Team

Board Members

Allison Ettinger
Board Member
Allison Ettinger is the Director of Credit for Eagles Nest Outfitters with a demonstrated history of working in the Outdoor Industry for 6 years. Skilled in Customer Service, Sales, Marketing, and Accounts Receivables, she’s a strong credit professional with a bachelor’s degree focused in Fine/Studio Arts. Residing in Asheville since 2007, she has worked in many areas including directing art programs for group homes. Allison joined the board of the Asheville Affiliates in 2018 where she was appointed to lead the SPARC Foundation fundraiser. After working with SPARC for a short period, Allison is eager to continue SPARC’s mission of providing opportunities and resources for the people in need in our community. She believes that everyone deserves a second chance.
Brent Bailey
Chairman
Brent Bailey is a native of North Carolina. Beginning at age 16, Brent started to experiment with drugs and quickly fell into the trap of drug addiction. Although he married in 1996, and held two jobs, Brent’s drug use continued, eventually becoming so costly that he turned to selling drugs to support his addiction and associated lifestyle. Brent’s life of crime caught up with him in 1999 when he was convicted of conspiracy to traffic narcotics and sent to prison. It was during this period of incarceration that Brent realized he wanted something different for his life, and he began the process of turning his potential into productivity. One of the biggest steps toward change Brent took while incarcerated was he began to participate in various programs that were conducted by volunteers. It was through many of these programs that his faith grew and confidence in his abilities were reaffirmed. As a result of these programs Brent truly began to believe that he had a future with a purpose. 
Dustin Dow
Board Member
Dustin Dow is a native of Southern Pines, North Carolina. He moved to Asheville in 2010 to begin his legal career as an Assistant District Attorney in Henderson County and to enjoy the multitude of outdoor activities that the mountains of western North Carolina have to offer. Dustin has extensive litigation experience and especially enjoys the challenges associated with arguing a case in front of a jury. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his friends, family and son Max.
Jody Stevenson
Board Member
Jody has been a teacher, curriculum developer, program manager and advisor. His passion is developing engagement opportunities using creative methods that lead to stronger networks and in turn help stimulate opportunities for all those seeking employment in the community. He believes that every person has the opportunity to achieve their fullest potential and participate in and contribute to all aspects of life.
Justin Wright
Board Member
 Justin Wright is a Program Development & WNC Peer Technical Assistance Coordinator with Sunrise Community.  With over 7 years  of long term substance use and trauma recovery,  he previously worked for Sunrise as a Peer Support Specialist. Justin works out of the Buncombe County Courthouse as the program developer and coordinator for the county's Felony Drug Diversion Program, a peer run county diversion program. He cares deeply for others and has hope for everyone.
Marlo Smith
Secretary
My 46 years of clinical practice has spanned services in child protection, foster care and adoptions, vocational rehabilitation and, for the last 20 of these years, as a practitioner, trainer and supervisor of Family Centered Treatment. I am proud to represent the SPARC FOUNDATION—a value based human services agency constantly striving to uphold the highest ethical and clinical practices in the field.
Lissa Brown 
Board Member
Lissa is an Administrative Specialist and Bookkeeper with The Association of Boarding Schools, a nonprofit organization based here in Asheville. She has had a lifetime of experiences as an early childhood educator, started a still-thriving coffee shop, went on to work for Rainforest Alliance, came to WNC and worked in a therapeutic boarding school. Throughout her careers, there is always the theme of working with people and the planet. This connection to people and the planet is what fills her spare time, always in awe of the natural world and taking time to collect people's stories.  

Shana McDowell 
Board Member
Shana McDowell is the owner, baker and decorator extraordinaire at AVL Cake Lady. An Asheville native, Shana is passionate about teaching youth about entrepreneurship and business ownership. Shana is very active in local initiations promoting social justice and reform. 

