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2023 Burnsville- Yancey Chamber Board of Directors


Kem Muller
President | Craft Fair Committee Chair | Finance Committee | Policy & Procedure Committee

Kem represents Appalachian Java on the board and has worked both in the store and behind the scenes as their Communication & Marketing Lead as well as their Social Media Director.  In 2021 she opened her own storefront on West Main Street, Burnsville Candle Company.  Kem volunteers with Friends of the Blue Ridge Parkway, helps mans the MW Studio gallery for partner, Mark Woodham, and enjoys hiking and camping and spending time with her daughter, Victoria, who she visits in Anderson, SC as often as possible, and her Mother, Jane, who lives in the Orlando, FL area.


April Grindstaff

April and husband David are owners of Barn Charm, a locally owned and operated shop in West Burnsville that offers the charm of heirlooms, antiques, and new home decor trends.  She is grateful to get to work with the public and to serve the community through the Chamber of Commerce.   April is excited to be part of the continuing growth and positive energy our local Chamber brings. 


Mark Bayliff

Mark has spent most of his adult life in the restaurant business, working his way up to Executive Chef and General Manager. It was his School for business practices and team building.

 When he retired from restaurants, he ran an online Essential Oil Company where they supplied Hospitals, Nurses, Practitioners and Perfumers with the highest quality Essential Oils from around the World. He was able to reorganize systems for better efficiency and institute better business practices to insure the health and wellness of the company as an important supplier, for years to come.

 He opened Fill-More with his wife Sue on Main Street 3 years ago, a Refill Shop and Eco General Store. “We strive to make a difference in the community we love so much.”

 Yancey County is full of Amazing Business Owners and a community that truly supports local. Mark’s desire to join the Board of the Chamber of Commerce is to help support Business Owners and Neighbors in their continued growth.

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Santana Wright
Secretary | Membership Committee

Santana is a native of Yancey County and the South Toe Community.  She has a passion for primary healthcare and has been serving as a healthcare professional in that field for 10 years currently at Mountain Community Health Partnership as the Office Manager for Celo Health Center. 


Wendy Meyers Mease

Wendy Meyers Mease believes that if you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life.  For 22 years her love of accounting grew a CPA practice to a point where in 2023 she formed MMD Accounting Associates LLC with a close friend and colleague.  Originally from a small rural southeastern Pennsylvania town, she met Paul whose family roots go back over 100 years in Yancey County and moved to Burnsville, a place she believes is the most beautiful on earth.  Wendy enjoys being outdoors with her pups, spending time with her friends, family and world traveling daughter Heather, attending car shows with her and Paul’s collection of Mopars, “loafering” around town, and exploring and enjoying all that Yancey County has to offer.   

Kathy Gunter

Chris Hall

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Susan Buchanan
Membership Committee

Susan and her husband Tommy have lived in Yancey County since 1986 when they moved their dealership, Buchanan and Young, Inc., from Bakersville. Married for 41 years, they have one son, Thomas, who is also co-owner of the business. 
Susan obtained her MLS degree from Appalachian State University in 1986 and retired from Yancey County Schools in 2013 with 31 years’ experience as an educator. Susan continues to support education through the National Education Association and the North Carolina Education Association. Since retirement, Susan has been the Warranty Administrator at Buchanan and Young, Inc. She is also a board member for the Yancey County Public Library. She is a member and officer of PEO International Chapter CG of Burnsville. This club raises scholarships for women in our area, the state, and internationally. She is currently working towards her NC Real Estate Broker’s Certification. 
Susan’s greatest joy is spending time and traveling with her granddaughter, Evelyn Rey Buchanan and making family memories with her daughter-in-law, Amy, her son, Thomas, and her husband, Tommy. She looks forward to being a board member of the Burnsville/Yancey Chamber of Commerce that is such a vital part of the community bringing business and community together in beautiful Yancey County. 

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Tal Galton

Tal founded and operates Snakeroot Ecotours in Yancey County. A committed naturalist since childhood, he has been introducing people to wild places for over 30 years. He spent much of the past two decades teaching in the experimental and experiential environments of Arthur Morgan School and The Arete Project, and he lives with his wife Jessica Ruegg in a timber-frame home that they designed and built out of local white pines. Their grown sons Isaac and Micah both attended Yancey County Schools. Tal coaches Cross Country at Mountain Heritage and writes essays on Appalachian ecology for Asheville's Mountain Xpress and Blue Ridge Outdoors.


Joyce Watts

Joyce served as the Yancey County 4-H agent for more than 30 years taking over as County Extension Director for her last 3 years working for the county.   In 2010, she opened Burnsville Wine and.... where they offer a variety of wines and craft beers, wine tastings, classes, and non-profit fund raisers.

Kavita Hardy

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Kavita operates the historic Celo Inn bed and breakfast in South Toe with her husband, Nick Maldonado. There she can indulge in her two passions of baking and gardening. She is also the Executive Director of Dig In! Yancey Community Garden, a non-profit in Yancey County dedicated to building community food resiliency by collaboratively growing fresh food and sharing it with our neighbors. She has been living in Yancey County since 2010, and spent much of that time as a farmer and working in experiential education at Arthur Morgan School and the Arete Project. She lives in Celo Community with her husband, two teenage sons, and toddler daughter. 

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