OUR PEOPLE

Meet the TABS Staff, Contributors and our Board of Trustees. We’re all here for the same purpose—you, our valued members. 

Getting to Know You

MEET OUR TEAM

Before coming to TABS, Robin was the HR Manager for a Wendy’s franchise with 20 stores in North and South Carolina. She loves to play tennis, go for long walks, and work in the garden. Roses and peonies are her favorites. She went to the University of North Carolina and is an enthusiastic Tarheel! 

“I’m a garden nerd.”

Robin Bost

Administrative Specialist, 2019

Emily spent 15 years in independent schools and universities, and brings that love of connection to TABS. She grew up in Atlanta and moved up and down the east coast before embracing the boarding school life with her family just outside Asheville. She met her husband reading poetry at the Bread Loaf School of English, and they both treasure a national park vacation.

“I love pop culture, Dolly Parton, and wondering what wild things my tiny children will say next.”

Emily Breite

VP Learning Strategy & Professional Ed, 2020
Before TABS, Lissa worked in early childhood development and education for the Rainforest Alliance, and also owned a coffee shop — Lost Dog Coffee in Shepherdstown, WV. Her younger son, of two, still works there! She went to Stoneleigh Burnham and Moses Brown and went on to the U of Colorado (mostly to ski), Wheelock College, and graduated from Shepherd University. She’s been to Burning Man and used to work summers in her Dad’s plastic factory in Rhode Island.
 
“I love my outdoor mountain life hiking, gardening, and tending my chickens! My friends call me a pioneer woman”

Lissa Brown

Bookkeeper & Administrative Specialist, 2018

Veronica, CPA, has 15 years with companies like PricewaterhouseCoopers and Newell Rubbermaid, and now runs a private firm. Her calling might have been stand-up comedy though, evidenced in her snappy quips and ebullient spontaneity during TABS Conference sponsor give-aways. Veronica serves on the board of The SPARC Foundation, keeping people out of institutional care by providing empowering resources and education.

“You might or might not find me watching Housewives on any given night.”

Veronica Edwards

Controller, 2018

Brett was born and raised in Fargo, ND. Before coming to TABS, he served as CFO at three independent schools and the Denver public school district. He and his wife of 15 years have three kids. The family had two covid bingo projects — first, to get a mini-golden doodle puppy named Piper and secondly, to learn to snowboard this winter. Mission accomplished!

“I played Division I soccer at Drake in Des Moines and was there at the same time as two-time major golf champion (Masters and Open), Zach Johnson.”

Brett Fuhrman

VP Finance & Operations, 2020

Daniel came to TABS after 6 years with longtime sponsor, Vericant. He grew up a prime people-watcher in his parents’ restaurant and when not talking with sponsors, you might find him fly fishing, felling trees, or renovating his house. He shares his fervor for adventure with his wife Anne-marie and their son, with whom he shares a birthday. This year they had a “bluebird” day skiing at Snowshoe Resort.

“My dad gave me his prized classic car on my 30th. It’s like a time machine. My own DeLorean.”

Daniel Gentle

Director Member Relations & Association Advancement, 2017

Annie grew up in midwestern Quad-Cities and is proud to be an Iowa State Cyclone. She found TABS after 12 years of account work with ad agencies, and a career in apparel marketing with Wrangler, Playtex and Hanes Sportswear. Annie and her wife of 32 years recently caught the tennis bug and she now serves on the board of the Asheville Tennis Association, aiming to bring the sport to the underserved communities in the area.

“I despise goat cheese and never met a chip I didn’t like — especially if that chip is chased by an ice cold Hazy IPA.”

Annie Lundahl

VP Brand Communications, 2008

Sheila and husband, Andy, recently planted roots – and bottle brush trees – in Austin TX. Growing up with a Lithuanian grandmother who was an accomplished pastry chef, Sheila would be a chef herself if she hadn’t fallen for the world of marketing. A former business owner, she knows her way around the digital space.

“I don’t eat sweets myself, but our four kids, nieces, and nephews have come to expect care packages of my homemade cookies!”

Sheila Mitchell

VP Market Growth, 2017

Amy is a graduate of Asheville School and an Asheville native. A rarity! After college at UNC and 7 years in Washington DC, she returned, bought a house and married her realtor’s brother (a fellow local), and they now share 2 kids, 2 dogs and 2 cats. An avid waterskier and field hockey player growing up, Amy now golfs regularly. She LOVES a good jigsaw puzzle and dreams of writing a book — probably a children’s book.