AVL Cake lady is at 35 New Leicester Hwy. 828-412-3388

Sala A. Menaya-Merritt
Board Member
Sala A. Menaya-Merritt currently works for Buncombe County as the Diversion Services Program Manager. This role allows her and her team to work in collaboration with local courts in the areas of treatment and diversion. Sala says her true passion is working with justice-involved individuals and working to break down the systemic barriers they face. Sala began her career with the City of Los Angeles as a Project Coordinator. In this capacity, she oversaw the training of LA’s Best After School Program in collaboration with the State of California – Office of Child Abuse Prevention (OCAP) Department. Additionally, Sala collaborated with LAPD and their "LA Jeopardy" program which focused on gang intervention/prevention. With now 20+ years of professional experience, Sala generously shares her time and expertise with the SPARC Foundation as a member of our Board of Directors. Sala says she was drawn to SPARC by the vital importance of our mission to ignite connections and break down barriers to education, employment and mentorship. In her free time, Sala says she is "a creative”. She loves to sew, make jewelry, handbags, bowties and whatever else piques her creative interest.
Tracey Novak
Board Member
Tracey started her career as a social worker. She received her B.S. in Psychology and Masters in Social Work at Stony Brook University, NY. For 13 years she worked in a variety of residential and treatment programs for children, adults and families in civilian and military settings. After taking time off to focus on raising her children and volunteering in the community, she decided on a second career in Real Estate. Tracey is currently a Realtor at Beverly Hanks and is happy to be balancing her passion for homes with her skills assisting people on their personal journeys while still contributing  to our community. 
Veronica Edwards
Treasurer
Veronica is the owner of Balanced Virtually and Mahogany Bookkeeping LLC and has over 15 years of experience in Accounting and Bookkeeping. Veronica is a Certified Public Accountant, Chartered Global Management Accountant and QuickBooks Online ProAdvisor. A graduate of University of North Carolina Charlotte earning a Bachelors of Science in Accounting as well as earning a Masters of Accounting from Georgia Southern University. Prior to opening Balanced Virtually Veronica was employed with PricewaterhouseCoopers, Newell Rubbermaid, and Milwaukee Electric Tool in various roles that provided experience in financial reporting, forecasting, budgeting, auditing, SOX (Sarbanes Oxley Act) compliance, and month end close. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and North Carolina Association of Certified Public Accountants. In addition to being Treasurer for SPARC, Veronica is the Treasurer for Just for Today Recovery located in Greenville, SC which is dedicated to providing a home for women who battle addiction and homelessness. Lastly, Veronica just started in April 2021 her own talk radio show/podcast "The Veronica Edwards Show" on BizRadioAsheville.com. The show navigates general financial topics useful for personal and business growth through unapologetic, honest, fun conversations with local for and non profit businesses owners and community leaders.

Meet The Team
Our team members are the heart and soul of the SPARC Foundation

Barbara Sanstrom-Lamb
Visitation Coach
Bree Normandin
FCT Clinician
Carrie Menke, LCAS
Family Centered Recovery Clinician
Christiane Smith
Visitation Coach
Daniel Cortese
Family Centered Treatment Clinician
Dean "Wren" Barnett 

 Visitation Coach
Debbie Spencer
 Visitation Lead
Jackie Latek
Executive Director
Jeff Whisenant
Family Centered Treatment Clinician
 
Jessica Campbell
Family Centered Treatment Team Supervisor
 
Joe Mohrmann
Neutral Facilitator
Kim
Goodspeed 
Social Worker
Leasha Ogle
People & Culture Coordinator 
Loren Clement
Neutral Facilitator
Missie Parran
Certified Peer Support Specialist
Nanci
Farmer
Office Manager
Natasha Charles
Family Centered Treatment Clinician
Pamela Wright 
Communications
Quintin Bailey
BIP Facilitator
RJ Poore
Community Connector
Suzanne Stroud
Social Worker
Tiffany
Bell, LPC
BIP Program Director
Tony Shivers 
 Case Manager & Life Skills Facilitator
Yashika
Smith 
Group
Facilitator