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FRIENDS’ Board of Directors and Officers

Board President
Ken Randolph
President Rockydale Quarries Corp.
Biography
Ken Randolph is president and CEO of Rockydale Quarries Corporation. He and his family moved to Roanoke from North Carolina in 2009 when he joined Rockydale as president and member of the Board of Directors. Ken has bachelors’ and masters’ degrees in business administration and has worked at all levels in the construction materials and industrial minerals industry since 1979. Ken presently serves on the Board of Directors for the Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Virginia Western Community College Foundation Board. He is also a member of the Business Council of the NewVA Region, Inc., the Ferrum College Business Advisory Board, the Roanoke Regional Transportation Advisory Board and the Virginia Transportation and Construction Alliance Leadership Committee. Ken was born in the Piedmont area of the Carolinas and with his family enjoyed all of the benefits of the Blue Ridge Parkway growing up. He is a proud advocate of Parkway preservation for his children’s enjoyment and those of all future generations.
Board Vice President
Steve Beyer
President Leisure Media 360
Biography
Steve Beyer is a graduate of the University of Vermont with a degree in environmental science. He worked for some of the top publishing firms over the past 29 years – in New York, Washington, D.C., Cleveland and Chicago – prior to landing with Leisure Media360 in 2013. Steve is considered an expert in the area of content marketing.
He has been married for 23 years and has a daughter and a son, both in college. Steve and his family moved to Roanoke in 2013 and feels that Roanoke is a great fit because of his love of the outdoors. Going back to his high school days where he hiked the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Shenandoah Valley to his family’s property in northern Ontario, Canada, Steve is enjoying working in Roanoke and getting back to the mountains after being in the “flat lands” of the Midwest.
Board Treasurer
Richard Wells
President and Publisher Leisure Publishing Co.
Biography
Richard Wells is president and publisher of Leisure Publishing Co. of Roanoke, Virginia, one of the Southeast’s leading regional periodical and guidebook publishing companies. A member of the board since 1994, he has used the resources of the publishing company he founded to help FRIENDS grow into the organization it is today. As publisher of Blue Ridge Country magazine, Richard used that forum to tell his 475,000 mountain-lover readers about the important work of FRIENDS. His company has played a key role in bringing together a three-state initiative to invite travelers and nature lovers throughout the East to experience “America’s Favorite Scenic Drive.” Richard graduated from Mars Hill College where he studied under Parkway expert and author Dr. Harley Jolley. He spent five years as a newspaper writer and editor at the Asheville Citizen and The Roanoke Times before founding Leisure Publishing in 1972. Richard serves on numerous civic and environmental boards and was selected Roanoke’s Small Business Man of the Year in 1999. He is deeply committed to the preservation of the parkway corridor and the viewshed efforts essential to maintaining its pristine beauty.
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.

 

Board Member
Martha Bogle
Retired Superintendent Shenandoah National Park
Biography
Martha Bogle retired from her position as the Superintendent of Shenandoah National Park in January 2013. Prior to arriving at Shenandoah in 2008, she served as the Deputy Superintendent of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Martha’s government work experience spans 33 years at 11 National Park Service sites and one National Wildlife Refuge. She began her career as a seasonal park ranger at Great Smoky Mountains National Park in 1978. Other seasonal assignments took her to Everglades National Park and Great Sand Dunes National Monument. Her first permanent job came in 1982 as a dispatcher at Great Smoky Mountains National Park. In 1987, Martha served in the position of interpretive specialist at the Blue Ridge Parkway. Beginning in 1992, she served as the Chief of Visitor Services at Carl Sandburg National Historic Site before accepting an assignment as Superintendent of Congaree National Park in November 1995. She was Congaree’s superintendent until October 2005 when she moved to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Martha also served as Acting Superintendent at Virgin Islands National Park and Assistant Superintendent at Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Mammoth Cave National Park and Independence National Historical Park.

Martha currently lives in Asheville, North Carolina, where she is enjoying spending time with friends and family, traveling, and reading.

Board Member
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.

 

Board Member
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.

 

Board Member
Perry Keys
Enterprise Software Sales Executive
Biography

Perry Keys is a 22-year solution-selling senior account executive with vast experience domestically and internationally closing enterprise software deals within Fortune 1000 companies. Perry’s primary focus is on cloud and mobile software solutions targeted at manufacturing companies to help them streamline plant maintenance, increase asset reliability, reduce costs and drive significant revenue streams.

Perry has spent the majority of his life hiking, mountain biking and backpacking the mountains of North Carolina and the Blue Ridge Parkway. His favorite part of the Parkway is the Shining Rock Wilderness area which can be accessed between the Graveyard Fields look off area at Milepost 418 and the Devil’s Courthouse look off area at Milepost 422.4.

Board Member
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.

 

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.
Richard Wells

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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