Jen has been a part of OpenDoors since it’s inception in 2006 and was one of the founding members of our 501(c)3 in 2009. Her passion is providing opportunities for all children so that they may meet their potential and become inspired learners. Jen currently acts as OpenDoors’ Executive Director and strengthens our programs using her 12 years of experience as a parent and student advocate in Asheville City Schools to help coordinate our diverse educational offerings. She also works diligently as our lead fund-developer using her background as a Marketing Executive and Development Director, providing connections to many other local agencies, businesses, and community members.
After graduating from the University of Florida, Courtney spent 15 years working in Advertising and Marketing in Atlanta and New York. She moved to Asheville with her family in 2007 where she refocused her lifework toward helping children achieve success in school. Prior to joining OpenDoors of Ashville, she served on the School Planning and Management Team at Isaac Dickson Elementary, was an officer of the school’s PTO, and a mentor in the “Together We Read” Program. She has worked with OpenDoors of Asheville since 2012.
Kristine began her work with social activism after graduating from the University of Denver in 2004. She has worked on environmental and social justice campaigns in Washington, Colorado, and North Carolina, and relishes the opportunity to work on a local level to break the cycle of poverty. She volunteers regularly in the community.
Dianne moved to Asheville from Washington, DC where she worked as communications and volunteer director for a non profit. Currently, Dianne also works part time for Grove Park Financial Management and as a freelance writer. She is on the board of the Grove Park Sunset Mountain neighborhood association and manages social media for WENOCA Sierra Club. A native of South Carolina, Dianne visited Western North Carolina frequently as a child enjoying vacations with family. She and her husband Art Williams enjoy hiking and attending the numerous music festivals in the area.
2013-15 AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteer in Service to America) with the Key Center for Community Citizenship and Service Learning at the University of North Carolina at Asheville in partnership with Open Doors of Asheville. She is from Richmond, VA and received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Criminal Justice at Elon University in May of 2013. One of her many jobs for her year of service is to help pilot and coordinate a new partnership between UNCA and Open Doors focused on mentoring Asheville City Schools youth. Jess-Mara is very excited about the opportunities for growth with such an amazing organization.