The Wonder Women of Asheville
Tina M. Owen, Director of Fund Development, Wine to Water
Tina Owen has always been a giver. She’s a long-time veteran of the non-profit sector, impacting communities both locally and abroad (she began her career in Africa). Today, she combines both through her work as Director of Fund Development for Wine To Water, non-profit based in WNC that’s provided clean drinking water to 600,000 people around the world.
Though her work may be international, it’s our mountains that Owen calls home, and she’s fully vested in the region: she hikes, bikes, paddles or skis nearly every weekend. It’s also here that she raises her kids, intentionally cultivating in them the art of giving back.
Owen’s life is influenced by delicate balances, and it’s to this perspective she gravitates when asked for advice: “Be intentional and recognize the seasons of life. There is a time to grow, stretch and reach; but there is also a time to dig deep and stay planted.”
Liz Button, Owner/CEO Heirloom Hospitality Group
When Liz Button decided to pursue her dream of opening a restaurant, she didn’t realize the magnitude of her decision: soon her daughter, then-husband, and future son-in-law were co-owners and operators, too. “It was a magical turn of events that I refer to as ‘the stars aligned and Cúrate was born,’” Button says.
No stranger to challenge, Button’s recently taken to conquering her fear of heights with feats like bungee jumping and sky-diving. “I believe all these feats are directly related to my not working in the restaurant,” she explains (Button now works in the Group’s administrative office, developing staff and growing the company’s community involvement). “‘Adrenalin junkie’ is a trait most restaurant managers have in common, so I’ve replaced my need for excitement with a personal challenge.”
Button gives back as Chair of the Asheville Independent Restaurant Association, uniting and bettering local restaurants through collaboration and educational sessions.
Laura Webb, Owner, CFP and Senior Advisor, Webb Investment Services
Laura Webb continues to carry on the legacy of her great-grandfather, who helped form the Great Smoky Mountain Park. Like her ancestor, she gives back to our community, supporting nonprofits like the YMCA Camp Watia and Friends of the Smokies, and conserving 600 acres in Jackson County with her family.
It is perhaps women who are most impacted by Webb’s generosity. As a key initiator of the WomanUp Women in Business initiative, she’s built a community of strong women. “It has been a great success giving professional women and female entrepreneurs a place to be inspired, find connection and be supported,” she says.
Even in her daily work, Webb helps women succeed. “Whether by choice or not, a large percentage of women end up managing their money,” she explains. “Nothing is better than watching their confidence growth when they are given the right tools, knowledge and support to be successful.”
THE LOCAL VOICE
Amy Hanks, President, Beverly-Hanks Mortgage Services
As an Asheville native, Amy Hanks loves our community—so it’s no surprise that her job is to help other people move here and fall in love, too. When asked what her favorite part of her job is, Hanks smiles and says, “Working with people who love our communities, and helping to introduce WNC to new people moving here!” As the President of Beverly-Hanks Mortgage, she helps hundreds of people finance homes locally every year.
To her children (second generation Ashevillians), she offers her guidance and mentorship, including a zeal for her career and involvement on several local non-profit boards. And to other aspiring women, her advice is simple: “Never underestimate the impact you can make just by being open to things you never saw as part of your future.”
Victoria Dunkle, Communications Director, Park Ridge Health
Victoria Dunkle is a storyteller. “From my time as a news anchor to my current role as the Communication Director at Park Ridge Health, my favorite part of my job has always been connecting with people of Western North Carolina,” she says. “Each of us has a story, a reason we are where we are in that moment. I enjoy learning those stories, building a trust and then being able to share those stories.”
A successful career, a happy family, and a dedicated involvement in her church define her, but Dunkle still takes time to give back to the community. “Our community has given so much to me and my family, it is a joy for me to give back,” she says, noting her commitment to local nonprofits like WomanUp and Safelight: Hope & Healing for Families, and sharing her faith as a Bible Study writer and teacher.