Our Organizers

Podcast producer

I chose AVL, and stumbled onto the DN. Together, AVLDN has shaped my entire experience and community from the time I landed here in June!

Organizer, Hack Day

AVLDN has introduced me to many interesting people; I always have a blast at every event. I’m a software professional who loves to tinker, so I rounded up a few people to organize Hack Day — a space to trade ideas with one another and build something cool. So grateful to have AVLDN’s support!

Stacey Newman
Organizing small group gatherings at local coffee shops

Great people to get together with and join in on random conversations on just about anything. I’ve made some good friends and a lot of social acquaintances by just showing up and introducing myself!

Shellie Sullivan
Organizer, Corporate Partnerships

New to Asheville and new to being 100% remote executive… that was double jeopardy for me! It didn’t take long to decide I needed some in person human connection. Specifically, others who relate to the digital nomad lifestyle. I was a bit apprehensive about Meetup, but dove in and quickly found this amazing community. What I’ve found here is pure gold! This is a diverse, inclusive group of remote workers who value connection and collaboration. Far more than I bargained for. ADN provides the much appreciated social connection but, the open collaboration and welcoming support have been incredible bonuses. This group is the greatest perk of being a remote worker in Asheville!

Kerri Ryan
Marketing Minds Meetup organizer

As a transplant to Asheville who also works from home, finding professional and personal connections within the community would normally be difficult, but AVL Digital Nomads fixed that! As a marketing pro, I’m hoping to find other marketers who want to share knowledge, so join our slack group and look out for future meetup events!

Ric Pratte
Founder, Lead Organizer

Our members are some of the most interesting and enjoyable people I’ve had the pleasure to get to know. Seeing how members respond to connecting with each other is what gives me energy to help grow AVLDN.

Ben O’Connor
Organizer, AI Hack and Hops monthly meetup

As someone fairly new to AVL, Digital Nomads has been a wonderful group to meet people and engage with local professionals.

John Miller
General fan and assist in meetings

I’m a remote employee who’s fairly extroverted and loves working as a part of a team. The potential for AVLDN to serve in that capacity is great. I look to AVLDN to help build and connect individuals of the same discipline regardless of their employer. I get a lot of value in engaging with the local business owner community and also recognized AVLDN’s capability to create the next generation of business owners in the greater Asheville area.

Christy Bell
Event Organizer

As an introverted extrovert, making the switch to remote work during the pandemic proved extremely challenging for me. While I enjoy the comforts and flexibility provided by remote work, I miss the connection and the community provided by the workplace. I am so thankful to have discovered this group and have the chance to meet new people and engage with other professionals. I’ve met a ton of interesting people I likely wouldn’t have crossed paths with had I not attended.

Julio Barros
Organizer, AI Builders subgroup

AVLDN is a group of intelligent and diverse individuals who have amazing experiences and ideas to share.

AI Builders subgroup that focuses on helping professionals use (generative) AI tools in the work.

Ryan Appleton
Slack Community Administrator

AVL Digital Nomads hosts great events to allow remote workers to get out of their house and talk about anything but work!

Shane Parreco
Organizer of the AVL Tech Connect event

My goal is to help build a thriving tech ecosystem in Asheville so our uniquely deep talent pool has local options for quality jobs and a supportive environment. I am a believer in a business organizational model that closely follows the principles of W. Edwards Deming and enables people to work how they want, where they want, when they want. People are able to do their best work when they have the agency to set their own terms.

“Small group” Organizer centered around food!

Community! Whether you come to a large group event and take in the sheer size of our community and experience the cheerful energy or attend a small group gathering and witness the connections that have grown and delight for connecting with new people, it’s all about community. Building local relationships so that when we step away from our digital world, we step into a supportive, lighthearted, fun space filled with awesome people.

Organizer, Outdoor Recreation

The Digital Nomads were one of my first points of contact when I moved here to the Asheville area 4 years ago. As a solo entrepreneur, the group was a great outlet for when it was time to step away from work and meet others to socialize. Today the group not only continues to host social events but now offers events for outdoor enthusiasts, businesses discussions, leadership and more. As a host for outdoor events, I hope to get members to make connections with others and the outdoors. Its exciting to be apart of this community as they grow and explore new possibilities to bring people together.

