Meet The Search Committee

Erin Connors (Staff Liaison)
Erin Connors is the Academic Dean and a member of the Humanities Department at Asheville School. Originally from Minnesota, Erin moved to Asheville with math teacher Varghese Alexander immediately after their wedding in 2007. She has taught history and German, as well as English both in the States and abroad. She earned a B.A. from Amherst College and a Master's degree in Social Science from Syracuse University. A former exercise junkie, Erin now has two children and is quite pleased if she can practice yoga or enjoy a (slow) jog two or three times a week, and she occasionally writes on social justice issues for various small publications.

Walter G Cox, Jr. ’72, P '06 (Vice Chair)
In addition to being a graduate of Asheville School, Walter has served two terms as a trustee for the School, from 1994-2000 and 2012 to present. His son, Brian, attended the School from the fall of 2002 until graduating in 2006, entering the School with its then new Head of School, Arch Montgomery. After graduating with a BA in Economics from DePauw University, Walter spent 40 years in global manufacturing businesses, including stints posted abroad as an expatriate; he has extensive experience in Europe and Asia, culminating his career as CEO of Xaloy Incorporated. Walter has served the School as Treasurer and as a member of the Operations, Strategic Review, Audit and Risk, and Nominations and Governance committees, and he is currently the incoming Chair Elect. He and his wife, Carol, reside in Asheville.

Philip R. Clarke III ’66, P '06, '09
After graduating from Asheville School in 1966, Phil went on to earn his BA in Economics in 1970 from The University of Chicago and his MBA in 1975 from The University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. He received his CPA from the University of Illinois in 1976. Phil has had a long career in the investment banking industry and is a Managing Director of The Chicago Corporation. He is the son of Philip Clarke Jr. ’33 and the grandson of Philip Clarke, long time Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Asheville School. Phil served on the School’s Board of Trustees for 18 years in numerous capacities, including Chair of the Advancement Committee, member of the Head of School Search Committee in 2002 and various Capital Campaign committees. Chairman of the Board of Trustees from 2005 through 2009, Phil had the honor of presenting Asheville School diplomas to his daughters, Valerie ’06 and Lissa ’09. He was awarded the Heedy award for Distinguished Alumni Service in 2016. Phil lives with his wife, Diane, in the Chicago suburbs.

Ann Windon Craver, ‘P '11
Ann is currently the Vice Chair of the Asheville School Board of Trustees as well as Chair of the School Life and Program Committee. She and her husband served as Co-Chairs of the Parents’ Association from 2009-2011. Ann attended Wake Forest University, earning BA and JD degrees from the institution. Upon graduation, Ann clerked for four terms on the North Carolina Supreme Court and thereafter practiced law for several years in the area of civil litigation. A resident of Durham, North Carolina, Ann has extensive leadership experience with not-for-profit organizations in the Triangle area. She was a founding member of the Durham Library Foundation, President of the Junior League of Durham and Orange Counties, and Chair of the Friends Board of the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University. She has also served on the Board of Directors of the Association of Junior Leagues, International, is currently Finance Chair of the Vestry at her parish, and is on the Constitution and Canons Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina. Ann has led workshops on board governance and volunteer management. She has previously served on search committees in a variety of sectors - not-for-profit, governmental and ecclesiastical.

Robert Gamble '71
Robert Gamble, an Asheville native, is a 1971 graduate of Asheville School. He is a graduate of Duke University and received a Master’s Degree from the University of California in Public Policy. He is a Managing Director of Public Financial Management in San Francisco. His business focuses on the development of public-private partnerships and alternative financing techniques for the public sector. He works with numerous public jurisdictions and non-profits in California and the West Coast. He previously served as Executive Director of the Goldman Fund and the Goldman Prize, Deputy Director of the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency, and Budget Director of the City and County of San Francisco under two mayors. He has served as Treasurer of SPUR, San Francisco’s leading non-partisan advocacy and public policy organization, and currently serves as Treasurer of the California City Manager’s Foundation. He has served the Board of the Asheville School as Treasurer for the past seven years and has been a board member of the School for the last ten years.

Gregory K. Morris ‘72
Greg Morris is committed to supporting the Arts, Education and Health Care communities. He has invested, in total, more than eighty years of service on not-for-profit boards. In his fifteenth year as a member of Asheville School’s Board of Trustees, Greg established and serves as chairman of the Strategic Review Committee and, previously, the Audit Committee. In his not-for-profit efforts, Greg applies skills honed advising global executives on achieving strategic goals, building organizational agility, and leading change and transformation. He learned his trade taking part in a unique body of experiences that includes practicing clinical medicine; executive roles in hospitals and health systems like Cigna, Met Life, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield; health care consulting as a senior partner in E&Y; and, most recently, advising senior corporate executives — across business sectors — on improving execution and leading change. At the rank of major, Greg served as Commander of the 138th Medical Company during Desert Storm and Desert Shield, for which he was awarded the Bronze Star. Greg earned a B.S. degree from Morehouse College and an M.D. degree from Emory University School of Medicine. He was Chief Resident and Resident in Internal Medicine in the Emory University Affiliated Hospitals. He and his wife, Debra, are proud of their two adult children and three grandchildren.

