Our Team

Tina White

Executive Director

Tina White is the Executive Director of the Blue Ridge Pride Center, a member of the board of directors for the Human Rights Campaign, and a Democratic precinct chair.
Tina entered the workforce as a white, Ivy League-educated male. She spent most of the next 30 years helping corporate executives to transform their sprawling organizations. In 2013, Tina embarked on her most ambitious transformation project yet: herself. With the support of her wife, family and colleagues, Tina finally acknowledged the gender she had worked so hard to hide.
Today, Tina’s transformation continues. She is learning how to be a community activist and a public servant. She speaks and writes on issues of social justice and personal identity. In 2015, she published Between Shadow & Sun: A Husband‘s Journey Through Gender - A Wife’s Labor of Love.
Tina holds an MBA in Strategy & Finance from the Booth School of Business and a BA in Economics from Princeton University. She lives in Asheville, North Carolina with Mary, her wife of nineteen years. From there, they watch their five children and five grandchildren take on the world.

Richard Morgan Swilling

Director, Events & Operations

Our Director of Events holds five environmental certifications and works daily to keep us safe. A life-long resident of western North Carolina, Rick (Morgan to some) comes from a family with a record of distinguished public service. He dotes on his two children, who run successful businesses.

“I worry often about acceptance and security. The one time I never feel alone is when I am volunteering. I am thankful for my Pride family, ”

Our events director, a true giver and leader, is why organizations like ours exist.

Nancy Sue Ellyson

Director, Entertainment

Nancy Sue works the Pride tent with "Pride". She is our public face, selling Pride merchandise and spreading the word with a smile and free hugs!

Nancy Sue says that, being the new kid in town, she felt blessed to have met Morgan, who got her started with Blue Ridge Pride.

Nancy Sue moved to Asheville in February 2017 from Austin, Texas, not knowing a soul and yet, knowing that Asheville is where she belongs.

In Austin, Nancy Sue worked various day jobs for online technology companies including Facebook and Homeaway.com. She had the pleasure of working her dream jobs in the live-music industry, including those of radio and television personality.

Looking to the future, Nancy Sue hopes to settle into the Asheville community, becoming more involved in non-profits and, of course, Blue Ridge Pride!

Dr. Rachel Muir

Director, Community Projects and Partnerships

I am a retired scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey and I continue to pursue my vocation and avocation in environmental science as a scientist emeritus working with local federal offices and private efforts to research and protect endangered species and teach at local schools and institutions about conservation. When I moved to North Carolina from Washington DC about 5 years ago I did not realize that human rights, and the rights and welfare of THE LGBTQ community, were also endangered in this state, and now, our nation. Just as diversity in the natural world supports and sustains a complex world in the face of change, diversity in the human world strengthens us and enriches our lives; it opens our eyes to the new and the possible. I want to be part of the effort to protect that diversity and the dignity OF all people. Blue Ridge Pride gives me the opportunity to combine my professional skills and my passion for justice to promote equality for all.

Perry Martino

Director, Welcoming WNC Procession

Perry Martino is working on getting the PROCESSION organized and streamlined to assure a smooth, fun start to the festivities ahead of the festival .

Perry assisted last year registering PROCESSION participants and organizing at the starting point. He enjoyed meeting all the different folks excited to partake in the PROCESSION and followed behind them  to ensure all participants stayed the course!

Perry and his husband Russ along with their furry child Teddie moved to Asheville in November 2014 from Miami Beach, Florida. He opened the same concept store, Perfect Gifts which  he had in Miami Beach on Biltmore Avenue. The business was sold two years ago and now he and Russ work on their own Real Estate investments here in Asheville. Prior to Perry's ten years owning retail stores, he worked in NYC at various banks in the mortgage industry.

Perry states shortly after meeting Tina Madison White, he and Russ instigated having a pride parade, which developed into the procession. They are thankful to Tina being able to make it happen!

Perry is excited to now be part of Blue Ridge Pride and is looking forward to meeting all the others at Blue Ridge Pride he has not yet met!

Rachelle Sorensen-Cox

Director, Volunteer Programs

Rachelle is a native of Utah who was lucky enough to discover and move to Asheville in 1995. She is a dedicated community member and volunteer, she founded Girls on the Run of WNC in 2002. Currently Rachelle serves as a board member on the Asheville Downtown Association and is proud to join the Blue Ridge Pride team as Director, Customer Service recruiting and organizing vendors for the Blue Ridge Pride Festival.
When not working or volunteering, Rachelle likes to spend time working on her tennis game and living the big life with her daughter, Soren.

Scroll to Top

Apply for a Grant

Complete these four steps to submit your application.  If you like, you can save your work and return to it within 30 days.

Oops! 

In order to add a listing, you need to be registered and logged in on this site. 

This is so you can return later and edit your entries. It also helps to protect our community.

You only need to do it once.  Thanks!

Register   Login   Feedback

%d bloggers like this: