The Jubilee! board of directors consists of Jubilants who are selected by our community for three-year terms. The board serves the Jubilee! community by:
- Holding the vision of the Jubilee! community and upholding its values
- Listening to the wants and needs of the community as a whole
- Reaching a consensus when there are differences about how we should proceed
- Responding to the community’s wishes in a manner that is respectful and congruent with Jubilee’s values
- Effectively communicating our decisions back to the community
- Honoring this process, giving it the opportunity to work, enjoying our time together and treating one another with compassion and respect
- Maintaining a connection with every Jubilee! team
- Being fully accountable for all we do, including our fiscal responsibilities
- Keeping the main thing the main thing
You can email the Jubilee! board at [email protected]
Catherine Cope co-chairs the Jubilee! board. She has been a mental health counselor since 2003. Catherine’s work is rooted in Internal Family Systems, experiential approaches (like Hakomi!), EMDR and mindfulness. She loves being outdoors, books with unexpected storylines, and gardening, which she is exploring in many different ways. At present, this includes sheet mulching, which is opening up a whole new world for her about soil and mushrooms. She has been a local resident since 2006 and with her partner, Todd, is the parent of two vibrant children. A Jubilant for 10 years, Catherine says she visited on and off for quite some time before becoming a regular. After hearing Howard Hanger give a talk about ‘manna,’ in which he somehow linked ‘crusty earth’ to a swath of stars cast across the night sky. She said it was “the mundane meets the cosmic meets the Jubilee! Shrug” all there in one message, and she has stuck around and been a Jubilant ever since. Catherine is two years into her term on the board, and discovered that her work is really in the realm of communications. She says, “I have found myself in a role of helping gather everyone’s input and clarifying what we know for now so that we can make the best decisions possible…in a time where there is immense complexity.”
Bruce Mulkey co-chairs the Jubilee! board. He is a jack-of-all-trades, master of some. He has been a school teacher, log-home builder, writer, and public relations and communications professional. He says that in the early 90s he realized his true life’s purpose is to work for a more compassionate, just and sustainable world. At 65, he was the eldest member of Obama’s 2008 field organization. He also served as campaign manager for several North Carolina congressional and local races. More recently he has focused on writing, and served as an editorial columnist at the Asheville Citizen Times, and contributed to the Washington Post, Huffington Post and other publications. He is currently working on his memoir “Finding My Way Back Home,” which he says describes his evolution from an authentic, gentle, vulnerable little boy to his indoctrination into our racist patriarchal culture, and finally back to authenticity. Born in Fort Worth, TX, he grew up in Tullahoma, TN. He enjoys meditation, mountain trail running, and, most importantly, connecting with his wife, Shonnie, and daughter Gracelyn. Bruce has been a Jubilant since 1999. Howard performed his marriage ceremony to Shonnie, and baptized Gracelyn. He served as a board member from 2002 to 2006, and is now starting a new three-year term. He played a key role on the Website team, served as a greeter, and is currently board liaison with the Communications team. As a board member with strong planning, problem solving and organization skills, Bruce’s intention is to complete every task impeccably, on time, within budget, and without drama.
Pam Garrett is secretary of the Jubilee! board. She has served on the board for two years, been part of the Finance and Welcome teams, and provided meals for Room In The Inn. Bringing an international flair to the board, Pam is a self-acclaimed “military brat” who lived in Great Britain, Germany and elsewhere. With a career history in benefits administration, she set up systems and training platforms, including assisting retired and disabled employees in getting the most from their benefits. For the past three years, she has been working with her husband Wiley in his business assisting children in getting the help they and their families need after going through traumatic experiences. She enjoys gardening, cooking, tasting, snorkeling and traveling near and far. She has three children, her husband has two, and together they have 13 grandchildren living as far away as Africa and as near as Sylva. She said, “I was pushed to live in this region after falling in love with its beauty when vacationing here. Then the day after a wise woman told me that God wanted me to move to North Carolina, I was laid off from the job I had taken just three months earlier. I quickly moved to Waynesville in 2000, met Wiley at Jubilee!, married him a year later in a ceremony conducted by Howard Hanger, and haven’t looked back.” Pam looks forward to continuing to work with the board to develop ways to encourage education that breaks down racial barriers, and supports and spreads the oneness that Jubilants enjoy across the mountain community and out into the world.
