Lee Carol Giduz, Executive Director
Lee Carol serves as the Executive Director of the museum. She is a native of Kentucky and was raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. She was lured to the great state of North Carolina first to attend camp and later to attend Davidson College where she graduated with honors with a BA in Public Policy. She and her husband, Bob, live in Lenoir where they raised their 3 children.
Lee Carol has over a 25 year history of working with non-profits in a leadership capacity with over 23 years in art non-profits. Among her previous roles, she served as the Executive Director of the Caldwell Arts Council (1994-2015) and on the Board of Directors of the North Carolina Arts Council (2002-2011). Lee Carol is excited to be working with the staff and Board of Trustees of BRAHM at this exciting time in the museum's development.
828.295.9099 ext. 3008
Tom Kip, Interim Business Manager
Tom and his wife Jann made the move to the cool North Carolina mountains from Columbia, SC in 2000 while he was working as a Project Manager/Consultant in the software and services industry for some 23 years. Shortly after that, Tom started a people development business promoting programs in customer service, management and supervision training, team building, small business development and computer skills. Other experience includes being operations manager for a printing company and to serving the Watauga County community for over 10 years as Finance Officer for Watauga County Schools at Watauga High School. Tom joined BRAHM as Business Manager in April 2017. He earned a BA in Economics from St. Andrews University and enjoys hiking in these beautiful mountains as well as aviation, including radio controlled flight. Tom and Jann reside in Blowing Rock and have 4 children between them as well as nine grandchildren and one great-grandchild. “I’m excited to be a part of BRAHM, a wonderful cultural offering for Blowing Rock and look forward to furthering BRAHM’s impact on the community.”
828.295.9099 ext. 3003
Mark Brackbill, Facilities Manager
Mark and his wife, Linda Hanawalt, purchased a farm in Banner Elk several years ago while living and working in Florida. In 2015, they decided to make the High Country their year-round home. Since 1999, Mark has been a small business owner. He has owned a painting and renovation company and has managed several rental properties. In Florida, Mark and Linda owned retail and foodservice businesses. BRAHM’s Business Manager, David Harwood, said, “We feel very fortunate that Mark is taking over the care of the Museum’s facilities. Through his own business experience, he understands the needs of a building like this and his expertise is exactly what we were seeking. I know he’ll make significant contributions to the organization.”
Dianna Cameron, Curator of Exhibitions & Collections Director
Dianna has served as the Curator at the Museum since July 2014. She graduated from Appalachian State University with degrees in Arts Management and Studio Art. Previously, Dianna curated for the Looking Glass Gallery on campus and held positions at both the Smith Gallery and Turchin Center for the Visual Arts. She lived in New York while completing a curatorial internship at the Museum of Modern Art in New York after graduation, and returned to the mountains of North Carolina after finding a love for small cultural organizations. Her roles include curating and developing exhibitions, managing changeovers in the galleries, leading tours and talks, and assisting with the long-term development of the Museum’s exhibitions and collections departments overall. Outside of the Museum, but never really far away, she finds herself exploring the Blue Ridge Parkway, enjoying a craft beer in town, experiencing culture in nearby cities, or spending the evening at home with her artistic husband, fluffy gray cat, and two little dogs. Her dedication to the Museum stems from a belief in always giving back to something much greater than herself.
828.295.9099 ext. 3007
Amanda Melanson, Marketing & Communications Director and Museum Registrar
Amanda is a native of Melbourne, FL, and moved to Banner Elk, NC in 2016. She obtained a B.A. with a concentration in studio art and art history, starting at the University of Central Florida and finishing at Florida International University. Currently, she is working towards an M.A. in Art Education at the University of Florida. Amanda has worked in visitor services, as the volunteer coordinator, and collections assistant since joining BRAHM. Teaching the public about art and having a creative hub for the community is what she strives for. In her spare time, Amanda enjoys watching old films with her high school sweetheart, lounging around the house with her two rescue cats and tortoise, and working on various art projects.
828.295.9099 ext. 3011
Jennifer Garonzik, Education Center Director
After graduating from Thomas Johnson High School Magnet Program for the Visual and Performing Arts, Jennifer earned her BFA in Fine Arts from UNCG with additional coursework in Education. She has taught art in both private and public settings. After spending 12 years in the fields of deadline oriented print graphic design and educational publishing, she is eager to return to the creative classroom. Jennifer has lived in the High Country with her husband, Michael, for 17 years, enjoying the hiking and scenic beauty that brought them here from Frederick, Maryland. She volunteers at Blowing Rock School, where her son currently attends and her daughter will begin kindergarten this fall.
828.295.9099 ext. 3004
Ashley Warren, Administrative Assistant
Originally from just outside of New Orleans, Ashley moved to North Carolina in 2005. She attended UNC-Chapel Hill and graduated with a BFA with a concentration in Art History. While at UNC, she focused on film photography and working in the analog darkroom. In August 2012, she became the store manager at the Music & Arts located in Cary, NC, which is one of the chain's highest volume stores. Steeped in the music, art, and cultural diversity that southeast Louisiana offers, she loves jazz and blues, always wants to know the best restaurants in town and tries to remember that working hard should always be followed up by playing hard. She is also a freelance photographer and musician, frequently traveling across the state for work, new experiences, and to explore. Through her love for art as well as her talent for business and management, Ashley hopes to be a valuable addition to BRAHM and is excited to be a part of the museum's current period of growth and transition.
828.295.9099 ext. 3005
Willard Watson III, Program & Outreach Director
Originally from Fayetteville, North Carolina, Willard moved to Boone in 2008, but his roots run deep in Watauga County. He has a Masters in Appalachian Studies with a concentration on Sustainability and a Bachelors of Science in Sustainable Development both from Appalachian State University. Since 2010 Willard has been an active member of the High Country community through volunteerism and event planning. He has worn many hats in the area such as co-chair of the Doc & Rosa Lee Watson MusicFest ‘n Sugar Grove, community outreach specialist for Sustain Appalachian, and events manager for Center 45 Climbing & Fitness. His great-grandfather and namesake, Willard Watson I, was a well-known toy carver, moonshiner, and dancer.
His academic and volunteer passions intersect on the topic of cultural preservation and community development through the creative arts. He enjoys performing music with his band Mexican Hot Chocolate, cooking, and rock climbing. He also serves as the Food Vendor and Seminar Coordinator for the High Country Beer Fest.
828.295.9099 ext. 3006