“I was once paid to watch unreleased movies and primetime TV, to write posts for an online marketing company. Best job ever. Except for TABS, of course!”

Amy Rowe

Senior Director Information Systems, 2009

Michael is based in Kathmandu with his partner, Richard, and their SIX dogs! One son attended boarding school and now studies aviation; their youngest is in his first year at a TABS junior boarding school. Michael came to TABS after being a REAC with EducationUSA. His passport boasts 70+ countries. 

“My real claim to fame? I once won a cake decorating contest at an Illinois County Fair!”

Michael Shaver

Director International Programs, 2017

Pete spent thirteen years in boarding school administration, and then founded CWJ Consulting, assisting schools and non-profits in strategy, advancement, and planning. He studied at Hotchkiss, UNC, and UPenn, where he is still idling toward his doctorate. He’s a published poet and has recently become fascinated with AI. He loves sweets, particularly chocolate caramels and maple candy, a weakness he tries to compensate for by Peloton rides and walks with his family.


“At the start of my career, I interned with the Omaha Police Department as well as Apple Computer. How’s that for contrasts!?”

Pete Upham

Executive Director, 2007

Before coming to TABS, Liz managed mortgage banking investors, owned an early tech-based research firm, and served as Director of Professional Education for a surgery association. She is happily married with two grown daughters and two fur babies, and is a proud Virgina Tech Alumnus. Liz has ridden bulls (only of friendly nature), attended a Windsor polo match where she sat next to the royal family, and transcribed conversations for an FBI sting operation. 

“One day I’d love to grow lavender and run a B&B!”

Elizabeth Verhalen

Director Finance & Operations, 2008

Getting to Know You

MEET OUR TEAM

Before coming to TABS, Robin was the HR Manager for a Wendy’s franchise with 20 stores in North and South Carolina. She loves to play tennis, go for long walks, and work in the garden. Roses and peonies are her favorites. She went to the University of North Carolina and is an enthusiastic Tarheel! 

“I’m a garden nerd.”

Robin Bost

Administrative Specialist, 2019

Emily spent 15 years in independent schools and universities, and brings that love of connection to TABS. She grew up in Atlanta and moved up and down the east coast before embracing the boarding school life with her family just outside Asheville. She met her husband reading poetry at the Bread Loaf School of English, and they both treasure a national park vacation.

“I lead jubilant sing-alongs in the car with my two children and will happily discuss celebrity gossip any chance I get.”

Emily Breite

VP Learning Strategy & Professional Ed, 2020
Before TABS, Lissa worked in early childhood development and education for the Rainforest Alliance, and also owned a coffee shop — Lost Dog Coffee in Shepherdstown, WV. Her younger son, of two, still works there! She went to Stoneleigh Burnham and Moses Brown and went on to the U of Colorado (mostly to ski), Wheelock College, and graduated from Shepherd University. She’s been to Burning Man and used to work summers in her Dad’s plastic factory in Rhode Island.
 
“I love my outdoor mountain life hiking, gardening, and tending my chickens! My friends call me a pioneer woman”

Lissa Brown

Bookkeeper & Administrative Specialist, 2018

Veronica, CPA, has 15 years with companies like PricewaterhouseCoopers and Newell Rubbermaid, and now runs a private firm. Her calling might have been stand-up comedy though, evidenced in her snappy quips and ebullient spontaneity during TABS Conference sponsor give-aways. Veronica serves on the board of The SPARC Foundation, keeping people out of institutional care by providing empowering resources and education.

“You might or might not find me watching Housewives on any given night.”

Veronica Edwards

Controller, 2018

Brett was born and raised in Fargo, ND. Before coming to TABS, he served as CFO at three independent schools and the Denver public school district. He and his wife of 15 years have three kids. The family had two covid bingo projects — first, to get a mini-golden doodle puppy named Piper and secondly, to learn to snowboard this winter. Mission accomplished!

“I played Division I soccer at Drake in Des Moines and was there at the same time as two-time major golf champion (Masters and Open), Zach Johnson.”

Brett Fuhrman

VP Finance & Operations, 2020

Daniel came to TABS after 6 years with longtime sponsor, Vericant. He grew up a prime people-watcher in his parents’ restaurant and when not talking with sponsors, you might find him fly fishing, felling trees, or renovating his house. He shares his fervor for adventure with his wife Anne-marie and their son, with whom he shares a birthday. This year they had a “bluebird” day skiing at Snowshoe Resort.

