Jewish Family Services’ Board of Directors sets the overall mission and goals for the organization. We welcome all inquiries into board membership. Please email Executive Director Michael Barnett at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Belinda Brandon has a Ph.D. in economics from M.I.T. She worked at Bell Labs research, AT&T, and, before she retired, Lucent Technologies; at Lucent she held director positions in procurement, quality management, and finance, among other assignments. She lived in Asheville part-time for five years and full time for 13 years. She was a board member and president of the Asheville Lyric Opera, treasurer and a board member of Under One Sky (an agency that facilitated the adoption of older children), board member and president of her condominium association, and, before moving to Asheville, President of the Corporation of Central Presbyterian Church of Summit, NJ. At JFS, she has been a board member since 2013, treasurer for two years, and president for three and a half years.
Dr. David Leader practiced as a General Adult Psychiatrist, providing psychotherapy and medication evaluation and management services at Dreyer Medical Clinic (now part of Advocate Aurora Health Services), Aurora, IL, from January 1986 to March 2015. During that time, he additionally served in administrative positions there of Department Chairman, Associate Medical Director, and Medical Director of Psychiatry and Neurology. He had a secondary appointment at Advocate Health Care, Oak Brook, IL as Medical Director of Psychiatry from 2014-2015. He served on the medical and administrative staff of Presence Mercy Medical Center (now Amita Health) and the consulting staff of Rush-Copley Medical Center (Consulting Staff): from 1986-2010.
Rae Booth began her career in corporate America in the human resources field. 20+ years spent working for a Chemical Manufacturing company, Financial Services Company, and a Pharmaceutical Company where she played an active role as the Organizational Development Specialist. Her responsibilities led her to be sought as a change agent who sees people, processes, structures, training, tools used to get the job accomplished and re-engineer the organizational structure to be more proficient and profitable. In 2006, Rae stepped into the entrepreneurial world in the healthcare industry and launched a new brand in a new market in the Appalachian Mountains of NC. Rae is known for creating something out of a blank canvas. She developed a Senior Shelter System in DE, which removed folks from violating situations and into a safe place. Through collaboration and persistence, anything is possible. Outside of work, she loves to spend time with her grandson and family. The nature around the Asheville area brings vitality to her spirit through kayaking, hiking and picnics on the Blue Ridge parkway.
Devorah Holan has over 20 years of experience in leadership roles in technology, including 15 working in electronic health record (EHR) organizations. She has worked in companies from small to large, including emerging startups, and understands the needs of all sizes of organizations. She currently leads a team of over 30 technology professionals across the US and South America. Devorah’s area of deep expertise is in data movement or extract, transform, load (ETL) of patient data. This includes data transport types such as HL7 (healthcare industry standard for discrete data movement) and DICOM. She also has experience in EHR training and implementation. Outside of her professional career, Devorah has many years of experience as a volunteer. She has spent years volunteering in animal care agencies such as the Broward County Humane Society and Fort Lauderdale Wildife Center. She served on the Board of Directors of the Asheville Jewish Community Center (JCC) and served as Board President from 2014 – 2016. Devorah enjoys running and other outdoor activities, is a brand ambassador for Oiselle (women’s running movement brand), and travel. She is fluent in Spanish and English and speaks a bit of several other languages.
Janet Oppenheimer, MBA, APR, Fellow PRSA, retired in 2017 after serving 46 years as a public relations practitioner – 14 of those years, owning her own PR firm in New York and Coral Springs, FL. For 15 years she served as Communications Director and later Financial Resource Development Director at the Adolph & Rose Levis JCC in Boca Raton, FL. Previously she was the Communications Director of the Soref JCC in Fort Lauderdale. In 2006, she reopened her independent public relations consulting firm in Asheville and became the Executive Director of the Jewish Federation of Western North Carolina. In 2011 she became the Public Relations Manager at the Western Carolina Medical Society, and from, 2013- 2017 Janet served as the Public Relations Specialist at Blossman Gas and Alliance Autogas based in Asheville. A PRSA (Public Relations Society of America) member since 1979, Janet has served in various leadership roles over the years. In 2007 she became one of 350 PRSA members earning the Fellows designation in the U.S. In June of 2021 Janet earned her Broker license in North Carolina and affiliated with Nest Realty in Asheville. Janet currently serves on the boards of JFS of WNC, the WCMS Foundation Development Council, the Jewish Federation of WNC, and is an ad hoc advisor for the WNC Chapter of PRSA. Janet holds a BA in Marketing Communications and an MBA from Nova Southeastern University in Davie, FL.
Roni Freedman received her BA in Sociology from NYU and her MA in Speech Pathology and Audiology from Hofstra University. She also practiced speech pathology for over 35 years in private practice, home healthcare, and MD offices, working primarily with neurologically impaired adults. Her passions are working with the aging population, her family, and horses. Community service work has included serving on the Boards of the Donna Klein Jewish Academy and the Jewish Federation of PBC, for many years, with an emphasis on development and campaign. She moved to Asheville in 2020 and eagerly jumped into Jewish life and philanthropy.
Bob retired from a 40+ year career as a management consultant where he helped more than 200 organizations worldwide improve their database marketing and related operations. After working in Chicago for several firms including Accenture, he founded his own organization in 1996, moving it to Asheville in 2003. Locally, he served on the Board of the Jewish Secular Community of Asheville (JSCA) and currently does volunteer work for Homeward Bound, the Asheville Visitor Center, and the NC Arboretum. He has also completed 15 assignments for USAID’s Farmer to Farmer Program working to enhance the marketing and management skill sets of farmer coops and small food processors in 10 sub-Saharan countries. He has an MS from Boston University and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School.
Alison (Ali) Climo
Alison (Ali) Climo grew up in Massachusetts, graduated from Smith College, and earned a MSW and PhD in social work from the University of Michigan before moving to Asheville in 1999. She worked for many years at Warren Wilson College as faculty and director of undergraduate social work, and then as director of institutional effectiveness. Ali’s community work includes nearly two decades assisting aging services organizations in Buncombe County and surrounding communities to plan and prepare for the ever-growing older adult population. In 2017, Ali helped establish Age-Friendly Buncombe County (NC) and served as its coordinator until 2022. During that time, she also joined the team at Cares (the Center for Aging and Adult Research and Educational Services) at the UNC Chapel Hill School of Social Work, where she is now a community engagement specialist in aging. Ali joined the JFS board in 2023.