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
Courtney Baines, Marketing & Communications Director
Dr. Courtney Baines joined the BRAHM team after serving as Executive Director of Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture. She has taught sustainability and environmental education at Watauga High School and Appalachian State University as well as founded a school garden support program, Lettuce Learn. Courtney holds a Masters in Sustainable Development and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Appalachian State University. She's a playful, creative, science-art-yoga-and-gardening loving mama, educator, and entrepreneur. She runs her own web design business and the science & art enrichment program, Magic Science Van. While never taking herself too seriously, she's absolutely serious about helping promote and market the wonderful programs and exhibitions offered by BRAHM.
828.295.9099 ext. 3005
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.”
Sharon Caldwell, Office Manager
Sharon has made the North Carolina High Country her home for the last 34 years. She came to the Boone/Blowing Rock area to visit with friends in 1982 and a chance meeting with local business person, Bob Caldwell led to their marriage in 1983. They love this area and enjoy traveling the area and seeing the seasonal changes. Sharon is an avid gardener and reader. She grew up in coastal Connecticut and graduated from West Haven High School with a focus on business. After high school Sharon was able to travel and live in a number of locations in the US; North and South Dakota and the Blue Ridge Mountain area of Virginia, while working and sharing in volunteer activities until settling in Boone. Sharon’s work career since living in the High Country has been mainly focused on the Office Management and Accounting areas for a number of local businesses. Sharon is very happy to join BRAHM as Office Manager and looks forward to assisting her fellow workmates and the museum.
828.295.9099 ext. 3003
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
Zach Dressel, Curatorial Assistant
Zach moved to the High Country in 2013 to begin his undergraduate studies at Appalachian State University (ASU). After six years and two degrees (B.S. in Applied and Public History and M.A. in Museum Studies), he fell in love with this small cozy community, making BRAHM a perfect fit. While at ASU, Zach specialized in the study of American slavery in the Antebellum period, as well as Appalachian history, primarily in terms of economic distress. Most every week, Zach can be found participating at open mic night with his group, The Kraut Creek Boys, at Appalachian Mountain Brewery, or sitting in at the Old Time Jam at Ransoms in downtown Boone, NC. Zach’s passion for music has been ongoing, beginning with piano lessons at age five and progressing into thirteen years of playing guitar and singing. Outside of music, Zach has a passion for the outdoors as an avid fisherman and amateur hiker. He likes to spend beautiful mountain summer days searching for the best place to put a line in, whether or not the fish are biting.
(828) 295-9099 ext. 3002
Steve Eichner, Visitor Services
Steve grew up in the small towns of rural Pennsylvania. He met his wife Joyce while at Penn State. It was also there that his interest in cultural heritage really began, when he was a student working in the university library’s rare books collection. Following along his wife’s career as a senior administrator and dean at academic libraries he ranged across the country from Virginia to North Carolina -- and Connecticut, Washington and Utah. This “working tour” of the United States helped coalesce in Steve's mind the central philosophy of his life - that mountainy, tree-strewn places are "pretty cool” and museums are "really neat". Before arriving at BRAHM in 2016 Steve worked in registration, collections management, exhibit installation and visitor services. He loves driving and talking about Corvettes, and performance cars in general, and amusing his cats. He thoroughly enjoys helping the museum achieve its mission of bringing art and people together.
828.295.9099 ext. 3001
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 as well as illustrated a series of early reader books. After spending 12 years in the fields of deadline-oriented print graphic design and educational publishing, she is grateful to return to the creative classroom. Jennifer has lived in the High Country with her husband, Michael, for 21 years, enjoying the hiking and scenic beauty that brought them here from Frederick, Maryland. She volunteers at Blowing Rock School, where her two children currently attend. Being involved with the Blowing Rock Plein Air Festival has recently rekindled her love of watercolor painting en plein air.
828.295.9099 ext. 3004
Jasmin McFayden, Executive Assistant
Jasmin came to Western North Carolina in 2006 and never left. A 2010 graduate of Art History from ASU, she has recently joined the museum staff after a 7 year career at the renowned Penland School of Crafts. Jasmin is eager to apply her love of art history, her dedication to local artists, and her belief in community building and education through the arts to her role as administrative assistant and events coordinator at BRAHM. She and her husband have a deep affection for the Appalachian mountains and hope to always call them home. They are ready to hit the hiking trails with their new baby and absorb as much of the area's rich culture as they can.
828.295.9099 ext. 3011
Anna Clair Miller, Visitor Services & Volunteer Coordinator
Anna Clair Miller, a native of Boston, Massachusetts, was raised in a family of artists in a city renowned for its cultural infrastructure. Her adoration for museums and conservation began early: her self-led education entailed a daily rotation of youth programming at several of Boston’s remarkable institutions, including the MFA, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the New England Aquarium, and vocal performance with the Handel & Haydn Society. It has been over a decade since she traded New England for the Blue Ridge Mountains. After completing her final year of high school at Watauga High, she attended Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota, where she studied Anthropology. When she isn’t excitedly welcoming museum guests and pampering the Front Desk fern, Anna Clair enjoys planning fly-fishing excursions with her boyfriend, befriending native fauna, and developing her passions for agrobiodiversity and horticulture.
(828) 295-9099 ext. 3001
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 also serves as the Food Vendor and Seminar Coordinator for the High Country Beer Fest.
828.295.9099 ext. 3006