About Us

Our Goals

We seek transformative improvements in the health and well-being of all people in western North Carolina. With a focus on the social determinants of health (SDOH), our programs and initiatives are driven by the needs of the communities we serve.

Our Board of Directors

Cathleen Blanchard
Board Chair

Managing partner at Moore Funeral Home. Civic involvement includes Rotary of Brevard and past member of Civitan. She is the first licensed female Funeral Director and Embalmer in western North Carolina.

Dave Neumann, Esq
Treasurer

Brevard Attorney for over 25 years. Graduated from University of Georgia Law School, undergrad at West Point. Member of Foundation Signature Society and other civic organizations around the community.

Jamie Ramsey, MD
Secretary

Graduated with a Bachelor’s of Nursing from University of Georgia and later with a Doctorate of Medicine degree from the Medical College of Georgia. Currently a practicing ObGyn physician in Brevard for the past 11 years.

Jeremy Purcell
Vice Chair

Currently Managing Broker at Sandra Purcell & Associates Real Estate.  Civic involvement includes Rotary Club, Brevard Chamber of Commerce (Past President), SmartStart of Transylvania County Board, University of Tennessee Alumni, and VISION Brevard.

Jim Tyson, MD
Member

Retired family practice physician from Medical Associates of TRH.  Previously served on TRH Board and Transylvania Physician Services Board.  Civic involvement includes former member Lions Club, Kiwanis Club, and Army Reserve.

Jim Wright, MD
Member

Currently serving as the Medical Director for Emergency Medicine of Transylvania Regional Hospital and Highlands-Cashiers Hospital. Graduated from Tulane University Doctorate of Medicine and certified by the American Board of Family Medicine. Has served on numerous boards across the country including a Board of Trustee at Transylvania Regional Hospital Foundation and Mission Health Foundation.

Art Fisher
Member

Graduate of the College of Charleston where he earned degrees in Business Administration and Corporate Communications. Passionate about his career, Art has been involved in many of the area’s finest developments and is a consistent top producer in both the Brevard area and in Western North Carolina. Art serves on the board of several civic and charitable organizations and enjoys helping clients accomplish their goals in a professional manner.

Our Staff

Robert A. “Lex” Green, III, CPA President

lex@pisgahhealthfoundation.org  828-435-3773

Lex Green serves as the President of Pisgah Health Foundation where he leads the only team in the history of the world to initiate the milestone 50th Blue Zones Project for better wellness, the first project of its kind in The Carolinas. Green serves a board of seven dedicated trustees awarding millions of dollars collaboratively to non-profits to improve the health and wellness of citizens in western North Carolina.

Prior to this role Green spearheaded fundraising for the Transylvania Regional Hospital ensuring the establishment of a $1 million women’s imaging center a $6 million surgical center and an $8 million emergency department. Green became a CPA in 2008 working as an auditor and tax preparer and leveraged his familiarity with tax codes to enhance his relationships with donors.

Prior to this role Green served as the CEO of the north Florida regional Chamber of Commerce. As a supreme court certified civil mediator, Green rallied multiple counties around strategic economic development. His team recruited 5 large filming projects, 500 new manufacturing jobs, and hundreds of community-based engagements. Green was subsequently selected by the state of Florida to administer a $2 million incumbent worker training fund.

 

For his work Green received the IBM Eagle award, the certificate of excellence and a key to the city of Starke for dedication to rural economic development. A two-time Rotary club president, one-time Jaycees club leader and chairman of multiple community-based committees including a multimillion dollar regional workforce development board, Green received his graduate degree in Business Management from Mercer University and learned the complexities of international trade at the University of London school of economics.

Green joined the workforce at age 11 as janitor for an Ace Hardware Store and is a certified Babe Ruth baseball coach. He also likes donuts.

Lisa B. Fort, CFRE
Senior Development Officer

l.fort@pisgahhealthfoundation.org  828-435-3774

Lisa brings 20+ years of non-profit fundraising expertise in her role as Senior Development Officer. Obtaining the credentials of Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) not only shows her dedication to the field of philanthropy but also her knowledge of best practices and her dedication to ethical fundraising.

Prior to Pisgah Health Foundation, Fort was on a team that secured funds of $8m to build a new emergency department at the Transylvania Regional Hospital.  She launched Women in Philanthropy (Transylvania) through Mission Health System’s Department of Philanthropy which purchased new night vision goggles and helmets for the Mountain Area Medical Airlift (MAMA) team and new state of the art exam tables for the Brevard Cancer & Infusion Center.