“My dad gave me his prized classic car on my 30th. It’s like a time machine. My own DeLorean.”

Daniel Gentle

Director Member Relations & Association Advancement, 2017

Annie grew up in midwestern Quad-Cities and is proud to be an Iowa State Cyclone. She found TABS after 12 years of account work with ad agencies, and a career in apparel marketing with Wrangler, Playtex and Hanes Sportswear. Annie and her wife of 32 years recently caught the tennis bug and she now serves on the board of the Asheville Tennis Association, aiming to bring the sport to the underserved communities in the area.

“I despise goat cheese and never met a chip I didn’t like — especially if that chip is chased by an ice cold Hazy IPA.”

Annie Lundahl

VP Brand Communications, 2008

Sheila and husband, Andy, recently planted roots – and bottle brush trees – in Austin TX. Growing up with a Lithuanian grandmother who was an accomplished pastry chef, Sheila would be a chef herself if she hadn’t fallen for the world of marketing. A former business owner, she knows her way around the digital space.

“I don’t eat sweets myself, but our four kids, nieces, and nephews have come to expect care packages of my homemade cookies!”

Sheila Mitchell

VP Market Growth, 2017

Amy is a graduate of Asheville School and an Asheville native. A rarity! After college at UNC and 7 years in Washington DC, she returned, bought a house and married her realtor’s brother (a fellow local), and they now share 2 kids, 2 dogs and 2 cats. An avid waterskier and field hockey player growing up, Amy now golfs regularly. She LOVES a good jigsaw puzzle and dreams of writing a book — probably a children’s book.

“I was once paid to watch unreleased movies and primetime TV, to write posts for an online marketing company. Best job ever. Except for TABS, of course!”

Amy Rowe

Senior Director Information Systems, 2009

Michael is based in Kathmandu with his partner, Richard, and their SIX dogs! One son attended boarding school and now studies aviation; their youngest is in his first year at a TABS junior boarding school. Michael came to TABS after being a REAC with EducationUSA. His passport boasts 70+ countries. 

“My real claim to fame? I once won a cake decorating contest at an Illinois County Fair!”

Michael Shaver

Director International Programs

Pete spent thirteen years in boarding school administration, and then founded CWJ Consulting, assisting schools and non-profits in strategy, advancement, and planning. He studied at Hotchkiss, UNC, and UPenn, where he is still idling toward his doctorate. He’s a published poet and has recently become fascinated with AI. He loves sweets, particularly chocolate caramels and maple candy, a weakness he tries to compensate for by Peloton rides and walks with his family.


“At the start of my career, I interned with the Omaha Police Department as well as Apple Computer. How’s that for contrasts!?”

Pete Upham

Executive Director, 2007

Before coming to TABS, Liz managed mortgage banking investors, owned an early tech-based research firm, and served as Director of Professional Education for a surgery association. She is happily married with two grown daughters and two fur babies, and is a proud Virgina Tech Alumnus. Liz has ridden bulls (only of friendly nature), attended a Windsor polo match where she sat next to the royal family, and transcribed conversations for an FBI sting operation. 

“One day I’d love to grow lavender and run a B&B!”

Elizabeth Verhalen

Director Finance & Operations, 2008

All in the Family

CONTRIBUTORS

Abby is an English major and former copywriter who wound up in tech — a Salesforce accidental-admin-turned-consultant who helps nonprofits leverage their data. She has a husband, two kids, and lives in Indianapolis. Every summer she has big plans to grow veggies, but winds up camping too often and reading too much, so usually winds up buying some herbs. She loves giant fantasy novels and mainlines coffee most of the day.

“Our family has two pet rats, which are very smart and friendly.”

Abby Hayes

Certified Salesforce Nonprofit Cloud Consultant

Marybirnie (hard to say her first name without her last!) grew up in Pittsburgh and is a loyal PA sports fan, especially when it comes to the Steelers. She’s fortunate enough to spend time with her family each summer in Cape Cod, where she can be found kayaking on Sheeps Pond, playing bocce, cooking up a storm for friends and family, and enjoying many firepit sessions with a nice red wine in hand.

“This year I am celebrating my 20th year as meeting planner for TABS Annual Conference!”

