Wednesday, May 11, 2016

RiverLink's Karen Cragnolin to take on new role

RiverLink Board of Directors has announced that Executive Director, Karen Cragnolin, will be stepping down from her current position and transitioning to a new role of Strategic Property Transition Consultant. RiverLink will begin its search for a new Executive Director immediately.

“I am proud of RiverLink’s accomplishments these past 30 years,” said Cragnolin. “Recovering from recent complications of surgery has provided me the opportunity to look back on what we’ve accomplished and to realize it is time for me to step back a bit. I will be taking on a new role with RiverLink, consulting on strategic property transitions, and I look forward to our future accomplishments.”

Cragnolin started RiverLink in 1986 after moving to Asheville from Dubai in the United Ara Emirates where she headed the American Business Council, the first locally licensed chamber of commerce in the Middle East. Having grown up in Boston and watching the redevelopment of Boston’s waterfront, she had a vision for the redevelopment of the French Broad River. Now 30 years later, the economic and environmental revitalization of the French Broad River and its tributaries has locals and visitors flocking to the greenways, parks and businesses. To learn more about RiverLink’s accomplishments, visit

“Karen had a vision and brought it to fruition,” said Esther Cartwright, Chair, RiverLink Board of Directors. “We are fortunate that after 30 years at the helm, she will be staying on with us in this new role where her expertise will continue to benefit Western North Carolina.”

To make a donation in honor of Karen’s legacy, please visit and click on “Donate.” Your tax deductible donation will help empower RiverLink to provide environmental education to 5,000 K-12 students each year, provide 6 free live concerts in the River Arts District, implement water quality projects, including stream restorations, stormwater BMPs (Best Management Practices), and low impact development, provide assistance to homeowners in understanding rainwater management, and continue protecting land forever as an urban land trust and conservation accredited agency.

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