About ’Round the Mountain

Who We Are

Staff

Melissa Mullins

Program Manager, Cultural Heritage Initiatives


Melissa Mullins is the newest addition to Friends of Southwest Virginia and ‘Round the Mountain. Originally from Bristol, TN, she has spent the last 3 years in Washington, DC with the National Archives and more recently with the United States Navy. Melissa has worked primarily in community outreach and is joining us as our Program Manager of Cultural Heritage Initiatives. Melissa studied History and Spanish at Centre College in Kentucky and later earned her Master of Arts in Museum Studies at Johns Hopkins University. She helped develop the education and outreach programs at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY before moving to Washington. In her free time, she enjoys independent movies, playing videogames, and exploring the outdoors with her dog, Dolly Parton. She is thrilled be back home and to help promote the beautiful region of Southwest Virginia.

Contact Information

(276) 492-2410

Board of Directors

Board Officers
Content

Ellen Reynolds

President


Ellen Reynolds owns Beagle Ridge Herb Farm and Environmental Education Center south of Wytheville Va. Beagle Ridge is a 160 acre retreat, display gardens, 4 miles of trails, a tea room, a shop where she sells her herbal products and Flying Flowers; Southwest VA’s only walk through Butterfly house. As a juried artisan at Heartwood, Ellen has been involved with the Wythe Artisan Trail and RTM since their inception. As a Master Gardener since 1991 and a Master Naturalist since 2006, Ellen provides a wide variety of programs for all ages in various artistic topics and all facets of the natural world. Her passion has led her to create Kids Grow in the Garden, a curriculum which is correlated to the VA SOLs. Working through a grant, Ellen provides bi monthly visits to 3-5 graders in Wythe and Bland counties implementing school gardens and nature trails.

Organization

Beagle Ridge Herb Farm

Term

3 Year term; expires 2018

Contact Information

(276) 621-4500
Board Members

Diane Akers

Treasurer


Diane Akers is the President of The Blacksburg Partnership, a non-profit, independent economic development organization serving the Town of Blacksburg. The organization’s purpose is to bolster the vitality of Blacksburg through projects that attract visitors and retail prospects. Diane received her B.A. in Business Management from Mary Baldwin College and her M.A.L.S. in Economics from Hollins University. In her free time, she loves being outdoors – gardening, biking and hiking.

Organization

The Blacksburg Partnership

Term

3 Year term; expires 2018

Contact Information

(540) 443-2008

Nancy Brooks

Kristen Clauder

Hannah Moore

Becky Nave

Amanda Parris


Term

3 Year term; expires 2018

Contact Information

(276) 730-3100

Catherine Poole


Catherine Poole is the first executive director of The Wayne C. Henderson School of Appalachian Arts (“The Henderson”). The mission of The Henderson is to preserve, promote and share the culture and heritage of our Southern Appalachian Mountains. Educated as a graphic designer, Catherine Poole, taught color theory and graphic design for more that fifteen years, including nine years at the University of Notre Dame. Catherine became a distinguished pioneer in color theory and the integral role color plays in our emotions and behavior. This research led to Catherine being dubbed, “The Queen of Color” and she remains well respected in the medical, corporate, and educational communities throughout the United States and Europe. Catherine serves on the grants review panel for The Virginia Commission for the Arts, is a member of The Appalachian Spirit Gallery, The Art League of Marion, Virginia, and serves on the steering committee for Mount Rogers National Recreation Area. She is a “Community Sparkplug” in conjunction with the Rensselaerville Institute of New York and Emory & Henry College.

Organization

The Wayne C. Henderson School of Appalachian Arts

Term

3 Year term; expires 2018

Contact Information

(276) 378-5028

Sandy Ratliff

David Rotenizer

Lou Wallace


Lou Wallace is a native of Russell County and is the owner of Design Printers, an advertising and design company in St Paul, Virginia. Lou served on the St Paul Town Council and was a founding member and chair of St Paul Tomorrow, Inc. Through her leadership the organization established a community vision and has successfully set strategic goals and actions steps to meet that vision. Lou has served on the Clinch Valley Soil and Water Conservation District Board; the Virginia State Water Control board and is currently serving on the Russell County Board of Supervisors. Additionally Lou serves on the Steering Committee for the Clinch River Valley Initiative (CRVI), a pioneering effort to build local economies in the coalfields of Southwest Virginia.

Organization

Design Printers

Term

3 Year term; expires 2019

Contact Information

(276) 608-0642
Ex Officio Board Members

Jim Baldwin


Jim Baldwin is Executive Director of the Cumberland Plateau Planning District Commission based in Lebanon and serving Buchanan, Dickenson, Russell and Tazewell counties. Jim is a native of Honaker, where, nearly thirty years ago, he and his father founded the Honaker Redbud Festival. In addition to being the a past vice-president and current board member of ‘Round the Mountain, Jim is a past president of The Crooked Road: Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail, immediate past president of Appalachian Sustainable Development, President of the Coalfield Water Development Fund, and a commissioner of the Southwest Virginia Cultural Heritage Foundation and the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority

Contact Information

(276) 889-1778

Kevin Byrd


Kevin Byrd is Executive Director for the New River Valley Regional Commission, based in Radford and serving Floyd, Giles, Montgomery, and Pulaski counties and the city of Radford. He lives in Montgomery County but grew up in Cary, NC. His wife, Lindsey, grew up on a cattle farm in Russell County; a connection to Southwest Virginia that Kevin thinks will keep him and his family here for many years. Kevin is an avid fly fisherman and is Treasurer of the New River Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited. He believes communities should look holistically at their assets when planning for their future and thinks ‘RTM’s focus on artisans and agritourism is an exciting approach to community vitality.

Organization

New River Valley Regional Commission

Term

Ex-Officio term; expires 2017

Contact Information

(540) 639-9313

Betsy White


Betsy White is the founding director of William King Museum, retiring in 2008. She served on the formative committees for ‘Round the Mountain and Heartwood and is on the executive committee for the Cultural Heritage Foundation. Active in the museum and cultural community, she is a peer reviewer for the American Association of Museums, a past vice-president of the Virginia Association of Museums and grant reviewer for the Virginia Commission for the Arts. She is the author of Great Road Style: the Decorative Arts Legacy of Southwest Virginia & Northeast Tennessee, published in 2006 by the University of Virginia Press, and Backcountry Makers: An Artisan History of Southwest Virginia & Northeast Tennessee, published in 2013 by the University of Tennessee Press.

Contact Information

(276) 628-5556