities and Services Committee
Bill has over 25 years of administrative experience in behavioral health with Diamond Healthcare, Inc., Duke University Medical Center, Greenville Hospital System as well as Promina Health System as a Regional Director, Administrator and CEO. He is an independent behavioral health consultant. Bill obtained his BS from Clemson University, MA from University of Iowa and MPH in Health Administration from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Wife, Julie, is an occupational therapist and they have two grown sons.
Member of Community Outreach and and Fundraising Committee
Bobbie has been involved in law enforcement in Henderson County since 2003. She started as a Reserve Officer at the Hendersonville Police Department and continued working at the Hendersonville Police Department becoming a full-time officer in 2004. Bobbie worked in various capacities while at Hendersonville PD; she was a Patrolman, a School Resource Officer and a Detective before joining the ranks of the Laurel Park Police Department. She was appointed to Chief of Police in Laurel Park in January of 2012. She has a Bachelor of Science Degree from Mars Hill College in Political Science with a concentration in Criminal Justice. She holds an Advanced Certificate in Law Enforcement from the North Carolina Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission.
Chair of the Community Outreach and and Fundraising Committee
Linda is a born and bred native of Henderson County. She has worked in the Operations Department of Morrow Insurance for 19 years. She is a devoted volunteer for nonprofit agencies and is active in her church, New Covenant Fellowship. She believes in giving back and making a difference in the community that has been home to her family for several generations. She has been married to her husband, Eddie for 29 years. They are proud parents of one son and reside in Saluda, NC.
Member of the Community Outreach and and Fundraising and Board Development Committees
Joshua Denton new board member to Thrive worked as a Manager for Walmart Stores Inc for over 20 years. He was a distinct member of the group Palmetto Pride, as one of the top managers in all of South Carolina, specializing in Operations and Team Member Engagement. Joshua was born and raised in Henderson County, he attended Blue Ridge Community College and then Appalachian State University. Upon retiring from Walmart, Joshua returned to Henderson County where he resides with his wife Shelley and their two sons Jackson and Jonah. Joshua has a passion for work with local non profits where he fund raises, helps in communications and community outreach, and actively engages in the mission of the board.
Fred Nirdé LCSW, CPA
Mr. Nirdé is credentialed as a licensed clinical social worker and a certified public accountant. As a clinician, manager and administrator, he has served for over thirty years in human services primarily in behavioral health in both the public and non-profit sectors. Past roles have included COO of a 150-bed state psychiatric hospital, CEO of a community mental health center and CFO of a North Carolina LME/MCO. His blended experiences provide a unique perspective in service provision to people with psychiatric and/or substance use disorders and developmental disabilities.
Ed Spencer, M.Ed., LMSW
Member of the Community Outreach and and Fundraising Committee
A resident of Saluda, NC, Mr. Spencer holds a M.Ed. in Administration from the University of SC (USC) and a Clinical M.S.W. from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU); and has over 40 years accumulated time in public service through work as a Page in the SC General Assembly, American Red Cross MH Disaster Services, various departments in state government and several positions in the SC Department of Mental Health including nine years as a DMH inpatient facility director (Morris Village). His service in these endeavors have resulted in appointments to many academic, civic and professional posts, such as those at USC, VCU, the College of Charleston, the Town of Arcadia Lakes, University of Georgia, Erskine College, Johnson & Wales University(Charleston) and Midlands Technical College. Over years, he has held professional associations with the Academy of Certified Social Workers, the American Group Psychotherapy Association, and the Carolinas Group Psychotherapy Society. He received credentials in the service delivery of individual psychotherapy, group psychotherapy, Statewide SCDMH Disaster Response Management, biofeedback equipment utilization, the utilization of self-hypnosis techniques and stress management training. Ed has extensive public and private sector grants management experience. He most recently directed the team supporting the DMH Telepsychiatry Consultation Program – a partnership with The Duke Endowment in Charlotte, NC, University of South Carolina School of Medicine, the SC Department of Health and Human Services and the SC Hospital Association to render statewide distant telemedicine-based local hospital emergency department mental health emergency assessments utilizing long distance innovative video technology. In this position, Ed directed the team which designed and directed the nation’s first statewide telepsychiatry consultation program.
Damian grew up in Northeastern Pennsylvania where he attended The Pennsylvania State University for his Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics. He is the Manager of Decision Support and Cost Accounting for Mission Health System and also serves as the Business Manager for the Behavioral Health service line. Damian enjoys volunteering for other nonprofits including United Way of Henderson County and is an Advisory Council member for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Henderson County. After moving to western North Carolina in 2012, he now calls Hendersonville home where he lives with his wife, Jessica, and their rescue dog, Charley, who runs the household.
Board members can access board-specific info HERE.