Mary Birnie

Event Specialist

A graduate of University of Utah, Genn has worked in design and advertising for nearly 30 years. She has traveled to 3 countries, unless you count EPCOT, where she skipped the Moroccan pavilion due to no restaurant, and only stopped in England to buy a “football” jersey. She’s a soccer mom with four kids — and a dance mom, minus the foul language and hysterics. Genn is  honing her French skills on Duolingo and loves Zumba.

“I drink Diet Coke for breakfast.”

Gennifer Rawlings

Art Director, Designer

Courtney is a graduate of Choate and Harvard, like JFK and Charles Emerson Winchester III on M*A*S*H. After school, she fled the country to study flamenco dancing in Spain, and then ended up in Paris. She worked in NYC as an actress, first assistant director, and writer, for 20 years, then retreated to Ashland, Oregon where she discovered another calling as a political activist. She loves indie film and teen fantasy fiction.

“When I first moved to NYC, I worked as a roller-skating waitress.”

Courtney Williams

Writer, Producer, Editor

our vision board

BOARD OF TRUSTEES

Ben Williams

Chair
Headmaster, Cate School CA

Suzanne Walker Buck

Vice Chair
Head of School, Western Reserve Academy OH

Christopher A. Seeley

Secretary
Asst Head of School & Director of Academics, Church Farm School PA

Peter Becker

Head of School, The Frederick Gunn School CT

Michael Bergin

Chief Financial & Operating Officer, Miss Porter's School CT

Margaret K. Bradley

Head of School, Santa Catalina School CA

Gregory B. Buckles

Dean of Enrollment Management Lawrenceville School NJ

Alex Curtis

Head of School, Choate Rosemary Hall CT

Laura Danforth

Head of School, The Masters School NY

Julie Faulstich

Head of School, Westover School CT

Jill Hutchins

Dean of Enrollment Management, Dublin School NH

Pamela Jordan

President, Idyllwild Arts Foundation CA

Jeff Leahy

Head of School, Colorado Rocky Mountain School CO

Erby Mitchell

Dean of Admission & Financial Aid, Hotchkiss School CT

Innes van Nostrand

Principal, Appleby College ON

Erika Prahl

Director of Equity and Inclusion, Middlesex MA

Lawrence Sampleton

Assoc Head of School for Enrollment, St. Stephens Episcopal School TX

Anthony H. Sgro Ed. D

Head of School. Asheville School NC

Jody Reilly Soja

Head of School, Indian Mountain School CT

Peter Upham

ex officio, Executive Director, TABS NC

Heidi Vanderbilt-Brown

Chief Financial and Operating Officer, Milton Academy MA

Dr. Henry (Skip) Flanagan, Jr.

Emeritus
Dean (retired), Avon Old Farms School CT

our vision board

BOARD OF TRUSTEES

Ben Williams

Chair
Headmaster, Cate School CA

Suzanne Walker Buck

Vice Chair
Head of School, Western Reserve Academy OH

Christopher A. Seeley

Secretary
Asst Head of School & Director of Academics, Church Farm School PA

Peter Becker

Head of School, The Frederick Gunn School CT

Michael Bergin

Chief Financial & Operating Officer, Miss Porter's School CT

Margaret K. Bradley

Head of School Santa Catalina School CA

Gregory B. Buckles

Dean of Enrollment Management Lawrenceville School NJ

Alex Curtis

Head of School, Choate Rosemary Hall CT

Laura Danforth

Head of School, The Masters School NY

Julie Faulstich

Head of School, Westover School CT

Jill Hutchins

Dean of Enrollment Management, Dublin School NH

Pamela Jordan

President, Idyllwild Arts Foundation CA

Jeff Leahy

Head of School, Colorado Rocky Mountain School CO

Erby Mitchell

Dean of Admission & Financial Aid, Hotchkiss School CT

Innes van Nostrand

Principal, Appleby College ON

Erika Prahl

Dean of DEI, Middlesex MA

Lawrence Sampleton

Associate Head of School for Enrollment, St. Stephens Episcopal School TX

Anthony H. Sgro Ed. D

Head of School. Asheville School NC

Jody Reilly Soja

Head of School, Indian Mountain School CT

Peter Upham

ex officio, Executive Director, TABS NC

Heidi Vanderbilt-Brown

Chief Financial and Operating Officer, Milton Academy MA

Dr. Henry (Skip) Flanagan, Jr.

Emeritus
Dean (retired), Avon Old Farms School CT

We’d Love to Have you

Become a
TABS Member

One North Pack Square, Suite 301, Asheville NC 28801, USA

828 258 5354

[email protected]