Board of Directors for Ashevillage Institute

Laura Lengnick is a researcher, policymaker, activist, educator, farmer and author whose work explores the community-enhancing potential of sustainable agriculture and food systems. Laura is author of Resilient Agriculture: Cultivating Food Systems for a Changing Climate. She contributed to the 3rd National Climate Assessment as a lead author of the USDA report Climate Change and Agriculture in the United States: Effects and Adaptation. After leading the academic program in sustainable agriculture at Warren Wilson College for more than a decade, Laura is now an affiliated researcher with the Local Food Research Center and a climate resilience planning consultant with Fernleaf Solutions, both located in Asheville, NC.

Maureen Drinkard, PhD, is a professor at Brevard College. She teaches Environmental Science, Sustainability, Entomology, and Ecology. She works hard to help her students find a deeply meaningful environmental perspective. She helps to facilitate relationships between colleges and the Permaculture School. Maureen is a tinkerer with a variety of interests including beekeeping, gardening, sustainable living, natural building, making lots of stuff, and kid wrangling.

Jodi Lasseter brings her expertise in facilitation, training and participatory methods to her ongoing work in global and environmental justice movements. Originally from the mountains of North Carolina, Jodi has pursued her passion for cross-cultural dialogue and positive social transformation through extensive community-based work in East Africa, South America, Western Europe, Mexico and throughout the U.S. Through her company, Turning Tides Consulting, she provides comprehensive program management, organizational development and innovative curricula to movement-building organizations. Jodi has worked with the first Southeast Social Forum, the first U.S. Social Forum, Amazon Alliance, Engage Network. She currently serves on the board of Clean Water for NC and consults with local food and climate justice groups. Jodi was awarded a full fellowship by Clark University to complete her master’s degree in International Development and Social Change. She earned her undergraduate degrees in Women’s Studies and Anthropology at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.

Janell Kapoor is the founding director, designer and visionary for Ashevillage Institute and Kleiwerks International. She is an avid mud mama, international instructor, community organizer, and program strategist. Janell’s work helped to generate natural building movements with people from 52 countries. She led the first earthen building trainings in Thailand, Argentina and Turkey. Her students have gone on to establish natural building and permaculture education centers, businesses, programs, projects, regional legislation reform, and documentaries. Janell’s story has been featured in numerous articles, radio shows, and in First Earth: Uncompromising Ecological Architecture. Janell lives in the oldest mountains on the planet at the Ashevillage Sanctuary, a 1.3 acre eco-urban demonstration site in the Blue Ridge Mountains.


David McConville: Director of the Buckminster Fuller Institute; Creative director of Worldviews Network; Co-founder of The Elumenati; Keynote speaker, SOCAP Sweden 2012.

Doug Cohen: Chair of National Youth Initiatives for the US Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development, Founder of The Inspired Futures Campaign – Inter-Generational Partnerships for Livable Futures.

Sara Day Evans: Founder of Accelerating Appalachia, the world’s first nature-based business accelerator; SOCAP matchmaker for entrepreneurs and investors; Lead developer and planner for Western NC’s 21st Century Sustainable Communities Program for NC’s Department of Commerce; Initiator and co-developer of NC’s Green Economy Resources Directory.

Penny Livingston: Founding Co-Director of Regenerative Design Institute; International permaculture teacher, designer, speaker; Co-creator of the Ecological Design Program at the San Francisco Institute of Architecture; Co-founder of West Marin’s Farmer’s Market and Community Land Trust Association.

Stan Cross: Education Director, Warren Wilson College Environmental Leadership Center; Founder and Principal, Brightfield Transportation Solutions; 2011 NC Green Business Fund award recipient; 2010 NC Coastal Federation Education Partner of the Year; 2007 NC Environmental Educator of the Year, 2005-2008 Evergreen Community Charter School Board President

Lonny Grafman: Founder and President of Appropedia Foundation; Executive Editor, International Journal for Service Learning in Engineering.

Arrun Kapoor: Managing Director, SJF Ventures’ New York City office; Ventures Advisor to the SJF Institute; Leader of the NYC CleanLinks program; Advisory Board Member of NYC ACRE: NYU-Poly and the NJ Meadowlands Commission Green Business Accelerator.

Jennifer Pickering: Director of LEAF International and LEAF in Schools & Streets.

Ian Bryan: President of New Human Inc. Founder of Sensible City, a community-oriented marketing and public relations agency specializing in enterprises which propel greatly-needed social and environmental progress; an outreach strategy consultant to Barack Obama’s Senate and Presidential Campaigns.