Bill Byrne is the Jubilee! board treasurer. He moved from San Francisco to Asheville in 1990 to open a restaurant on Pack Square. He sold the restaurant in 1999, and is now a commercial and residential real estate agent. He has served on the Jubilee! board twice, was its chair in 2012, and is now in his third year as treasurer. He has worked with the Service team on some projects and been involved with Room In The Inn. Bill is an outdoor enthusiast, who enjoys tennis, golf and running, but downtime often finds him cooking (old restaurant habit) or self-instructing on the piano. He and his wife Shelagh have been married for 37 years, and have two sons. He says he first learned of Jubilee! in the mid-‘90s when Howard interviewed young couples pre-marriage in his restaurant and several of his restaurant staff members lived at Hanger Hall. With a compassionate heart for people, especially for those with needs, Bill also brings to the board a somewhat business/pragmatic mind from being a self-employed business owner most of his life. He says his tenure as Jubilee!’s treasurer has taught him that a community’s survival depends on being realistic about monetary needs.
Stefanie Beierschmitt has been a real estate investor and realtor since she was 25, blending her passion for real estate with her love of people through a portfolio of rental properties that provide nurturing homes to her tenants. She has been a Jubilant since 2016, and a two-term board member since 2017. She was a member of the Transition team and leader of the Next Generation team. Stefanie is an avid horseback rider, artist, cake decorator, world-traveler (merchant marine), studier of languages and communication, and animal/nature lover who enjoys spending time with friends, her beloved partner and his incredible daughter, and their animals. Commenting on her first time at Jubilee! she said, “I was going through some deep personal stuff and wanted support. All I did was cry, and I knew that was okay because people were so genuinely loving, yet no one expected an explanation of what was going on for me…I could just BE.” She brings a unique perspective of business know-how mixed with compassion to the Jubilee! board. She also understands the needs and wants of the younger demographic and is able to be a voice for them. She is looking forward to helping evolve celebrations to keep people engaged, and draw in minorities and younger groups.
Laura Billings is a life-long educator who taught grades 6-12 in Florida for 10 years (five years in a suburban white school and five years in an inner-city black school), and served as the associate director of the National Paidela Center for 20 years. She has co-authored four books and several articles on the relationship between classroom discussion, student authority and authentic assessment. A native of Southern California, Laura attended WCU and received her PhD from UNC-Chapel Hill. She is a life-long student of philosophy and spirituality, a certified yoga teacher, and a recent graduate of One Spirit Interfaith Seminary. An avid bicyclist, she once pedaled about 300 miles of the Pacific Coast Highway during a mid-life holy-shift. She also loves birds, reporting that during peak migration times, she and her partner, Paula Sims, get up before sunrise to take in the songs and features of wood warblers. She and Paula have been part of the Jubilee! community since 2013, are on the Prayer team, have helped with prayer flags, and Room In The Inn. In Via Creativa of 2019, they presented on world religions to accentuate the new wall plaques. Laura brings deep listening, problem solving skills and financial contributions to the community, and says her commitment to Jubilee! is “to “serve this community, come what may, and keep her focus on the Main Thing.”
Nancy Ellington attended Jubilee!’s very first Sunday celebration on August 11, 1989, providing her with wide insight into the threads that weave this vibrant community together. This is her sixth year on the Jubilee board, including serving as its co-chair and treasurer. She has been part of many Jubilee! teams, including Outreach, Prayer Chain, Community Life, Service and Wellness, and helped coordinate Carol Greenspan’s Room in the Inn program. Nancy worked in the wine world for many years. She owned her own wine shop, and later was a partner in a statewide distributor, travelling widely throughout Europe and South Africa. She also served as a church administrator in Black Mountain and was assistant Dean of students in an international boarding school in New Mexico. She attended Eastern Michigan University and San Francisco State University. She has been an Asheville area resident since 1983, loves the outdoors, cooking, playing the piano, gardening and volunteering. A person who likes to “get things done,” Nancy brings to the board an understanding of the importance of communication, listening to others’ opinions and sometimes respectfully disagreeing, with the ability to move forward and complete tasks.
Jenny Farthing has a career background in outdoor education and psychology, is a certified health coach, and owns a business cleaning Airbnbs. She is a busy mother of “two awesome girls and wife of a wonderful husband,” who loves nature, bikes, hikes, trail runs, swimming and meditation. Jenny first attended Jubilee! about 10 years ago, found it a bit “strange,” and church-shopped’ for another year. She ultimately returned to Jubilee! nine years ago because she realized that it was the spiritual place where she found true community. She says that when she returned, she jumped in and joined the Care & Compassion team, then did Pathways with Howard Hanger. She says “Jubilee! has just become a huge part of my life. There really isn’t anything that compares. What changed for me is when I started joining Jubilee!’s social groups and realized that helping others is the way to be.” This is Jenny’s first year on the Jubilee! board, and she brings an open heart and listening ears to help make decisions based on what is best for what she call “this big wonderful, loving community”.
