Appalachian Voices Sets Course for Future at Strategic Planning Retreat

On a beautiful November weekend in Boone, members of Appalachian Voices staff and board of directors met to set the course for the organization for the next three years. We discussed our conservation programs, as well the organizational nuts and bolts necessary to meet our goals of ending mountaintop removal, eliminating air pollution, and restoring the health of our native forests.

As part of strategic planning, we did a survey of our members that told us how you, our members, see us, and what you want from this organization. Some of the most common words you used to describe us were “important”, “essential”, “practical”, “inclusive”, and “broad appeal”. Many members said “we need you” and told us that Appalachian Voices is important to them because the organization “is MY voice” and we “appeal to the everyday person.”

We used that feedback to start several initiatives that are going to make Appalachian Voices a much stronger and more effective organization in the years ahead. We affirmed our commitment to our air pollution and mountaintop removal programs, and combined several forest protection initiatives under a new program tentatively called “Restoring Forest Health”.

We established new board committees that will work hard to make us a more powerful organization. One of those committees will incorporate all the input from our members into a communications and marketing plan for the organization that will include everything from an improved media strategy to a new motto (to be announced soon). We decided to increase the size of our board in the years ahead and boost the involvement of volunteers in our programs. Please get in touch with us if you would like to help us safeguard the mountains – we need you!

“It was really exciting to see our board and staff come together with so much enthusiasm and so many great ideas for the future of Appalachian Voices,” said Appalachian Voices’ executive director Mary Anne Hitt. “This organization is ready to charge out of the gates next year and make a tremendous difference for the mountains in the years ahead.”

Hitt continued, “I’m especially looking forward to working more closely with our members because they’re the heart and soul of Appalachian Voices.”
If you would like to find out more about the results of strategic planning or get involved as a volunteer or member, please contact Appalachian Voices at or 877-APP-VOICE.

Thank You Melissa Gee!

Everyone at Appalachian Voices thanks Melissa Gee for her outstanding service to our organization, where she worked as our program coordinator for nearly three years. Melissa left Appalachian Voices in October to accept the assistant director position at OASIS, an organization in Boone, North Carolina, that works to address domestic violence.

Melissa’s new position with OASIS is a testament to her dedication to improving the lives of people in the mountains, something that was evident during her time with
Appalachian Voices. In particular her dedication was demonstrated in her leadership of our campaign to end mountaintop removal coal mining, a practice that has devastated her native West Virginia. We are grateful for all the contributions Melissa made to Appalachian Voices, and we look forward to continuing to work with her as a key volunteer in our mountaintop removal program.

Appalachian Voices will be hiring a membership and volunteer coordinator to take over many of Melissa’s duties in our Boone office. To find out more about the job opening, please visit our website,, or call us toll-free at 877-APP-VOICE.

A Sincere Thanks!

to the following businesses and individuals who contirbuted to make Appalachian Voices’ 2004 raffle and silent auction such a big success

Sycamore Cycles Pisgah Forest, NC
Bob Oelberg Landscape Boone, NC

Wildwater Limited Long Creek, SC
Shenandoah River Outfitters Luray, VA
Mast Farm Inn Valle Crucis, NC
Mast General Store Boone, NC
Naked Sheep Yarn Black Mountain,NC
Green Light Cafe Black Mountain,NC
Gingkgo Tree Gallery Black Mountain,NC
Bob Timberlake Gallery Blowing Rock, NC
Old North State Clothing Blowing Rock, NC
Asheville Wine Market Asheville, NC
Treasures Within Day Spa Saluda, NC
Ventures Birding Tours Skyland, NC
Barn and Beach Antiques Boone, NC
Kevin Balling Boone, NC
Iago Gallery Blowing Rock, NC
Garrou Pottery Black Mountain, NC
5 Arts Studio Cosby, TN
Bio Wheels Asheville, NC
Canine Shear Heaven Asheville, NC
Coffey’s Restaurant Boone, NC
Dragon’s Den Games Boone, NC
Essential Touch Deep Gap, NC
Farmer’s Ski Shop Boone, NC
Gladiola Girls Boone, NC
Magic Cycles Boone, NC
Mustard Seed Asheville, NC
Oh Sheets Boone, NC
Outdoor Supply Hickory, NC
Patagonia Atlanta, GA
Southside Cafe Asheville, NC
Lowes Foods Boone, NC
Winn Dixie Boone, NC
Earthfare Boone, NC
Green Life Grocery Asheville, NC
Liberty Bicycles Asheville, NC

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