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Our Board & Staff

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Marvin is retired after a 35 year career as a corporate and finance attorney focusing on renewable energy.  Marvin was a partner with McGuireWoods LLP in Charlotte, NC for most of that time and practiced in Houston, Texas prior to that. He received his BS from Davidson College and his JD from the University of South Carolina School of Law.  Marvin and his wife have lived in Spruce Pine since 2017.

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John retired as a professor in the department of Preventive Medicine and Community Health at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.  He continues to teach at ETSU while contributing his expertise to local nonprofits.

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Maxine is a lifelong Yancey County resident, working as a Tax Credit and Health Justice Advocate with Pisgah Legal Services since 2022.  Before that she worked in the Affordable Housing sector for 16 years and Accounting for the 10 years prior.  Maxine lives with her husband and has 3 children.  She is passionate about affordable housing and helping to lift local, low-income families out of poverty. 

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Misty hails from the Jack’s Creek area of Yancey County, where she grew up on a tobacco farm. She is currently the operations manager at Mitchell-Yancey Habitat for Humanity in Spruce Pine.

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Board Member

Tom retired as a physician at Memory Care in Asheville in 2020.  From 1985 to 2006, he practiced in a primary care setting in Burnsville and Spruce Pine while serving on the medical staff at the Blue Ridge Regional Hospital in Spruce Pine.  Tom serves as a volunteer physician with the ABBCM Doctor’s Medical Clinic in Asheville.  He lives in Burnsville with his wife Lynda.

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Board Member

Britt moved to Yancey County with her husband Dr. Chad Smoker 20 years ago.  She has used her English Education degree with many organizations, including the Carolina Mountains Literary Festival and Parkway Playhouse. 

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Board Member

Morgan is a native of Yancey County who attended ETSU where she studied Human Services & Public Health. She is the Health Educator at the Yancey County Health Department.  In her spare time she enjoys reading, spending time outdoors, and the company of family and friends. 

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Board Member

Sarah Melotte is a staff writer at the Daily Yonder, an independent newsroom about rural America. She has a master's degree in applied geography and geospatial science, and she produces most of the Yonder's maps, data graphics, and data reports. The board of SEARCH discovered Sarah through an article she wrote about the alarming state of maternal care in rural Western North Carolina. Sarah is looking forward to using her data analysis and writing skills to solve health care access issues in the North Carolina mountains! 

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Board Member

Raised in Durham, NC and a graduate of the University of Alabama  School of Optometry, Marvin has been in private practice in Mitchell, Yancey, and Avery Counties since 1983.  He lived in Spruce Pine with his wife Diane who is also an Optometrist.  Marvin has served on many local boards including Toe River Health District and Spruce Pine Rotary.



Communications Specialist

Allison is a Burnsville resident with deep family ties in Yancey County.  A temporary job with the Yancey County Health Department running their COVID-Hotline, answering questions about vaccines and testing, led Allison to apply for the position of Adminstrative Assistant with SEARCH.  She is also an artist with a Master's Degree in Painting.

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