Kevin Young has more than 30 years of experience in human resources, and is currently the Employee Relations Manager for Diversity and Inclusion at the Biltmore Company. Young began his career in manufacturing and production, but quickly shifted into safety, training and human resources. In addition to Biltmore, he has worked for Greif Brothers Containers, Ingersol Rand, DuPont, SonoPress, BorgWarner Automotive, Southeastern Container and Evergreen Packaging. Young owns and operates Strategic Human Resources Business Partner, a consulting firm servicing non-profits and breweries in Asheville. He attended Western Carolina University, and holds a bachelor’s degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. Young was a member of the Catamount basketball team, and served as team captain during his senior year.
J Hackett is an executive director with more than 20 years’ experience in the nonprofit world. He has led initiatives and organizations from the grassroots to the international level and helped build bridges across cultures. Hackett’s work has been recognized in the North Carolina Bar Journal for social enterprises, he’s been honored by the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce and has been published in the Association for Addiction Professionals' scholarly journal. He is an expert in social entrepreneurship, community and economic development and discovering purpose. In addition to a bachelor’s degree from UNC Asheville, Hackett holds a certificate in Nonprofit Management from Duke University.
Dr. Monique Taylor
Monique A. Taylor, Ph.D., is a seasoned professional with nearly four decades of higher education, accounting and taxation experience. Dr. Taylor’s professional focus has been internal auditing in higher education, and she served as chief audit officer at Winston-Salem State University and UNC Asheville. She also partnered with the Internal Revenue Service for more than 20 years to develop, manage and direct community volunteer income tax sites. Dr. Taylor is an accomplished accounting instructor, and has held adjunct faculty roles at multiple universities and colleges. She currently serves on several Asheville-area nonprofit boards, and is the sole proprietor of Taylor Tax & Accounting Service.
Dr. Joseph Fox
Joseph Fox, Ed.D., is president and CEO of Fox Management Consulting Enterprises. A long-time educator, he has held instructional and administrative roles at numerous institutions of higher education, including Haywood Community College, Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, Western Carolina University and Lenoir-Rhyne University. Dr. Fox holds Doctor of Education and Master of Business Administration degrees from Western Carolina University, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Pfeiffer University. He also possesses the Professional in Human Resources Management (PHR) National Certification, Achieve Global Leadership Training Certification and the Rural Entrepreneurship through Action Learning (REAL) Certification. Dr. Fox serves on several nonprofit boards in Western North Carolina, and is a highly sought-after speaker, presenting on various topics related to entrepreneurship, empowerment and planning for retirement.
Aida Jackson is an internationally recognized speaker and workshop facilitator. As a seasoned professional, she works to cultivate diversity, equity, and inclusivity where art and technology meet. Aida specializes in working with organizations that are looking for creative ways to establish an equitable presence online via their website and graphic design. She is an influencer in the WordCamp Community, which is powered by WordPress. Aida is also an organizer for WordCamp Jacksonville and WordCamp US. She regularly facilitates Kids Camps and other community STEAM events (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics). Aida is also a former Ford VIP Blogger for Your Southern Ford Dealers.
Tara Jeanne Brown
For over 15 years, Tara Jeanne Brown has worked through local government and nonprofits to build inclusive economic development. Tara had designed and implemented programs to support asset building, affordable homeownership, and entrepreneurship in underserved communities. Brown now lives in Asheville, where she serves as Associate Director of the Western Women’s Business Center. She previously lived in New York City, where the asset building programs she created with the NYC Office of Financial Empowerment have been replicated nationally. In 2016, seeing that many social programs fail to address underlying inequities including the racial wealth gap, Brown launched Reckoning with Whiteness, a project to help individuals with racial privilege understand and address inequality in their communities. Tara serves on the Board of Witness for Peace Southeast, an anti-oppression organization that works in solidarity with people in Latin America and the Caribbean. She previously served on the board of the Cooperative Economic Development Alliance of NYC. Brown holds a Master’s of Public Policy and Administration from Northwestern University and a B.A. in Political Science from Trinity College.
Lenoir-Rhyne Equity and Diversity Institute (LREDI) Program Developer Aisha Adams is an influencer with a heart for community economic development who champions social change advocates, thought leaders, and courageous disruptors. With her curriculum and under her leadership, LREDI has trained equity advocates from several states who understand the importance of creating a culture of longevity and inclusivity in their organizations and communities.
Adams’ vision is for LREDI to lead the charge in making Asheville the “Equity Training Capital of the Southeastern United States,” and her work has been featured in Black Business, the Asheville Citizen-Times, Yahoo Money, University Business, FEMI Magazine, Capital at Play, and ENSPIRE Magazine. She’s earned high praise from LREDI’s many students, who are using their newly acquired advocacy skills in their daily lives. “The curriculum that Aisha Adams has thoughtfully constructed is outstanding and creative,” said clinical psychologist and LREDI graduate Dr. Elizabeth Huddleston, “and the community leaders and professors that teach these classes are knowledgeable, dynamic and inspiring.”
Adams earned her bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and her Master of Science degree in Adult Education from Capella University. Prior to joining Lenoir-Rhyne’s Asheville Team, she taught high school English at Asheville High School and was director of training and support at Green Opportunities, an Asheville-based nonprofit that trains, supports, and connects people from marginalized communities to sustainable employment pathways.
In addition to her work with LREDI, Adams is a serial entrepreneur. She is founder and CEO of the Aisha Adams Media Group and partner organization Equity Over Everything, which advances equity by closing gaps in entrepreneurship and homeownership in low-resource communities. Her other ventures include the Asheville View, a daytime-style talk show that addresses “hot button” issues in Asheville, Nappy Thoughts, a personal blog followed by thousands of people on social media, and the Entrepreneurial Accelerator, a business bootcamp that ties fledgling businesses to community resources. More information about Adams and all of her programs can be found at on her personal website.