2020-2021 YPA BOARD

Meet your current Young Professionals of Asheville board members!

Justine Wickerham

President

As a dedicated Young Professional since 2013, Justine is delighted to lean further into leadership as President of YPA’s Board of Directors on behalf of, and in service to our members. Justine owns a local organic-based landscaping firm, RootWise Landscape Solutions, LLC, alongside her husband Jake.  She holds a bachelor’s in mass communication concentrated in journalism from UNC Asheville.  Justine’s educational background coupled with her business management experience lends her the skill set necessary to ensure YPA is striving for excellence through all its practices and offerings.  Justine believes that YPA members each have a unique story to tell, expertise to relate, and motivation to share.  Her primary goal is to foster this cumulative energy in order to create more measurable, meaningful experiences to draw from.  Justine intends to work hand-in-hand with both the board and greater membership to elevate YPA, taking our ‘Connect, Lead, Serve’ mission to the next level.  Justine has two daughters, Veronica and Abigail, and enjoys playing music, baking, spending time with her family, and getting away to the NC coast whenever possible.

Jonathan Hunter

Past President

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Born and raised in Asheville, Jonathan attended Asheville High School and Belmont Abbey College outside of Charlotte NC, graduating with a BS in Business Administration.  He began his professional career working with Skyline Properties as a real estate appraiser and eventually formed his own firm, J.A. Hunter, Inc.  In 2013, Jonathan switched gears and moved to the brokerage side of the real estate business. He joined Keller Williams Professional Realty as the Lead Sales Professional for the Streppa Team.  In 2015, Jonathan formed the Asheville and Associates team at Keller Williams and has been a multi-million dollar producer since starting the team.

Jonathan is a true Ashevillian who resides in Fairview with his wife, Karen Edey, a recent PharmD graduate from the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy satellite program at UNCA. He is also dedicated to several area organizations and sits on the Board of Directors with the Young Professionals Asheville, Green Opportunities, and the Agent Leadership Council at Keller Williams. 

Nicole Miller

Social Co-Chair

Nicole Miller is an advertising professional from Knoxville, Tennessee, who has over 10 years of experience in marketing. After graduating in Advertising at the University of Tennessee in 2008, Nicole served many roles in the marketing field, such as marketing intern for a major music promotion company, traffic/project coordinator at a well-respected advertising agency, website consultant for an innovative website development startup, and spearheaded the social media team for the local newspaper.  In 2012, Nicole and her husband Devin moved to of Asheville, North Carolina, to pursue her MBA in Entrepreneurship at Western Carolina University. Also during that time, Nicole formed her own social media company, NicClick Social, where she enjoys helping local and regional businesses share their brand story and connect with customers.  Nicole currently resides in Downtown Asheville and enjoys exploring the local beer scene, floating the French Broad River with her husband Devin, slowly becoming a “Crazy Cat Lady,” and immersing herself in as much music as Asheville has to offer.

Joshua Wilson

Membership Co-Chair

After growing up here in Asheville, Josh had always wanted to come back home to lay down roots and build a wonderful life.  After moving back, Josh was introduced to YPA and immediately enjoyed being a part of this small community.  He graduated from Clemson University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and is now a Manufacturing Manager at a small company in the large-diesel engine industry called Aprotech Powertrain.  Josh has always been a “people person,” with the gift of gab, ever since he was a little boy, pushing a pallet jack around the warehouse in his grandfather’s company and talking to customers as they shopped in the stores.  When Josh is not at his day job, he is working on building his own design services company as well as starting in real estate (Licensed NC Broker) and investing.

Meg Nolte

Professional Development Co-Chair

Meg Nolte currently serves as the General Manager of UNC Asheville Sports Properties with Learfield IMG College. Meg relocated to the Western North Carolina area from Tampa, Florida, where she was previously Senior Director of Partnership Services, Activation & VIP Experiences for the global endurance sports and lifestyle brand, IRONMAN. With extensive experience in the sports marketing, sponsorship, professional sports & collegiate multimedia rights space, Meg brings a professional background of leading teams of varying sizes and abilities. She believes your own professional development is a crucial element of setting yourself up for continued professional success. Meg graduated from St. John Fisher College with a double major in Sports Management and Marketing and a minor in Spanish. Additionally, she was a Service Scholar and a 4-year starter on the Women’s Soccer Team. Meg is an avid traveler and is settling into the Asheville area with her husband, Reid, and rescue kitty, Dixie. She is a graduate of Leadership Asheville XXXVII and enjoys living an active lifestyle, while soaking up the sun.