Josh Silverstone
Adviser, Workforce Development

I support Ric, the Digital Nomads, and the Asheville area as a whole. I was a lifelong Marylander who recently relocated here with my wife and daughter. AVLDN has helped me meet good people and learn what’s happening in Western North Carolina. I’m pleased to offer my experience in order to grow this already vibrant business community.

Gary Crossey
Senior Web Developer & SEO Specialist

Being a member of AVLDN has been a pretty cool experience for me. As the developer of the website, it’s been interesting to see the traffic and usage start to pick up as our community grows. It’s satisfying to know that the effort I put into building the site is paying off. I’m excited to keep contributing and see how we can make a positive impact together. Building the site to build the online community and reach people we do not use Meetup. 

Will Samson
Organizer, Ecosystem Developer

I connected with AVLDN within the first week of moving to Asheville, and it has proven to be a fantastic source of friendship, networking, and information – everything from who is doing the coolest projects to where to board my dog. This group is a gift to me, and I look forward to helping create the future of Asheville with my digital nomad companions.

Event Organizer, Book Club

As a relatively new North Carolinian, being part of AVLDN has given me the chance to meet new friends, try new places, and get connected to my new community.

Cory Gillen
Lead Organizer

I’ve been a member of AVLDN since October 2021 and have seen so many connections being made, both business and personal. The events that are organized have also evolved to include outdoor activities, book clubs, volunteer events, AI groups, coffee and lunch meetups, and more. This allows more opportunities for folks that work at home to be able to connect with like-minded people. We encourage the attendees of the various events to fill out a name tag to wear as this eases introductions. I have often been told that AVLDN makes its members feel very welcome and included, perhaps that is one of the many reasons for our overall growth over the past 2 years.

DJ Fish
Event Organizer

I remember being invited to the 2nd AVL Digital Nomads Meetup. I had no idea what to expect. Actually, I expected a bunch of super tech gurus standing around talking about things way over my head. That wasn’t my experience. That evening I connected with several people, some of which I’d call my close friends today. Since then I’ve made more meaningful connections than I thought possible and every Meetup I continue to engage in conversations that are authentic – light on small talk, and heavy on really getting to know someone. Our goal is to create a safe space where people feel comfortable being vulnerable. It doesn’t mean they have to, but I’ve seen it and been a part of it over and over again in this group. And it is beautiful.

Danielle F
Co-working Opportunity Organizer

I hope to encourage the AVLDN community to learn about and experience the different co-working spaces we have in and around the Asheville area.

As an introvert, joining the AVLDN community was intimidating at first. However, with each event I attended, I felt welcomed and met fun and interesting people. And bonus, I usually got to check out a cool space that I hadn’t been to before!

Sarah Andrews
Lead Organizer

I was there at the very first meetup and loved it so much that I jumped in to organize right away — what an awesome journey it’s been! I love seeing all of the connections happening through this group and the ways we continue to expand. I believe we’re collectively forging a new path toward addressing the issue of isolation for remote workers.

Organizer, Community Service

Initially, AVLDN served as a great excuse to get outside and enjoy some beers. However, it has since evolved into a vast network of friends with various backgrounds and perspectives. My aim is to harness the power of this large community for positive change. I enjoy building things and working with my hands, I naturally gravitate towards volunteering with Habitat for Humanity. Within AVLDN, I strive to empower others to take the lead in their own volunteering initiatives. Regardless of the organization close to your heart, rest assured that there are like-minded individuals within our group. You bring the passion, and we’ll bring the people to make a difference together.

Brock Busby
Organizer of Classy Cocktails

As a new resident of Asheville, AVLDN was my immediate connection to like-minded and super friendly individuals. It’s one of the reasons I decided to move here versus other cities where it seemed much harder to meet a great group of people.

Holly McCann
Organizer, Leadership Collab

I have been blown away not only by the depth and breadth of talent here, but also the level of care, support and camaraderie of this group

Jess Bayne
AVLDN Community Organizer

AVLDN is a vibrant community comprised of people from all experiences and walks of life. AVLDN brings people together, nomads or otherwise, and has deeply positively impacted the Asheville community.