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FRIENDS’ Board of Directors and Officers

 

President
Ed Fuhr
Attorney, Hunton & Williams
Biography

Ed Fuhr is an award-winning photographer of nearly 30 years. He is also a licensed attorney who chairs the securities litigation practice of one of the nation’s largest law firms. “Photography for me requires the same attention to detail, discipline and hard work that my legal practice demands. But my photography is also a documentation of my effort to follow the spirit’s quest to find a connection to something greater. Maybe that quest is spiritual. Maybe it is human and personal. But it is, for me, a never ending journey. Or so it seems now. Ultimately, my best photography has come from those moments when I have understood something within and been able to find its connection in the world around me. Ultimately, I hope, too, that my photography reminds and teaches that there are indeed special places worth celebrating and preserving for those that follow long after us.”

Ed is currently based in Virginia and travels extensively through the western landscape and the mountains and low country closer to home.

Vice President
George Humphries
Professor of History, Mars Hill University
Biography
Born in Asheville, North Carolina, George Humphries spent most of his early life in the mountain towns of Black Mountain and Brevard and, except, for eight years, has lived his entire life in the Southern Highlands he loves so dearly. Today, Humphries and his wife, Linda, live in Barnardsville, north of Asheville.

Humphries began pursuing photography in 1980 and has become known for his photography of the South, particularly North Carolina. He has photographed across Canada and the U.S. and, even in Southeast Asia. His books of photography include: North Carolina: Images of Wildness, N.C. Wildflowers, N.C. Reflections, Along the Blue Ridge Parkway, and N.C. Christmas. His images have appeared in many magazine publications, including, Wildlife in N.C., Our State, and Southern Living. Through his photography Humphries wishes to convey to others his love of nature. He hopes his photographs serve as reminders of what is irreplaceable in nature and that they stir people to be better stewards of the land.

In addition to pursuing photography, George taught history at T.C. Roberson High School in Buncombe County for thirty-four years, before retiring. Linda, also a retired teacher, taught Special Education at Enka High and Middle Schools in Buncombe County for 34 years. Currently, George, currently teaches history at Mars Hill University where he has taught for 23 years.

Treasurer
David Poteet
President, New City
Biography
David Poteet is the president of New City, an interactive agency founded in Blacksburg in 1995. David received a bachelors’ degree in graphic design from Virginia Tech. His experience as both a designer and programmer has prepared him well for working in both the creative and technical sides of web and mobile development. In 2010 David started a spinoff company from New City called Nomad Mobile Guides, providing a software platform for organizations creating mobile travel apps. David’s connections to the Blue Ridge Parkway go way back. His mother worked at the restaurant at Mabry Mill, and his grandfather built Abbott Lake at the Peaks of Otter. David is delighted to help new generations fall in love with the Parkway.
Board Secretary
Lynn Davis
Communications Director, College of Natural Resources and EnvironmentVirginia Tech
Biography
Lynn, who has a deep abiding love of the Parkway, is communications director of Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment. She recently spent some time in Botswana, Africa, doing documentaries on one of her wildlife research professors who assists the country in managing its natural preserves to protect the world’s largest concentration of elephants and Africa’s largest diversity of wild animals. In earlier years she worked for the Roanoke Valley Chamber of Commerce, where she helped coordinate the Blue Ridge Parkway Golden Anniversary celebration and later the dedication of the Parkway with the late Jack Smith. She assisted him in founding FRIENDS in 1989. Lynn worked for the Blue Ridge Parkway as a public affairs specialist and later spearheaded landmark viewshed protection measures in Roanoke that led to the creation of the Coalition for the Blue Ridge Parkway. She is a board officer for the Virginia Association for Parks and served on the 75th Anniversary of the Blue Ridge Parkway. An avid outdoors-woman, accomplished skier, kayaker, and scuba diver, she hopes to pass on her love of the natural world to her four young grandchildren.
Assistant Secretary
Kyle Edgell
Caricature Artist
Biography
Kyle Edgell was educated as an artist and received her BFA in fine art from Syracuse University. Work as a free-lance artist, art director, and creative director for various design firms and marketing companies paved the way for her business success. Honing her skills as a performer, storyteller and whimsical caricature artist from then until now, she has been providing audiences and spectators with far more than just pictures to take home.

Kyle has sharpened her drawing skills and improv presentations, entertaining at association conferences, providing therapeutic humor to the elderly in assisted care facilities and veterans, and presenting her wit and wisdom to rooms full of kindergarten children to university students. Kyle’s home studio is in Roanoke, VA., where she creates illustrations for corporations and books.

FRIENDS’ Trustee Board

Mark Dempsey
VP of External Affairs, VA Appalachian Power Company
Mark Dempsey is vice president – external affairs for AEP – Appalachian Power. He is responsible for external affairs, corporate communications, environmental affairs, economic development and customer services engineering for Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.
William (Bill) F. Mason, Jr., Esquire
Chief Executive Officer, Heritage Management X, Inc.
William Mason graduated from Emory & Henry College in 1968 with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and and minors in English and accounting. He graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1971 with a Juris Doctor degree specializing in Taxation and Corporate Finance. He has practiced law in Roanoke, Virginia, since 1974.

Bill serves as the chief executive officer of Heritage Management X, Inc., Heritage Properties Management, Inc., and Heritage Management VII, Inc., corporations which own and manage commercial buildings and multi-family residential complexes throughout Virginia. He has also served as an adjunct professor of business at Ferrum College and as an instructor in federal income taxation at Virginia Western Community College. He lectured as an instructor for Becker CPA Review course on commercial law and corporate tax matters. He is a former member of the legal staff of Norfolk Southern Railway, where he was employed as a tax attorney.

He has been in the private practice of law in Roanoke, Virginia, since 1974.

Dr. Reynold T. Simmons
Simmons Photographic Arts
Nye Simmons is a practicing emergency medicine physician in Knoxville, Tennessee, who in his off hours is also an author and photographer. Nye has been an active supporting artist for FRIENDS for many years now; his books are available for purchase through our store (online and walk-in) and his photographic works adorn the FRIENDS headquarters in Roanoke. He is the father of two grown sons and celebrated his and his wife Deborah’s 35th anniversary in 2014.

FRIENDS’ Board Emeritus

Mary Guynn
Ben Keys
Dick Patterson, M.D.

FRIENDS’ Advisory Board

Marcia and Dave Barstow
Pat and Chuck Blackley
Kim Blair
George Blanar, Ph.D.
Bill Brenton
Rupert Cutler, Ph.D.
David Harrison
Ben Keys
Mary Jane Ferguson
Dr. Harley Jolley
Denise Koff
Frederick Kubik
Cara Ellen Modisett
Janet Moore
Dick Patterson, M.D.
Jamie Prince
Elizabeth Sims
Marie Tambellini

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