Cindy was appointed Executive Director in 2021 after a national search. Cindy joins the Asheville community by way of Seal Beach, Calif. She served in various roles for the Jewish Federation of Orange County (formerly Jewish Federation & Family Services – JFFS), most recently as the Director of Community Engagement. Her passion for engaging and supporting underserved communities and helping those who are most critically in need is what landed her on the doorstep of JFFS in 2013. She spearheaded the efforts of a new department, focusing her work on team leadership, and program development and fundraising for families with young children, young professionals, Holocaust survivors and community in crisis. Born and raised in Southfield, Mich., Cindy is a graduate of Michigan State University’s School of Journalism. Prior to her career as a nonprofit professional, for 10 years, she worked in various capacities for The Detroit News, and The Detroit Media Partnership. She loves exploring the wonders of nature with her husband, toddler son and terrier. Together they camp, hike, travel and get into all sorts of mischief!
Audrey Morris, M.ED., LCMHC, LCAS-A
Audrey graduated from Lindsey Wilson School of Professional Counseling in 2016 where they earned their Masters in Mental Health Counseling and Human Growth and Development. In Audrey’s professional career, they have worked in all different types of settings including foster care, residential treatment for co-occurring mental health and substance abuse disorders, community mental health intensive setting and outpatient services with local nonprofit. Audrey has extensive experience working with children and families, survivors of complex trauma, grief, substance abuse disorders and LGBTQIA+ community. They have attended trainings in Washington, DC and locally to grow their skill set in providing gender affirming care and support.
Audrey believes that therapy can be a place where individuals can find hope, acceptance and healing to move onward from past traumas, negative core beliefs and other life obstacles that may be impacting day to day life.
Liz is a native of Chicago who moved to the Asheville area in 2003. She received a BS in Resource Conservation and a JD from the University of Florida.
Brendan Hanover, MSW
Elder Club Program Manager
Brendan just joined JFS as the Elder Club Program Manager in July 2021. She is originally from Memphis, TN and earned her BA in Psychology and her MS in Social Work with a concentration in Organizational Leadership from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Before completing her master’s degree, she committed 4 years to providing person-centered social services and education to high-need clients from diverse backgrounds. She is passionate about community building, using a strength-based approach to support her clients, and advocating for improved mental and physical wellbeing. During her free time, she loves to hike with her partner and two dogs, attempt different crafts (macramé, knitting, weaving, pottery…), and spend time with family and friends.
Elder Club Program Coordinator
Laura joined JFS Elder Club as a volunteer and she and her father were able to share this experience together. She was the primary caregiver to both her parents for the last five years of their lives where she cultivated compassion for seniors and the aging process. A former laboratory manager, Laura, has proven success in managing people. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology from University of Florida and a Master in Business Administration degree from New York Institute of Technology. Laura is a former Member of the Board at The Driskell Foundation, a nonprofit, medical research foundation. She has completed yoga teacher training and taught physical fitness and yoga to seniors and adults for over 10 years. Laura believes that providing a safe space for seniors to socially interact improves their well-being and quality of life.
Ryan Barker, LCMHC
Ryan has a Bachelor’s degree in psychology from Clemson University (Go Tigers!) and a Master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling from Western Kentucky University. Ryan entered the counseling field in NC in 2018 and has worked in Intensive In-home and with children, adolescents, adults, and families in the community, their homes, schools, and clinic settings. He loves helping others make sense of the changes in life, as well as changing the ways that we think, feel, act, and interpret our experience in the world. He typically does this using an eclectic mindset, but often relies on using a CBT, solution-focused, person-centered approach, and some parts-based ideas. When not working, he greatly enjoys spending time in the outdoors doing things like hiking and playing with his dog. He also enjoys listening and playing music with friends and playing games.
Andrew Dwyer, LCSW-A
Rebecca M. Gibson, MSW, LCSW
Rebecca is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She has been a Mental Heath Clinician since 1976 and has worked in psychiatric hospitals, Community Mental Health Centers and in private practice. She co-authored the suicide prevention book “The Suicide Dilemma: Finding a Better Choice.”
Melissa Woodworth, LCSW-A
Melissa recently joined JFS following a relocation to Asheville. She graduated with her MS in Social Work from Nazareth and Brockport College’s combined social work program in 2018. She has 10 years of experience working in residential programs for individuals with mental health difficulties, as a care manager, and most recently, as a therapist at a mental health clinic. She is passionate in empowering others to achieve their mental health related goals and utilizes a strengths-based, person-centered approach. In her free time, she relishes the outdoors, spending time hiking, kayaking, and bike riding and enjoys spending time with people she loves.
Carrie McGuire, MS
Carrie has her MS in Human Services with a specialization in Social and Community Services. She has worked in this field throughout her career. Carrie has worked for the last 5 years as the Senior Case Manager for the Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministry Steadfast House Transitional Housing program serving homeless civilians, families and female Veterans. Carrie lives in Asheville with her two teenaged sons and helps to support her aging parents.
Rabbi Wolff Alterman
Rabbi Wolff Alterman grew up in upstate NY. Educated by Dominican Sisters, his bar mitzvah long held the “Most Nuns attending” state record. His journey has included teaching elementary school art, serving as a rural route mail carrier, and walking from Georgia to Maine on the Appalachian Trail. He received clinical training in chaplaincy at Johnson City Medical Center and Rutherford Hospital and has served as a chaplain at Mission Hospital, Care Partners and Jewish Family Services of WNC. He was ordained in 2013 by the Jewish Spiritual Leaders Institute, a Jewish Universalist seminary based in NY. The grey in his beard was made possible through the ongoing efforts of his wonderful daughter; his blood pressure is kept in a safe range by the world’s most glorious coonhound. Rabbi Wolff has lived in Western North Carolina for a quarter century, and is the region’s only regularly kilted Rabbi. His lifelong ambition is to be named Emperor of Japan.
Jo provides administrative support to staff members, programs and agency operations, and greeting our clients and visitors when they call or come into the office. Jo was born in South Africa and grew up in Israel. She has four grandchildren with whom she loves to spend time.
Rachel relocated to Asheville in 2016 from the greater Fort Lauderdale area. She graduated with a degree in Culinary Arts from Johnson and Wales University (Miami) in 2014 after deciding to leave the field of Urban and Regional Planning, where she sat stationary for the most part of five and a half years dreaming of what to cook for dinner. Rachel was recently named one of the top chefs in Asheville!
Tracy was born in Gelnhausen, Germany and raised in Miami, Florida. She attended the University of Florida graduating with a B.S. in Zoology, and earned a Masters of Engineering from the University of South Florida. She worked for 11 years as a civil engineer in both Tampa and Miami before moving to Asheville almost eight years ago. In her spare time, she enjoys anything outdoors, including hiking, biking and kayaking. She also plays keyboards in a local Tom Petty tribute band.