Our members

Bill O'Connell


  • Bill, an active parent and grandparent, also enjoys advising local undergrads and other young adults about career development and life planning. He enjoys cooking, politics, history, visual arts, symphonic and chamber music, hiking, paddling, healing touch, and building the capacity for compassion.


Sandra Smith


  • Sandra is a spiritual director and a trained community mediator and currently working with the Enneagram Personality System.  Pairing good food and wine, gardening and hiking add much delight to her life in Asheville where she has lived for the last 38 years.  

Mark & Debbie Ward


  • Mark is the lead minister of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Asheville.   He loves music, theater and hiking, and enjoys gardening in his spare time.  
  • Debbie is a Registered Nurse and has worked for CarePartners Hospice since 2006. She loves the art, music and theatre that flourish in the Asheville area, and is always ready to go for a walk with a friend. 

Jill Preyer


  • Proud mother of one daughter, mother in law and grandmother of two, moved to Asheville  the day after she retired from her 35 year practice of Marriage and Family Therapy. Today what matters is having a community and aging with friends. Jill is a dedicated Unitarian and community volunteer. Her dog Emma and her frog, Phinneas, will be moving with her. 

Mike and Sharon Willen


  • Mike retired from 30 years in the wholesale lumber industry and now pursues his hobbies: golf, spectator sports, reading, and socializing with friends.   
  • Sharon has a strong belief in local community building as the key to resilience. She’s an artist, nature lover, active volunteer, and life coach for “people too young to worry about aging, but mature enough to prepare." 

Linda McCrea


  • Living in Asheville by choice for nearly 20 years, Linda now enjoys co-creating a vibrant community of young-at-heart souls.  She is retired from two careers - one as an innovative educator at many levels, the other as a healing bodywork practitioner and instructor with clients and students across the country.

Jackie Simms


  • Jackie Simms taught deaf and hard of hearing individuals in her forty-four year career, with four of those years spent in program administration. She's the proud mother of a daughter, who grew up attending the Ethical Society of St. Louis, and grandmother to a granddog, who attended Doggy Head Start! She was a founder in 2001 of the Ethical Humanist Society of Asheville. In her heart she’s a dancer – ballet, ballroom!