Board of Directors

NameElio Gonzalez

TitleMember, Board of Directors

Elio J. Gonzalez, Owner of Gonzalez Diaz Enterprise, came to the US as a Cuban Refugee in 1968 and made North Carolina his home. He acquired a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Spanish and Latin American Studies from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 1978. Elio’s passion to be involved in the community led him to create Gonzalez Diaz Enterprise; and through this business, Elio has been able to be a community advocate and assist people in need. Elio has been involved with helping the community in many varied aspects including the following events/collaborations/interpretations: Carnaval Carolina, Latin American Festival, Fiesta Latina Asheville (2012-2016), Several LAWA collaborations, worked with Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, and mostly his inspiration of MGLA was turned into a reality. Elio J. Gonzalez is the founder of MGLA Miss Gay Latina Asheville. The pageant was created to show the beauty and richness of the World’s culture through the illusion of female impersonation. The pageant started in 2008 with great support from the community and sponsors, this year we will celebrate its 12th year anniversary. On July 6, 2019 Gonzalez Diaz Enterprise is launching a new endeavor Mister Gay Latino Asheville. Elio is currently the Patient Assistance Specialist Director at the Western North Carolina Community Health Center (WNCCHS).

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What Do Board Members Commit To?

  • Our Board functions as an administrative board.  It’s primary function is to provide fiduciary oversight on behalf of the community we serve and our financial supporters.  While board members typically involve themselves in select Blue Ridge Pride activities, they do so outside their board role and under the leadership of the Executive Director.
  • There are no explicit fundraising requirements of board members.  We find that such commitments limit the ability of some in our community to participate.  We assume that board members will find ways to demonstrate their commitment to the team’s mission.
  • Typically, board members are assigned to work with one of our teams (e.g., community projects and events).  This does not mean that they need to fulfill any operational roles.  As a board member, they are there to provide policy-level oversight.  However, they are more than welcome to  play a more active role.
  • Members are elected to serve a three-year term.  They may serve a maximum of six consecutive years.
  • The board generally meets once a month for one to two hours (currently, the 2nd Monday of each month, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm).  Board members are expected to attend a minimum of ten meetings a year (with two absences excused by the President).
  • The time commitment can vary considerably, depending on a board member’s appetite for getting involved in specific activities.  Here are some guidelines:  Board Meetings: 2 hours per month; Board Communications / Meeting Pre-reads / 1-2 hours per month; Team Liaison: 1-2 hours per month; Volunteering: Board members are required to volunteer for the annual festival and to attend or support one event or function per quarter.

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Mental Health Providers

Eric Davis  MS, LCPA, NCC, Counselor

Willow Wellness and Recovery, PC 9 All Souls Crescent  Suite B, Asheville, North Carolina 28803  Phone: (828) 490-4137 | Website I am a firm believer in empowerment and self-determination. In the past, I have worked well with folks experiencing a range of issues, such as anxiety, depression, substance-use, sleep disturbances, relationship issues, and issues unique to the LGBT community.

Scott Thomas,  Licensed Professional Counselor, MA, LPC, LCAS

Silver Lining Therapy 70 Woodfin Place  STE 21, Asheville, North Carolina 28801  Phone: (828) 705-3084 | Website I believe humor can be a powerful tool for healing and seek to incorporate this into our time together. Unique to my practice is an approach that truly puts you at the center of the counseling experience, and I draw from a wide variety of techniques to help you see and experience real change in your life. To see if therapy might be a good fit, I offer free phone consultations.

James Harrison, PhD Psychologist

12 Westridge Dr , Asheville, North Carolina 28803  Phone: (828) 348-6300 | Website I enjoy helping people achieve physical and emotional intimacy whether they are young or old, straight or gay, in healthy, responsible, and mutually affirming ways. I also enjoy helping people improve their earning and manage their assets. And I like working with older people. I offer free phone consultations.

Judy Maris, Counselor, LPC, LCPC, MA, MS

Maris Psychotherapy 41 Clayton St, Suite 301, Asheville, North Carolina 28801  Phone: (828) 537-4489 | Website We can explore troublesome patterns that tend to repeat themselves in your life or look at new issues that have just come up. The important thing is for us to work together to get to the bottom of your difficulties and resolve them. I will assist you in becoming more aware of what you are feeling and thinking in the present moment. The untapped wisdom within you is a powerful healing force. Let me help you gain access to your full inner resources. I offer free phone consultations.

Elizabeth Heaney, Counselor, MA, LPC 

166 E Chestnut Street, Asheville, North Carolina 28801  Phone: (520) 447-3319 | Website I work with individual adults with concerns like: family history issues, relationship concerns, life satisfaction issues (related to jobs, living situations or relationships), anxiety and depression. I’ve had a particular focus on working with couples, addressing every aspect of relationship challenges – relationship dissatisfaction/boredom, affairs, sexual/intimacy issues, etc. And I was a civilian counselor on military bases for several years, so I have a clear understanding of the unique pressures and challenges facing service members and families. I offer free phone consultations.

Siljoy Maurer

Holistic Perspectives P.O. Box 333, Enka, NC 2872  Phone: (828) 333-0103  | [email protected] or  www.HolisticPerspectives.com For many years now I have been mentoring men and women from all walks of life. It continues to be my greatest joy to accompany someone from “just being ok” into thriving! As a Mentor & Healer I partner with my clients in creating authenticity, wellness and deep contentment, in whatever area of their lives they are seeking change. The combination of giving very practical, livable tools for direct “next steps” while “holding the big picture” and then manifesting that big picture often feels like this: a new client brings me their life or life situation in a jigsaw puzzle box, they lost the lid and forgot what the picture on it looked like. I am good at knowing that picture and then guiding my clients/mentees to put all the puzzle pieces together.  
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Email: [email protected]

MailPO Box 2044, Asheville NC 28802-2044

Packages: 33 Coxe Avenue, Unit 2044, Asheville NC 28801 (note different zip code).

Phone: 828-423-0655 (via Google Voice)

 

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