Michael was appointed Executive Director in November 2022 after a national search and joined the Asheville community by way of Memphis, Tennessee. He served as the Chief Operating Officer for Jewish Community Partners (JCP). Before JCP, Michael was the Chief Executive Officer of Tampa Jewish Family Services.
Michael has been a leader of nonprofit and for-profit organizations in various industries, ensuring mission fulfillment and sound financial viability. He has extensive organizational, operational, and management experience, and has successfully led capital campaigns, endowment growth, and donor cultivation and stewardship efforts. Michael earned a BS degree in Psychology from the University of Florida and a Certificate of Nonprofit Management from the University of Tampa.
Melissa Wolfe, LCMHC
Melissa Wolfe has a BA from Warren Wilson College in Asheville, NC majoring in social work and an MA from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA in Counseling & Expressive therapies with a focus on Art therapy. Melissa has worked in a variety of roles in her career including case manager, adjunct professor, counselor, and director of client services. Melissa has worked with people with wide variety of co-occurring mental health conditions, interpersonal violence, and trauma. Melissa has worked with adolescents through elders, specializing in her counseling practice with LGBTQIA+ community and those with chronic illness including chronic pain, cancer and autoimmune conditions, memory loss and Alzheimer’s. In Melissa’s free time she likes to read, wordle, craft and go on walks with her family and dog Luke.
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.
Andrew Dwyer, LCSW
Andrew obtained an MSW from Western Carolina University in 2019, doing internships with aging related agencies. Since then, he has worked as a therapist in Assertive Community Treatment, and in public and private counseling. He spent several of his seven years in social work as the head teacher in a living skills class for older adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. His therapeutic approach is focused on the importance of the therapeutic relationship, the role of trauma in mental health, and evidence-based interventions.
Patrice Wishon, LCSW, LCAS, CCS
Patrice received her Master’s in Social Work from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1993. Since then, her professional roles have included counselor, group facilitator, Clinical Director, adjunct professor, and private practice therapist. Patrice is passionate about serving the needs of those in
recovery or struggling with addiction, people dealing with the effects of trauma, and those looking for support in managing intense emotions and mental health issues. She enjoys working with adults over the age of 18, families, and the LGBTQIA+ community. Patrice is a
Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), Licensed Clinical Addictions Specialist (LCAS), and Certified Clinical Supervisor (CCS) in the state of NC. Her approach is strengths-based and warm but direct. She is trained in EMDR and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, and
provides services with non-judgement and respect. Patrice was born and raised in the mountains of western NC and enjoys gardening, swimming and baking in her free time.
Erica Mesnard, Ph.D. (Licensed Psychologist)
Erica Mesnard is an Asheville native and attended Appalachian State University for her undergraduate degree in Psychology with a minor in Special Education. She earned her Doctorate in School Psychology from the University of Florida. She completed her internship with the University of Florida in the Division of Psychology, where she conducted psychological evaluations and provided psychotherapy for children, adolescents, and adults referred for a variety of emotional and behavioral challenges.
In her therapy practice, Dr. Mesnard has particular interest and extensive training in obsessive compulsive disorder and its related disorders including trichotillomania, skin-picking, and hoarding. Dr. Mesnard also specializes in the treatment of anxiety disorders including social anxiety and specific phobias. She additionally enjoys working with emerging adults experiencing symptoms of depression and/or anxiety to live meaningful, values-driven lives even in the presence of difficult feelings and circumstances.
Dr. Mesnard uses cognitive behavioral theories in her work with therapy clients including Exposure and Response Prevention, Habit Reversal Training, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. Dr. Mesnard believes the therapeutic alliance between therapist and client is essential to the healing process. She seeks to collaborate with her clients to support them in building self-awareness, empowerment, and independence.
In her free time, Dr. Mesnard enjoys reading, hiking, spending time with family and friends, and especially enjoys being a cat mom to Max, who happens to be the most handsome cat in the world.
Ed Tucker, PhD, LCSW
Ed earned his BA in Psychology from Emory University and his MSW and PhD degrees from Florida International University where he received the Outstanding Graduate Scholar Award. He is a seasoned practitioner with a demonstrated track record of successfully helping a diverse client population overcome challenges. He has extensive experience with trauma resolution (including PTSD), mood and personality disorders, anxiety, dissociative disorders, psychosis, and addictions. Ed is proficient in multiple therapeutic modalities including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Narrative Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), and Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART). A knowledgeable educator with more than a decade of experience teaching and supervising graduate & undergraduate students, Ed has also been an invited presenter/trainer at numerous local, regional, and national conferences & workshops.
Geoffrey Graham, MSW
Originally from Baltimore, MD, Geoffrey Graham completed his MSW from The University of Maryland in 2018. Geoffrey has focused on working with adult individuals and couples seeking growth, change and healing trauma, using modalities that emphasize empowerment, integration, and transformation. He is trained specifically in Emotion-Focused and Gestalt Therapy. He has extensive experience in mood disorders (anxiety, depression, bipolar), personality disorders, and trauma/grief. Geoffrey also has extensive experience facilitating groups, especially related to gender/sexuality, and is certified in DBT. He loves music and the Appalachian mountains and is delighted to call WNC home.
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.
Neave Higgins, MSW
Elder Club Program Manager
Neave holds a Master’s Degree in Social work from Smith School for Social Work and has over two decades of experience working with older adults and their families in mental health settings, home care, and hospice. She is very excited to be part of our community, supporting elders and their caregivers. In her spare time, she enjoys long walks in these mountains, laughing, and making things with clay.
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.