Our Board

Michael-David Carpenter

Michael-David Carpenter

Board President

Michael-David was elected President of the Board of Directors in January of 2016. It‘s MD’s vision to build Blue Ridge Pride Center in to a solid community resource center that supports the community through education and advocation, other non-profits that share BRPC’s values, and to create memorable celebrations.

MD is the owner of Michael-David Entertainment, which, in the past, produced several events for Blue Ridge Pride, including the Miss Blue Ridge Pride Pageant (through donated services).

MD has volunteered for many organizations including March of Dimes, Bares-it-All for Breast Cancer, Hope’s Chest and the United Way, to name a few.

Sister Margarita del Encanto

Sister Margarita del Encanto

Treasurer; Events & Operations Liaison

Other Roles: Fully Professed Sister, Founding Member, Irreverent Mother & President BOD at Beer City Sisters.

Biography: Born and raised in Arecibo, PR, from evangelical parents. My world always turned around good will and help for the needy. For a long time did missionary work abroad alleviating the need for the Dominican brothers. I grew up around music and theater, of which I wrote, produced and acted in many of them. I earned a bachelor’s degree in theology, but I never got to practice. I found a slightly different way that I always knew where the light, forgiveness and love are based. Today I put into practice the lessons learned and the charity I am passionate about.

When Did You Discover Your Calling?
I met the Sisters in Orlando and they talk to us about the Community and their mission. I wanted to join right away and a few months later we heard that a new house was being form in Jacksonville. Talking to the Sisters from Jacksonville I realize there’s so much I can get and give that decide to be part myself of the House.

Religious Belief: Unconditional Love
Favorite Quotes: I AM.

Herb Arnold

Herb Arnold

Board VicePresident

Herb has been an equality activist for over 25 years in Charlotte, NC followed by involvement in the Asheville, NC LGBTQ community. He started this crusade while working on the sponsorship and planning committees with the Human Rights Campaign in Charlotte, NC. This effort was further highlighted with involvement in the Mecklenburg County business community when Herb developed programs and meetings for the Charlotte Business Guild, the areas LGBTQ business association.
Upon moving to Asheville, NC, Herb worked with WNCAP and their yearly Raise Your Hand Fundraising dinner and auction, as well as participating as an Ambassador for their Dining Out for Life program.
Herb is currently the Director of Sales with Biltmore Farms Hotels. He has a BA in Psychology and Communications from Catawba College in Salisbury, NC. This will be Herb’s third year serving as Vice President on the Blue Ridge Pride Board of Directors.

Bennett Lincoff

Bennett Lincoff

Board Member; Advocacy & Education Board Liaison

I moved to Asheville with my husband, Konrad, in August 2016, after living in New York City and working as an attorney for 37 years. The bulk of my career was spent as a copyright lawyer in the music industry negotiating license agreements for online use of copyrighted music. I also played an active role in the development of public policy in that area. Prior to that, I worked at the New York Legal Aid Society. And prior to that, I spent two years working in rural California as a volunteer paralegal with the United Farm Workers Union. Cesar Chavez was an early and strong influence on me.
My husband and I chose Asheville after comparing several communities on a wide variety of factors. We came here with great expectations. So far, our experience has exceeded our wildest imaginings. By every measure important to us, the quality of our lives has improved since moving to Asheville.
One compelling factor for me about living in Asheville is the many opportunities to participate in the betterment of my adopted community.
For example, I have become certified as a Community Advisory Committee Volunteer for the NC Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program for Buncombe County. I inspect assisted living facilities, acting primarily as a residents’ rights advocate. I am on the Steering Committee planning WNCAP’s 2018 Raise Your Hand event. As a Board member at Blue Ridge Pride I have worked together with representatives of the Campaign for Southern Equality, and other rights advocacy organizations, to draft a Human Rights Ordinance to be proposed to the Asheville City Council. I have also been involved in local Democratic politics as a volunteer with my neighbors in Asheville’s Precinct 5.1.

Do You Want to Join Our Board?

For more information on our board and our selection process, download our Candidate Introduction and Application.  Email a completed application to ExecutiveDirector@BlueRidgePride.org.

  • Our Board functions as an administrative board.  It’s primary function is to provide fiduciary oversight on behalf of the community we serve and our financial supporters.  While board members typically involve themselves in select Blue Ridge Pride activities, they do so outside their board role and under the leadership of the Executive Director.
  • There are no explicit fundraising requirements of board members.  We find that such commitments limit the ability of some in our community to participate.  We assume that board members will find ways to demonstrate their commitment to the team’s mission.
  • Typically, board members are assigned to oversee and support one of our teams (e.g., advocacy, events, community service).  This does not mean that they need to fulfill any operational roles.  They are there to provide advice and policy-level oversight.
  • Members are elected to serve a three-year term.  They may serve a maximum of six consecutive years.
  • The board meets once a month for two hours (currently, the 2nd Monday of each month, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm).  Board members are expected to attend a minimum of ten meetings a year (with two absences excused by the President).
  • The time commitment can vary considerably, depending on a board member’s appetite for getting involved in specific activities.  Here are some guidelines:  Board Meetings: 2 hours per month; Board Communications / Meeting Pre-reads / 1-2 hours per month; Team Liaison: 1-2 hours per month; Volunteering: Board members are required to volunteer for the annual festival and to attend or support one event or function per quarter.