Our Organizers

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.

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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.

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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. 

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Julio Barros
Organizer – A.I. Meetups

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

The A.I. meetups help professionals understand how to better use generative A.I. tools in their work.

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Stacey Newman
Organizer

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!

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Holly McCann
Organizer – Leadership Meetup

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

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Ben O’Connor
Organizer – A.I. Meetups

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

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Brian Jones
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. Within AVLDN, I strive to empower others to take the lead in their own volunteering initiatives. 

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Gary Crossey
Organizer – Book Club

Being a member of AVLDN has been a pretty cool experience for me. As the meetup organizer for the book club, I enjoy connecting with local book lovers and sharing an appreciation for the written word. 

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Ryan Appleton
Slack Workspace Admin

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

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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. I was a bit apprehensive about Meetup, but dove in and quickly found this amazing community.  This is a diverse, inclusive group of remote workers who value connection and collaboration. AVL DN is the greatest perk of being a remote worker in Asheville!

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Angela Smith
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.

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Jess Bayne
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.

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John Miller
Organizer

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 Asheville area.

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LP
UDN Podcast Host

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

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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.

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Deonna Hodges
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!

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Kerri Ryan
Organizer – Marketing Minds

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!

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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.

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Brock Busby
Organizer – Classy Cocktails Meetup

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.

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Christy Bell
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. 

Shane Parreco
Organizer – AVL Tech Connect

My goal is to help build a thriving tech ecosystem in Asheville so our uniquely deep talent pool has options for quality local jobs and a thriving community. The AVL Digital Nomads help make this possible with the AVL Tech Connect monthly event/meetup. 

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