Lakievia Johnson

Professional Development Co-Chair

As a child, I traveled to Arden, NC, several years in a row to attend summer camp. I loved it so much that, at that young age, I decided I would move here one day and retire.  In February 2019, after completing a post-graduate certification program in project management through Brenau University and becoming certified as a PMI Associate Project Manager, I finally made that move. I moved to Asheville from Augusta, Georgia, my birthplace. In addition to being an MBA graduate and an active member of the Augusta-Aiken PMI Project Management Chapter, I relocated to Asheville with extensive experience working in customer service, education, and volunteering as a community advocate. My passion for business, customer service, education, personal development, and community involvement made me an excellent fit for YPA, and I was thrilled to be welcomed in as a new member. I am currently working in the Healthcare industry, tutoring for Tutor.com, a service offered by the Princeton Review, and occasionally serve and bartend for weddings at a local wedding venue. I was also recently accepted into the Doctor of Strategic Leadership program at Liberty University, and I look forward to beginning my studies there this fall. In my “spare time,” which is rare, I enjoy watching movies, playing pool, playing cards, writing, and listening to music.

Zeno Lancaster

President Elect

A native to western North Carolina, Zeno was born in Asheville and raised in nearby Canton.  He attended Pisgah High, before obtaining a BA in Political Science from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, class of 2004.  As planned since he was fifteen or so, Zeno went on to become an attorney, obtaining his Juris Doctor from Florida Coastal School of Law in Jacksonville, FL, in 2007.   Zeno currently lives in downtown Asheville, with his sweet mutt, Daisy.  He enjoys the many festivals, restaurants, musicians, artists, and people that make up this jewel in the mountains.  He is very close with his family and enjoys spending time with his nieces and nephews and nearby family members. You might find Zeno around town at various restaurants and breweries. He is somewhat of a nerd – loving Star Wars, 80’s music, and all things James Bond. He’s also a sports fan, supporting his UNC Tar Heels and other teams.

Ashley Eby

Communications Co-Chair

Ashley was born and raised in Toledo, OH, and got her Bachelors of Arts in Psychology at the University of Toledo. Her adoration for art and sustainability made Asheville an ideal home, and she made it her mission to get here. She has three and a half years’ in Workforce Development Case Management, and several years’ experience in the Customer Service Industry. Ashley loves to travel, meet new people, and has a passion for forever learning. 

Shannon Dale

Communications Co-Chair

Mackenzie Hesler

Membership Co-Chair

Recently relocating from Cincinnati to Asheville, Mackenzie has loved getting to know the community and beauty this city has to offer. Graduating with her MBA from the University of Cincinnati in 2017 allowed her to move up within her organization, USGreentech, a synthetic turf company. Now working remotely for the same company still as Marketing Manager, she loves getting to experience all the different aspects of marketing that make every day new, exciting, and full of learning. Her specialties include branding, project management, event planning, and working with an array of marketing software to increase efficiency and effectiveness. She enjoys helping her team grow and develop personally and professionally and finding creative ways to stay connected to her team while remote. After acting as a member of the YPA for the past year, she is excited for the opportunity to become more involved and contribute her skills to the role of Membership co-chair. Mackenzie can be found in her spare time at a local brewery with her husband, Bobby, or hanging out with their cuddly cat named Crosley. But when the weather is nice on a Saturday, she loves packing a cooler and floating the French Broad river.

Jessica Coffield

Community Service Co-Chair

Jessica Coffield is the Director of Client Services at Pulse Health & Wellness, a marketing agency connecting health professionals with information and education about healthy brands nationwide. In addition to her ten years at Pulse, she serves as the President of the Junior League of Asheville and also as the Chair of the Saumur, France Committee for Asheville Sister Cities. She is married to Ryan Coffield, a Van Winkle Law Firm attorney. Together they have two pups, Zoey and Lily. Jessica can be found spending her days off traveling, hiking and exploring all the options Asheville has to offer!

Rosa Loftis

Community Service Co-Chair

Although born in Savannah, Georgia, Rosa Loftis was raised here in the beautiful WNC. After graduating, she left for 2 years to experience Alaska and work in tourism. While there, she also started working for an insurance brokerage office in Fairbanks, AK. Shortly after, she was drawn back home, to the mountains of North Carolina. Ever since, she has been excelling in her career as an independent insurance agent. Aside from being in the office, she is also a member of Junior League of Asheville and a big sister to her little, with Big Brothers Big Sisters of WNC. When she’s not volunteering in the community, all other free time is spent on continuing education, enjoying the outdoors with her pup, Farrah and spending time with friends and family!

Ryan Appleton

Social Co-Chair

Originally from the Atlanta area, Ryan graduated from Auburn University with a degree in Software Engineering. After working for more than 7 years in corporate America, he took a leave of absence and traveled through South America for 9 months, in search of his next career. Not long after returning stateside, Ryan moved to Asheville with plans of opening a traveler’s hostel, The Lazy Tiger. While those plans develop, Ryan is working at Abbington Green Bed & Breakfast in Montford. In his spare time, Ryan enjoys raising his 6 year-old mutt Chloe, exploring the WNC mountains and rehydrating with post-hike beers.