Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Spotlight on Kaitlyn Srey, CAYLA Intern

The City of Asheville Youth Leadership Academy Celebrates It’s 10th Year

My name is Kaitlyn Srey, and I am an Intern with the City of Asheville Youth Leadership Academy working with the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce this Summer. I’m a rising senior at Clyde A. Erwin High School. My goal is to graduate college and walk through any doors that open into the hospitality industry. When I was told I would be working at the Chamber of Commerce, I didn’t know what to expect. So, I prepared myself for the mountain high stacks of paperwork. My first week at the Chamber, I worked with the membership department. During this week, membership had an event called WomanUp. My week consisted of researching, preparation, networking and, some paperwork. While working with finance in the second week of the internship, I did get a few papercuts. Finance is what keeps this place spinning. At the halfway mark, I’m with the economic department. While working with this department I’ve done a ton of research and have been to a few meetings on new plans and relocations. I will be working with the visitors bureau later this summer and get another new learning experience.  

The Chamber's mission statement is, “Building Community Through Business.” Building community through business is something Asheville brings to the table unlike any other city. With our rapid population growth of millennials in our area, businesses should consider relocating or expanding to Asheville. Something I learned with economic development is that there are so many factors that are taken into consideration when they are relocating or expanding their company. Working with economic development has been the most educational so far. The combination between big businesses and local businesses that employ a great number of the Asheville metro is what makes our community. Heidi, the one behind all of the research, really fascinated me when I discovered that every one hundred people employed creates two hundred and twenty two more jobs. Clark described this as a ripple effect. The Chamber works hard to keep the workforce balanced between industries, because if we didn’t, it could have a toll on our society.

While working at the Chamber, it has made me realize what a great city Asheville is. My vision is to own a hotel and place it right here in Asheville. This internship has taught me to make eye contact, dress appropriately, stay engaged to conversations, and that work isn’t always gonna be fun. Now that I’ve got a taste of working at the Chamber, I’m happy to say I wouldn’t want to have worked anywhere else.   

The City of Asheville Youth Leadership Academy (CAYLA) is committed to providing its students with a) a meaningful summer work experience, b) leadership development through seminars and community service, and c) college preparatory activities, including yearlong academic support. Since its inception in 2007, CAYLA has been nationally-recognized by the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. In 2011, CAYLA was honored with the North Carolina Governor's Award for Volunteer Service.

T.H.E Center for Disordered Eating appoints new executive director

Simone Seitz has been named the next Executive Director of T.H.E. Center for Disordered Eating by the association's Governing Board. Seitz will officially assume this new role on May 24, 2017. In partnership with the board of directors, Simone will lead T.H.E. Center for Disordered Eating in fulfilling its mission, vision, and strategic plan.
Seitz served on the organization's young task force and developing board from 2005-'08. Having returned to sit on the board of directors in 2015, she brought invaluable experience and vitality to T.H.E. Center. "We are thrilled to welcome Simone as our new Executive Director.  She's already contributed so much to our organization.  Her energy and commitment to our mission is going to make our goal of helping those with eating disorders even more attainable," said Marybeth Burns, board president for T.H.E Center for Disordered Eating and recovery advocate.  
With significant experience in for-profit and non-profit management, Seitz will advance the association’s current strategic plan and guide the organization's future contributions.  "This is an opportunity and responsibility that I am honored to accept. I look forward to strategically building upon thirteen years of serving individuals with disordered eating and body image issues and developing meaningful relationships with our members, partners, and supporters," says Seitz.

Habitat offers home repair services for low income homeowners

Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity (AAHH) has completed nearly 200 Home Repair projects since 2010.  The program enables low-income homeowners to age in place by offering low-cost home improvements that improve accessibility, safety, and comfort and/or remediate issues that negatively affect health and well-being (water damage, inadequate heat). The majority of Habitat’s Home Repair clients are elderly, but the program does not have an age-restriction.

Services include, but are not limited to:

  • Modifications for accessibility such as building handicapped accessible ramps, installing grab bars and replacing traditional tubs with shower stalls
  • Repairing or replacing siding, stairs, porches, decks, railings, roofs, and flooring
  • Exterior painting/staining
  • Upgrading plumbing, electrical and heating/cooling systems

By offering low monthly payments and 0% interest financing, Habitat makes home improvement affordable for low-income homeowners who need repair work but struggle to afford it.

“Thank you for getting together the people and the resources to get my floor fixed. The workers did a fantastic job. It means a lot to be able to remain in my home and stay safe as well. Your work and effort are greatly appreciated.” ~ Peggy

Habitat helps people like Peggy live longer and better in their own homes by improving accessibility, increasing safety and comfort, and remediating issues that negatively affect health. To learn more about the criteria for qualifying and how to apply, please visit or call (828)210-9370.  Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity is an Equal Opportunity Housing provider.