Lisa has initiated a Women’s Giving Circle at PHF that focuses on critical funding needs of local non-profits. With a heart and soul filled with compassion for others, Lisa has definitely found her calling in the world of philanthropy.

In her current role she engages donors and builds relationships to find their affinity within the focus of Social Determinants of Health. Fort is a native of Transylvania County.  Lisa and her 10 year old daughter enjoy doing art projects together, spending time outside walking and riding scooters, taking care of their ducks, rabbits and walking on the beach every chance they get.

Natalie Swenson, MS, CFRE Strategic Partnerships Manager

n.swenson@pisgahhealthfoundation.org  828-435-2227

Natalie provides the Pisgah Health Foundation team her unique expertise developed from a Master of Science degree in Fundraising Management from Columbia University and as a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE). Her passion of philanthropy began with an aspiration to be involved with local food banks on Long Island, NY. Inroads to charity began with her creating SHARE, Students Helping American Relief Efforts, while still in high school. It provided weather related clothing and food for distribution by Long Island Cares an organization founded by singer/activist Harry Chapin. SHARE donated nearly 8,000 lbs. of food that directly aided vulnerable populations living in the region

Natalie, after graduating Magna Cum Laude at Stony Brook University, began her graduate program at Columbia University and an internship at Women Moving Millions. Her initiation into her chosen career began there with transformative fundraising starting with a minimum donation of 1 million dollars. Among her administrative tasks Natalie was tasked to assist in planning the annual Gala where donors Gloria Steinem and Tyra Banks were keynote speakers.

A move to Florida resulted in a position as a Grant Administrator and she was successful in exceeding the annual fundraising goal of over 1 million dollars, an unprecedented amount. Natalie’s desire to be surrounded by mountains and cooler weather brought her and her husband Jared to Asheville.

Good fortune and serendipity in 2016 resulted in Natalie obtaining a valued position with Mission Health System in the Department of Philanthropy. Rising to the challenges posed, she created a distinctive business plan for the affinity groups resulting in a promotion to Director of Philanthropy. Plus, Natalie created and implemented a new program as the inaugural Stewardship Officer.

Her present status as Strategic Partnerships Manager with Pisgah Health Foundation allows Natalie to apply her passion of philanthropy, knowledge of best practice fundraising principles, and unwavering tenacity, to connect donors with their altruistic goals.

 

Cathy Marie Wood                        Grant Operations Coordinator

c.wood@pisgahhealthfoundation.org 828-435-3775

Since February 2019, Cathy Wood has served in the role of Grant Operations Coordinator at Pisgah Health Foundation. She is responsible for outreach to nonprofit organizations to promote the grant making process, scheduling dates and timelines for grant cycles, receiving online applications, and coordinating the scoring process for the Grants Review Committee. She strives to build a reputable grant department to support local organizations in their endeavors to combat social determinants of health in their areas of expertise. Her background in grant writing comes from years of writing FEMA grants to aid in the emergency needs of volunteer fire departments throughout the southeast. Her accomplishments in this work provided lifesaving equipment and supported the recruitment and retention needs of the departments.

Her passion for grant writing continues as she maintains the granting process of the Foundation. As Grant Operations Coordinator, she enjoys time spent with partnering organizations as they work together to make an impact on the health and wellbeing of the community. Hosting LOI and Grant Proposal Workshops has provided her the opportunity to meet numerous groups in need of funding within a 5-county area of western North Carolina. Managing the scope of work, performance measures and disbursement of funds to grantees adds to building relationships that will last for years to come. Her goal is to make a difference in the lives of those in need and desires to do this in the grant opportunity arena.

Susan Kicklighter                    Executive Assistant

s.kicklighter@pisgahhealthfoundation.org

Susan joins the team as the Executive Assistant. She is originally from Anderson, SC and graduated from Clemson University. She is married to Trey and they have two sons (Bode, a freshman at Brevard High and Hayes, a 5th grader at Mountain Sun Community School). She enjoys spending time with her family, watching documentaries and independent films, and watching Clemson football games!

Shiela Jarvis
Grants Liasion

S.Jarvis@PisgahHealthFoundation.org

As the Grants Liaison, Shiela will assist in both the grant making process at Pisgah Health Foundation as well as building and developing relationships with our local and regional non-profits. A native of WNC, Shiela received her Commercial Art/Advertising Design degree from Southwestern Technical Institute. She and her husband Gary are proud parents of two daughters, Heather (husband Ryan) and Hannah (husband Aaron) and grandparents to three awesome grandsons. Her spare time is filled with landscaping projects, baseball, photography and spending time with family.