Elizabeth Likis first attended Jubilee! in 1997, but says she was so freaked out by the dancing and touching, that she didn’t go back for three years. When she returned in 2000, she never stopped attending. She and her then-partner adopted two daughters who were raised and baptized at Jubilee! She has served on the Nurture Program Parent team, the Service team, was co-leader of the Social Justice team for three years, and has sung with Jubilee! Singers for eight years before joining the board in 2019. Born and raised in Birmingham, AL as the middle sibling in a progressive social activist family, Elizabeth attended Wofford College in SC, earned her Master’s in Counseling from Western Carolina University, and practiced as a licensed counselor for a dozen years. She then completed her PhD at UNC Greensboro and currently teaches at WCU in Asheville. She loves live music, dancing, playing trivia, gathering with friends and family, walking her dog, swimming, kayaking, and playing tennis. As a long-time Jubilee! member who has raised children here who are now “launched” and out of the home, she offers a unique perspective on the middle ground between the older retired crowd and the younger families with kids.
Molly Pritchard has been a Jubilant for 16 years and is beginning her third year as a board member. She has served as an innkeeper for the Room In The Inn program, connecting with many homeless women who she says have opened her heart and mind to the fact that we are so alike, rather than so different. An avid gardener, Molly has a small business creating flower containers, AKA The Pot Lady. She loves the outdoors, music and sharing her dog Dexter with hospitalized children. Originally from Jackson, MS, she married her high school friend, Michael, and they have two sons. Her first experience with Jubilee! was while pregnant with her first-born Paxton (now almost 16). She found Jubilee to be a unique, all-encompassing place of worship where her family and beliefs could be validated on their approaches to religion (Michael is Jewish; Molly grew up Christian), and wanted her children to be taught that, as well. Molly is very passionate about helping provide greater transparency of the board with the community, evaluating processes and giving thoughtful considerations to what Jubilee! is and how it can be better. She wants to be a person who helps make a difference.
John David Short is one of those rare folks who grew up in Asheville. He was born and raised in Montford, and has made western North Carolina his home for most of his life. David’s work is multi-faceted, ranging from serving food and drink and hosting special events and celebrations to writing copy for various clients in finance, customer services and non-profit development. He says when it all get too much, he can be found in the woods near water, usually in the Big Ivy or Shining Rock Wilderness, or by a fire with a volume of Hafiz, Tolkien or Leonard Cohen, and a notebook close at hand. With an eclectic spiritual upbringing ranging from Sufism to the new age cult of personality rooted in the work of the Master DK, he discovered and was baptized in the United Church of Christ and studied traditional canon bible while a student at Appalachian State. He said that discovering Jubilee! was like discovering the middle ground that allows full expression of both his soul’s personhood and desire to serve the authentic love that he has always felt for all creation. He has been a Jubilant for seven years, and has served on the Social Justice team, Service team, and regularly works with Homeward Bound and Room in the Inn, both within Jubilee! and without. Of his contribution to the board he says ”As a dad, I look forward to encouraging Jubilee! to use our space, talents and position in the community to offer more opportunities to connect, learn and serve as a congregation, especially during the week as many us must consider Sunday a workday.”
Michael Smith was born in Alabama and grew up in the Atlanta area. He and his wife, Anne Marie have lived in Asheville since 2011. He discovered Jubilee! when Matthew Fox spoke here in 2016, and was excited to learn that Jubilee!’s theological foundation is linked closely to Fox’s Creation Spirituality. He has been part of our Social Justice team, led the “fair wages” focus group, and represents Jubilee in the Raising Wages NC’s WNC Coalition. After seminary, Michael was ordained in the Christian Church Disciples of Christ tradition, and has spent most of his career in faith-based, international service. This has included living more than a decade in Ethiopia & Indonesia, and serving international agencies in support and administrative roles such as major gifts officer, chief operations officer and chief executive officer for 20 years. In retirement, Michael served a term on the board of local nonprofit, Just Economics. He enjoys hiking, biking, photography and riding his motorcycle. He has cultivated a mindfulness practice over the past ten years that he says enriches his life in big ways. Michael says he is a “process visionary” who brings to the board his commitment to the community, and a passion for justice.