Business Buzz: 8/24/21

August 24, 2021

Retirement and Opportunity:

  • After nine and a half years leading the Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC), Jeffery Heck, MD, has announced plans to retire as CEO of the Asheville-based academic health center and safety net provider. MAHEC is the largest nonprofit in Western North Carolina (WNC) and one of nine area health education centers dedicated to improving health across the state. MAHEC’s clinical practices support approximately 200,000 patient visits per year. As MAHEC’s president and CEO since 2012, Heck led the organization through a threefold expansion, increasing the nonprofit’s annual operating budget from $30 to $100 million and the number of employees from 300 to more than 900. MAHEC’s board of directors remains committed to the organization’s mission and is actively searching for a chief executive who can guide the organization’s strategic growth, identify opportunities in the midst of challenges, and lead healthcare transformation at all levels. Read the full press release here.


  • Following the devastating flooding in our region last week, now through Sunday, August 29, the Asheville Outlets is hosting an Essentials Drive in partnership with Pole Creek Baptist Church.  Supplies will be distributed by the Church. Items needed inlcude non-perishable food items, bottled water and hygiene products.Donation Bins are located in the food court at Customer Service at Asheville Outlets.


  • Lindsay Coward, founder of Yoga Nut, will be leading a special outdoor yoga class at Atelier Maison & Co. on Thursday, August 26 at 4:30 p.m. At this “Yoga for a Cause” class, 20% of proceeds will be donated to Catholic Charities DOC, helping meet the needs of individuals and families in Western North Carolina. Learn more and register here.
  • As Mars Hill University prepares to open classes on August 30, the university is continuing to take steps to keep students, employees, and visitors healthy and safe. The university is urging students, staff, and faculty to get vaccinated against COVID-19, with a goal of having at least 75 percent of all students and employees vaccinated by the beginning of the semester. Mars Hill University is continuing its policy that all campus faculty, staff, students, and guests, regardless of vaccination status, must wear a face covering when indoors and around others.As students arrive to check-in to their residence halls, they must present confirmation of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test. The university will provide tests for those who cannot confirm a negative test result. Mars Hill has scheduled three on-campus vaccination clinics for those who have not been able to start or complete the vaccination process while away from campus. The first of those was held August 16, with the others scheduled for August 25 and 30. Classes for the fall semester will be held in-person, but the university is continuing to use a schedule which divides the semester into two blocks. Learn more here.


  • AdventHealth Hendersonville has announced Maureen Dzialo, MS, RN, NE-BC to be its new VP of Clinical Services and Chief Nursing Officer. Dzialo has been a nursing leader for more than 20 years. She will be joining the AdventHealth Hendersonville leadership team on September 26. Dzialo received her Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ., and her Master of Science – Nursing Leadership in Healthcare Systems from Regis University, Denver, CO. She brings a strong blend of clinical and nursing education experience to her role as CNO. Most recently, Dzialo served as VP of Patient Care Services and CNO at Castle Rock Adventist Hospital. Learn more here.
  • AdventHealth Hendersonville has named Kristy Ellison, MSN, BSN, as its new Director of Behavioral Health. Ellison earned her associate degree in nursing from Blue Ridge Community College in Hendersonville. She went on to complete her bachelor’s degree in nursing and her master’s in nursing leadership and management from Western Governors University in Salt Lake City, Utah. Kristy established her exceptional skills as a leader in the Behavioral Health unit during her time as an Admissions Intake Coordinator and Case Manager. Most recently, she has served as the Quality Assurance Supervisor for AdventHealth’s Behavioral Health Unit. Learn more here
  • Jonathan Allred has joined First Citizens Bank as assistant vice president and financial sales manager at the West Asheville branch at 1375 Patton Avenue. With over 10 years of experience in the financial services industry, most recently Allred was an office leader with Pinnacle Financial Partners. Allred graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Appalachian State University and is currently pursuing his master’s degree in finance from Bellevue University.


  • Mother Earth Food is helping the community step into this back-to-school season with convenience, safety, and strengthened immune systems. By sourcing local produce and products from many local farmers and vendors, Mother Earth Food is able to provide customers with a wide variety of nutrient dense foods to keep lunch boxes full and kids (and parents) smiling and healthy. Mother Earth Food crop plans, sources, vets, aggregates, picks and packs individual orders, and delivers local food to customers’ front doors, making it easy to pack a nutrient-dense lunch for the kids! Additionally, Mother Earth Food just reinstated its Saturday Discount Boxes for easy pickup at Mother Earth Food’s warehouse, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., at 29 Hawk Hill Road in West Asheville. Boxes are $25 and are first-come, first-serve with limited quantity. The boxes are filled with surplus from the week — about 9-11 portions of organic fruits and veggies. Learn more about Mother Earth Food here.