Helen Plaehn
An Atlanta native, Helen graduated from Davidson College and earned her M.A. in English from Middlebury College at the Bread Loaf School of English. Helen has taught at Athens Academy in Athens, GA and the Lovett School in Atlanta, where she served as English Department Chair and Interim Academic Dean and played a central role in developing the interdisciplinary American Studies program and co-chaired the American Studies Institute. Helen joined the Asheville School faculty in 2006. At Asheville School, she has taught Ancient and American Studies, serves as team leader for American Studies, and leads the Writing Committee. Helen lives on campus with her husband, Tim, a fellow American Studies teacher and coach. They are raising their four children, ages 13-7, on Faculty Drive.

Larry Pless '71, P '09 '13
Larry, class of '71 at Asheville School, is a lawyer specializing in mergers and acquisitions with the Atlanta law firm of Pless & Sauro, PC . He has served on the School's Board of Trustees since 2002, including as Nominations and Governance Committee Chair, Vice Chair of the Board, and as Board Chair since 2014. He is married to Dana Halberg and they have three children: Anna, a high school college counselor in Brooklyn; David '09, a software salesman and shot put competitor in Portland, OR; and Deane '13, a Trinity College senior. Larry is a graduate of Duke University '75 and the University of North Carolina School of Law '80, where he was a member of Law Review . He has served on the Board of Visitors of the University of North Carolina 2001-05, as a Trustee of Atlanta Girls' School 2011-14, and on committees of both the State Bar of Georgia and Atlanta Bar Association.

Oliver G. Prince, Jr. '71, P '00 (Chair)
We are pleased to announce that former Chairman of the Board of Trustees “Gil” Prince has returned to serve on the Board and he has agreed to chair the Search Committee. As a student at Asheville School, Gil made his mark in many areas of school life. He was a three-sport athlete who was captain, Valier Award winner and received All Western North Carolina recognition as a football player. He was active in theater, choir, and publications, and he was student body president and Valedictorian. Gil’s Board service at Asheville School began in 1994. Since then he has served the school in many leadership roles, including leading two strategic planning cycles and serving as Board Chair from 2009 to 2014. In 2014, Gil was honored for his contributions with the School’s Heedy Award. Gil graduated Morehouse College and John Marshall Law School. He also earned an MBA from the J. Mack Robinson School of Business at Georgia State University. He has a long and diverse corporate resume that includes senior roles in Operations, Business Transformation Consulting, and Human Resources. Most recently he served as Chief Human Resources Officer at Celtic Life insurance and at CCC Information Services. Today he is the principal in the Prince Group, a global Executive Coaching, Leadership Development, Strategic Planning, and Board Governance practice serving for profit and not-for-profit organizations. Gil and his wife Mary live in Chicago. He is the proud father of Sara and Geoff ’00 and grandfather of Ethan, Avery and Raelyn.

Mary Robinson Hervig '02
Mary graduated from Asheville School in 2002, but she neglected to leave. She worked in our development office for several summers before receiving her B.A. from Harvard in 2006 and her J.D. from U. Va. in 2011. She has contributed to the Cody Fund for 15 consecutive years. Since returning to Asheville as an estate planning attorney with Roberts & Stevens, P.A., she has served as President of the Alumni Association and ex officio member of the Board of Trustees from 2012 to 2016 and as a full Trustee since 2016.

Tommy Shores '85, P'20
Tommy Shores attended Asheville School from 1981-1985, serving as class president. After graduation, Tommy attended Vanderbilt University, graduating in 1989 with a BS degree in Mathematics and Classic Studies. In 1992, Tommy received his JD from Washington University in St. Louis. Following law school graduation, Tommy went to work in the family business, Classic Leather, Inc. in 1992, serving in various capacities and being selected as CEO in 2005, a position he continues to hold. Tommy married Rachael LeClair in 1994 after meeting her in Law School. Rachael and Tommy have three children, ages 17, 15 and 12 and live in Hickory, NC, where they both work and volunteer in the community. Their oldest daughter will attend and swim for Emory University starting in the fall of 2017. Their middle daughter is currently a sophomore at Asheville School and their youngest, a son, is in sixth grade. Tommy volunteer coaches soccer at the local YMCA as well as serves on the YMCA CEO search committee. He has served as the Treasurer for The Episcopal Church of the Ascension in Hickory from 2008 to 2017.

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